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Nineteen Eighty Four

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1984, written by George Orwell in 1948, is a seen as a classic science fiction novel. Published shortly after the end of Second World War, this vision of the world must have seemed all too possible to those living in post-war Britain. The year 1984 may have passed but many of the novel's key themes still remain relevant today. These include loss of freedom, the class system, hypocrisy of Government, rebellion and how are worst fears are used against us. Scary stuff!

Winston Smith, the central character of the novel, hates his job. Working in the Ministry of Information he has to rewrite Government articles so that they dispose of the truth and tell a web of lies to the masses. In a society that believes a thought is just as real as an action, Winston has had enough and decides to rebel. Meandering through a series of misdemeanors, he embarks on an illicit affair with a colleague called Julia.

Together they decide to join a movement dedicated to overthrowing the Government. However, if they get caught, they will be sent to the ‘Ministry of Love’ who has a perfect record in turning this ‘insanity’ into loving Big Brother.

The best way to read 1984 is to imagine the novel as an alternative 1984. There is no reference to Hitler or Nazism in the novel but a war has taken place and is still continuing. 1984 is surprisingly easy to read even though there are some occasional long passages. The story starts slowly and gradually builds up. You can almost imagine the interrogator O’ Brian turning up the dial all the way through the novel.

1984 is a great story that really challenges your views on how the world works. The year may have passed but this only increases the novels power.

"You will love Big Brother"