Favourite Books #2 – Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell

Hello guys!

First of all, I want to talk to you about the new design! I did it myself since I’m very fond of drawing and graphic design. Tell me what you think about it, all opinions are accepted. Now, let’s go straight to business.

Today I bring you another post about one of my favourite books. It’s Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.

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George Orwell is the pen name of one of the most recognisable authors of the 20th century english literature. His work has a lot of political awareness and criticism, especially on totalitarian political regimes.

Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian novel situated on a superstate called Oceania, more specifically on a town that we know now as London. Something called English Socialism is the current political system and it’s led by this almost divine-like person (at least it’s seen as a person but we never have that confirmation), known as Big Brother. The world is in permanent war, history changes every day, the people are always under surveillance and individualism is dead. We follow a man called Winston Smith, a member of the party that works re-writing history related newspaper’s headlines on the Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue). He secretly hates the party and starts wanting to rebel against Big Brother. He later falls in love with a woman named Julia and together they not only live an intense romance but also end up getting in a lot of trouble with the party.

This book has so much backstory that’s just almost impossible to keep updated. The dystopian world has a specific language called Newspeak. The political system is inspired in totalitarianism but the oppression methods, of surveillance and torture, are completely new. So many therms and concepts are so popular and used nowadays. For example, 2 + 2 = 5, Big Brother (yes, the reality show is inspired on this book), doublethink, thoughtcrime and Room 101. Our culture is filled with references and things inspired on this dystopian book.

After you read this book, you’ll realize that maybe things aren’t that different from what Orwell imagined the year 1984 would be like. There’s cameras everywhere, recording our every move; tv manipulates what we see and what we think; and people are judge when being or thinking different from the masses. And that’s very scary! Is humanity that predictable? Are we doomed to live in fear and oppressed?

I’m not a very political person. I concern about national and international problems but that’s basically it. I don’t participate in any party or even identify with one. But that didn’t stop me from wanting to read this book. I have a particular love for the dystopian genre and politics come with it. This book is very scary: the second part will probably drive you crazy. But the important message of the book is: don’t try to fight the man. That’s so powerful! The people should always be right. They are the majority and overthrowing a couple of guys shouldn’t be that hard. Nothing is simple. Nothing ever goes right for the people. We’re destined to suffer on other’s hands. Also, the descriptions in this book are marvellous! The sets and the feelings of the character are so real.

Like I said, I’m a sucker for dystopias so this was a must on my list. Besides all my hype for this one, it definitely blew my expectations away. I still have a couple of dystopian classics to read but this is one of my favourites ever. I know there’s a movie adaptation to this one but I haven’t seen it so I won’t talk about that. Also, shout out to the publisher of the portuguese edition, Antígona! The cover and back are so gorgeous! I love simple yet beautiful book designs.

In summary, I’m absolutely mad about this book. If a book about a theme you’re not particularly interested about can get you hooked, you know it’s a good one. I definitely recommend this one to everybody. If you read it, please let me know what you thought.

Here’s one of my favourite parts:

“You are a slow learner, Winston.”
“How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”
“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

As always, thanks for reading.

Cat.

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