I picked up this book from a sale in LandMark since this was cited as one of the best books to read. Another reason could be that 1984 is my year of birth. Guess we should consider such recommended books with par with art films .Expect some boring stuff, yet a good story behind it. But I am happy I read it.
In the year 1984, the country of Oceania (America) is ruled by the Party headed by a figure called "Big Brother'. The Party has devised strict rules for all party members and they are constantly monitored and any violations are dealt with serious punishments. The Party has taken extreme measures to keep people under control which includes making people disappear and removing any reference to them in any records, forming a new language 'Newspeak' with very little vocabulary to curb people from expressing themselves too much etc. People are constantly fed information through various devices and the government is quite successful in influencing the people with the information what they want people to believe.
Winston Smith, the protagonist finds himself seeing through all this fallacies of the government. He recollects a more happy and peaceful days in his childhood,unlike what the Party has made people believe. He understands the wrong information that is being fed to people. Slowly he wishes that the anti-government movement "Brotherhood" is a true entity. Julia, his co-worker helps him in finding ways to dupe the monitoring systems devised by the government. In the midst of all the chaos, Winston and Julia is able to find love for each other. They vow their lives to the Brotherhood. Winston and Julia have no doubt that their 'ThoughtCrime' will be found out one day and it did so happen. At this point they come to a better understanding of the system of the government devised to keep people under their power. The rest of the book is about Winston's journey to this understanding.
In my opinion this book is not exactly a smooth read,. Some parts of the book are boring and lengthy due to the detailed explanation about the Party - its motives and strategies.But the way George Orwell has depicted an entire new world in which Americans live is commendable. Think of reading Harry Potter for the first time;1984 also takes you to a different dimension.Probably due to my association with 'The Matrix', I was expecting a happy ending, but was disappointed.But 1984, is its own way an unique literary creation. The best thing is that we ending up thanking God for the imperfect but free world that we happen to live today :)
My verdict - Pick up 1984 only if you could enjoy books like Atlas Shrugged ; specifying about parts where there is lots of philosophy to read. But otherwise you will find the story interesting :)
Rating : 4/5
Price : 215
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