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By George Orwell

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Book review written by Harry Waddington (Year 11 2019)

1984 by George Orwell is a modern(ish) classic, which centres around the protagonist Winston Smith in the fictional city of Airstrip 1 (Britain) which describes a dystopian society where the government and its leader ‘Big Brother’ control all of society and to quote Winston “Nothing is your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull”. Winston works for the government and is always watched, until he meets Julia. The two of them plot to run away with each other and join a rebellion, and they end up leading a happy life.

I personally love this book, because it is one of those books that perfectly and hauntingly portrays human nature. The dystopian setting is perfect for showing off the best and the worst of mankind, and 1984 does not disappoint. George Orwell perfectly interweaves a frightening picture of rebellion and a world in chaos at the same time as a hilarious satire of communism, which was beginning to form in 1949 when the book was written. Some of the examples of this are when a character is brainwashed into believing that two and two make five, as an obvious reference to the lies that a communist society has the power to tell and government agencies with satirical pseudonyms such as the Ministry of Truth (The propaganda agency) and the Ministry of Plenty (The rationing and starvation agency). This mould together to form a modern horror story, that carries an important meaning, while also latching on to the audience’s attention through subtle jokes strewn throughout the text.

Personally, I would recommend this book to anyone who can comprehend it. It is difficult to tack an age onto a book such as this, but I would think that anyone with a philosophical mind, an avid appetite for reading and a tinfoil hat would be able to do the book justice.

Orwell, G. (1949). 1984.

Book review written by Harry Waddington (Year 11 2019)