1984 by George Orwell
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The title of the book is 1984. It is written by George Orwell. The book was published on 1 December 2009 by Mahaveer Publishers, which is a publishing house situated in India.
The novel under discussion is a classic anti-utopia and keen political satire that is still as important nowadays as when it was written and published. To my mind, the idea of smugness and the threats of the totalitarian regime remain relevant. Orwell attempted to describe a totalitarian state, in which there is no truth as such, but it is simply what the "Big Brother" orders are. The society lives according to the rules aimed at protecting it from decay and destruction. Deliberately elaborated rules and laws are designated for establishing common well-being. It implies the total control over an individual: his/her thoughts, words, and actions. What is more, even over the feelings, emotions and impressions Orwell's novel can be regarded as a warning against communism; it can also be interpreted as a caution against the superfluous might of the mass media, the power of mass media, or the excessive authority of governments. Technological inventions should serve people and make their lives easier. However, they can have a reverse effect being used against them.
The events in the novel take place in 1984 in London, the capital of Airstrip One, Oceania. Winston Smith, a feeble man of 39 is going to start a diary. If the diary is found, Winston will be sentenced to death or to 25 years of hard labor in prison. His room is equipped with a telescreen. The Thought Police eavesdrops every word and follows every movement. All around the city, one can see the posters depicting a huge face of a man with a thick black moustache and piercing eyes. The caption says “The Big Brother is watching you.” Winston hates Big brother. He does not accept the slogans of the Party. Winston Smith works in the Ministry of Truth, which deals with information, education, and leisure. The main task of the Ministry is to find publications which are subject to erasing, replacement, or modification in case the information does not coincide with the current state of affairs. Thus, the history is changed, the lie turns into the truth.
Winston attends the Two Minutes Hate held at the Record Department. He often meets a dark-haired girl there. Winston thinks that she is connected with the Thought police. One day, walking in the park the girl comes to him and gives him a note. It is a love declaration. It is considered to be a crime, so Winston is put into prison. Afterwards he is transferred to the Ministry of Love, into the cell where the light is always on. Winston is subjected to tortures and examinations. The man pleads guilty. Winston meets O’Brien, who works in the Thought Police. O’Brien is there to cure Winston, which means transforming his ideas and thoughts. Under the pressure Winston betrays the girl, Julia. Later, the man finds out that Julia made the same. Winston is released from prison. Finally, he is cured, he has won. It is a victory over himself. He loves Big Brother.
To sum up, 1984 is a novel that is closely related to the government class course. Every student can learn something new from it. The book will make everybody think over many important things and consider them from another point of view: the things like correction of the truth or the total control in the era of the Internet, the problem of the authoritarian and oppressive regimes, which are related to the course. For us, the world of the future described by Orwell is the world of the past. Though, the problems depicted in the novel are still relevant for modern society.
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