To students who have taken English or English Literature for IGCSE, they will remember having to read a ton of classic books and poems dating back decades. The usual authors we had to read up on were most commonly William Shakespeare, Michael Morpugo and George Orwell. At least these were the big three some of us were familiar with. So, it is no stranger to us when someone brings up the book 1984 by George Orwell. Today, we’ll dive into a spoiler-free, (of course) review of this brilliant novel that is considered required reading at many schools. You have been forewarned as this novel does not tell the tale of the glitz and glamour of a future 1984, but a glum and nightmarish vision of it.
1984 Book Blurb
To sum it all up, 1984 is George Orwell’s terrifying vision of what the future could look like under totalitarian rule. First published in 1949, this novel imagines a future where an all-controlling party called Big Brother has brainwashed and taken control over the population. A world where your each and every action is monitored. Where there is no individuality and a single thought could land you in jail. In order to avoid political rebellion, it creates a new language ‘Newspeak’ and if anyone dares to disobey all these rules Big Brother has imposed, they will have a visit to Room 101 where a dreadful punishment awaits.
In this dystopian novel, we follow our main character, Winston Smith. Frustrated by the omnipresent eyes of Big Brother, we see his gradual rebellion. Starting small with a diary in which he keeps his private thoughts, to a scandalous love affair with Julia. Will he succeed in raising an army of rebels, or was this a doomed tragedy from the start?
1984 Book Review
Seeing this book brings back memories of IGCSE English and English Literature. We as students used to dread the required reading of classics we had to do for exams. Not only were you not allowed to read ahead, but required reading just sucked all the fun out of reading a book on your own. Some online reviews have even admitted to liking 1984 much more on their reread as an adult. Upon reading 1984 by George Orwell, you come to realise how much freedom we have now. Imagine if you had to live in a world where what you eat, drink, say and think we’re being controlled. It would be horrible if you couldn’t have your own free will over your lives.
Even though the world seems bleak, you still can’t help but root for Winston. Hoping that he might be the one to break the chain and finally overthrow Big Brother. But, not all is sunshines and cupcakes. As we watch the ideas unfold, we are also hit with plot twists that certainly don’t go our way. In our opinion, 1984 reads like foreshadowing. A future that is certainly possible if we aren’t careful. It shows that if we were ever in this type of situation, no one would stand up to the government. Not knowing who is on your side and who is out to get you. Because in this dystopian world, even your own blood could betray you. So, do we get our happily ever after? Or is reality harsher than we think? Read this amazing book to find out on your own!