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1984

1984

Book - 1992
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One of the most celebrated classics of the twentieth century, Orwell's cautionary tale of a man trapped under the gaze of an authoritarian state feels more relevant now than ever before .

Winston Smith, a member of the outer Party, spends his days rewriting history to fit the narrative that his government wants citizens to believe. But as the gap between the propaganda he writes and the reality he lives proves too much for Winston to swallow, he begins to seek some form of escape. His desperate struggle to free himself from an all-encompassing, tyrannical state illuminates the tendencies apparent in every modern society, and makes vivid the universal predicament of the individual.

Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1992
ISBN: 9780679417392
0679417397
Characteristics: xlii, 325 p. ; 21 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Banned for its political theories and content.

#18 The Great American Read

In Winston Smith's desperate struggle to free himself from an all-encompassing, malevolent state, Orwell zeroed in on tendencies apparent in every modern society, and made vivid the universal predicament of the individual.


From the critics


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l
laustinaustin
Apr 29, 2021

I can not believe that his book predicted the events of today so accurately. Absolutely amazing how they do this ! Behold, I bring good tidings of great joy: c19protocols dot com. Early treatment is key for Covid-19. There are inexpensive, proven therapies for this viral respiratory illness. These include hcq, ivermectin, azithromycin, and doxycycline, together with zinc and vitamin D3, to reduce viral replication, then inhaled budesonide to reduce inflammation. One can find a Covid treatment booklet at AAPSonline dot org. It is a free PDF file for download – a 25 pg document. The medical group that is providing this booklet is called the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

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al3xdu
Apr 21, 2021

1984 is a dystopian novel written in 1948, where Orwell portrays what would happen if communism replaced capitalism. Winston Smith, the main character, struggles to fight against the oppression from the state of Oceania. Political propaganda has taken over citizens’ lives, with a figure named Big Brother constantly scrutinizing everyone. Freedom of speech no longer exists, and anyone who speaks against the Party is eliminated. I enjoyed the numerous symbolic meanings behind many of the objects in the novel such as telescreens that can connect to our technologically advanced world today. This book is an easy recommendation to any reader.

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RoGalindo
Apr 17, 2021

In this novel we are transported to a new dystopian society where the world has been divided into three global superpowers; Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. The novel follows Winston’s journey in this new society; in his case the society of Oceania, under Big brother. Winston remembers a time before Big Brother (Oceania's dictator figure), a time where the world was ‘normal’ and he wasn’t under a dictatorship’s rule. Because of his remembering of the past, Winston is one of the last people who want change, he wants the fall of Big Brother.
This book does deal with some mature content.

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cwcyrus1
Mar 18, 2021

The book Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell touches upon the issues with totalitarian governments. Modeled after Stalin’s Soviet Union of the late 1940s (when the book was written), the government of Oceania is shown to control every aspect of life, both public and private. The world, consumed by continual warfare, has become subject to the rule of just three separate regimes, all of which are totalitarian. The shifting and conflicted viewpoint of Winston Smith, the narrator and protagonist, aids with conveying a sense of confusion and absurdity that Orwell tried to portray as a result of totalitarianism. Additionally, the use of absurd and sometimes more mature examples furthers the image Orwell tried to depict of bureaucratic, totalitarian governments.
Orwell’s Ninety Eighty-Four, discussing the dangers of totalitarian government systems, has been a controversial book since it was first published - both for its political and cultural contents. Orwell implements some of the popular fears and interpretations of totalitarian governments in his writing, such as limited control over the masses and a pin-pointed scapegoat to affirm the power of the government (this theme is also seen in Kurt Vonnegut’s The Cat’s Cradle, published in 1963).

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javajon
Mar 06, 2021

Haven't read 1984 since English literature class in the 60's. Current events, biased media reporting, cancel culture, and now book banning (Dr. Seuss of all people) keep reminding me of it.
Brainwashing, Newspeak, doublethink, etal all come to mind so I'm on the waiting list to re-read this classic masterpiece.

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swethau
Feb 09, 2021

The novel 1984 by William Orwell portrays how the protagonist, Winston Smith, goes against and tries to rebel against the Party and its authoritarian rule. The Party is led by big Brother and uses propaganda and doublethink to control the minds of the people. The party instills fear and uses forms of torture to get rebels, and party members with “extremist beliefs” to make them understand and follow Big Brother’s agenda. Winston is closely monitored by Big Brother, and forced to hide his actions from everyone else in society, and ultimately joins a secret organization that wants to overthrow the party, called the Brotherhood. However, when he is caught and convicted of thoughtcrime, Winston will have to face his worst fears. I would recommend this book to anyone, as it has a lot of ideas and themes that can be analyzed and be applied to various situations. It portrays the significance of free thought and speech in our society, and ultimately shows a dark future where both of those are limited.

Age: 15+

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tmaheshwari
Feb 09, 2021

1984 is a renowned novel written by the celebrated author George Orwell, and is about an extremist world and how Winston, an ordinary member of society, navigates his way through truths and lies, and realities and misconceptions. Winston lives in a society controlled by a group called the Party, led by Big Brother, who watches over citizens and manipulates everything they do down to their thoughts, suppressing all forms of emotion by implementing a simple language devoid of connotation. The novel traces Winston’s journey of radical thinking, and is an enjoyable read for those mature enough for it. Anyone in high school or above can read and appreciate this novel and how it portrays extreme dictatorships, and some can even relate this to the real-world events going on with censorship in North Korea, or the Uighur Muslim camps in China.

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aayush0215
Feb 01, 2021

I think Orwell does an excellent job in depicting the horrors that citizens of modern day authoritarian regimes go through. For example, in China and North Korea, free speech, the internet, and anything that denounces the government is completely censored, so there is no one to hold dictators accountable. Orwell’s critique of this sort of regime is expressed in a way that is humorous but horrifying at the same time, which makes this book a truly unique read for anyone who wants to semi-experience a life with no freedom of expression.

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Jimena2468
Jan 25, 2021

I always wondered why people who had a totalitarian government didn't rebel and this book showed me why. 1984 will make you see things from a different perspective, worth the read!

z
z0mghenry
Jan 17, 2021

Don't let the title of the book fool you. There are a lot of relevant topics relating to today's world presented in this work of fiction.

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Quotes

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KorrAnn
Dec 30, 2020

And even technological progress only happens when its products can in some way be used for diminution of human liberty. In all the useful arts the world’s either standing still or going backwards.

p
peter1984
Nov 18, 2019

He felt as though he were wandering the forests of the sea bottom, lost in a monstrous world where he himself was the monster. He was alone. The past was dead, the future was unimaginable. What certainty had he that a single human now living was on his side? (page 23)

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baharbehroozi
Jan 05, 2019

"He remembered how once he had been walking down a crowded street when a tremendous shout of hundreds of voices women's voices--had burst from a side-street a little way ahead. It was a great formidable cry of anger and despair, a deep, loud 'Oh-o-o-o-oh!' that went humming on like the reverberation of a bell. His heart had leapt. It's started! he had thought. A riot! The proles are breaking loose at last! When he had reached the spot it was to see a mob of two or three hundred women crowding round the stalls of a street market, with faces as tragic as though they had been the doomed passengers on a sinking ship. But at this moment the general despair broke down into a multitude of individual quarrels. It appeared that one of the stalls had been selling tin saucepans."

ArapahoeKatieK May 23, 2018

“Big Brother is Watching You.”

g
gomiami1972
Feb 05, 2018

Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

i
itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 04, 2018

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

i
itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 04, 2018

“In the face of pain there are no heroes.”

i
itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 04, 2018

“Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”

i
itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 04, 2018

“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

i
itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 04, 2018

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

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Age

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c
cwcyrus1
Mar 18, 2021

cwcyrus1 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

n
navy_buffalo_64
Feb 28, 2021

navy_buffalo_64 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

a
aayush0215
Feb 01, 2021

aayush0215 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

a
AriellaGrace
Jan 31, 2021

AriellaGrace thinks this title is suitable for 19 years and over

a
alexqise
Oct 27, 2020

alexqise thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

s
Sean_Exon
Sep 23, 2020

Sean_Exon thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

a
Anirudh_Kannan
Jul 17, 2020

Anirudh_Kannan thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

n
NicePerson_290
Mar 04, 2020

NicePerson_290 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

s
Samayoa2002
Jan 22, 2020

Samayoa2002 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Wireless_chandelier thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Summary

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a
aayush0215
Feb 01, 2021

Orwell’s 1984 features a country where citizen’s are constantly surveilled by the government in the country of Oceania. People opposing the government and the party constantly disappear and their existence is erased to make sure citizens know what their fate will be if they try to speak out or create change. The novel criticizes authoritarian governments that were forming when the book was written, such as Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union and Adolf Hitler’s Nazi germany. Orwell uses the surveillance and suppression of the authoritarian government to stress how important free speech and thought is for maintaining a free society where popular sovereignty, a government run by the people is, is maintained.

s
SIRENREAD
Apr 10, 2020

In future written in a time long past, but ahead of its time, George Orwell speculates on a time where the government owns media, information, and you. This novel is a chilling exploration of themes and politics we face today. Imagine the government changing history to benefit their narrative. We don't need to, it's happening. Imagine if the government observed your web browsing, texts, phone conversations, etc. They technically do right now. Imagine if the government controlled media and hyped themselves over other nations, while excluding "the grass is greener on the other side" stories. Any time a politician denounces the media for reporting the truth, while trying to pass their narrative as the only truth speaks to this idea. Propaganda is rampant in our media.
Sure we don't have posters advertising that "Big Brother" is watching us, but this novel is on point regarding the complacency a society can have to the stripping of their freedoms as long as they our brain washed.

platypus101 Jul 11, 2013

Orwell had a daunting task: creating a future nearly half a century away from the time period in which he was writing. This future had to be its own complex, independent society, but it also had to be the natural end result of the totalitarianism Orwell witnessed in the communist and socialist regimes of World War II. That's part of the horror of 1984: this future is a recognizable one, even in the 21st century. It's easy to see how those in control can, through manipulation and propaganda, maintain that control simply for the sake of sating their own power hunger. It's easy to say "no one could ever tell me what to think or what to do," but the Party's use of Big Brother, the Thought Police, the Two-Minute Hate, and Doublethink make it easy to see how a person's ability to think independently and discern fiction from reality can be eroded when there is no touchstone to fact. Revising and rewriting the past to make certain that Big Brother and the Party are always correct has effectively eliminated historical accuracy. How can one think and reason in a society where everything is a fabrication?

JennComishen Jul 17, 2012

Winston, a member of the straight forward, controlled society we now live in 1984, begins to question Big Brother, along with a collegue of his. The two of them get information and try to take down Big Brother themselves, however with the help of a betrayel Big Brother catches on to their plans. Using the dark methods of Double think and the haunting room 101, both Winston and his collegue are 'barinwashed' as the rest of society is, and taken over by Big Brother

Bayside Jul 02, 2012

Nineteen Eighty-four is about a Utopian society set in that year. In this society the government controls everything, including the past, the present, the future, privacy and language. Citizens are controlled by fear and brainwashing, and are always under direct supervision by telescreens, allowing little to no privacy. The novel revolves around a member of the society by the name of Winston. Winston is a relatively average member who, throughout the course of the novel, begins to secretly rebel against his government.

Notices

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j
JihadiConservative
May 26, 2015

Sexual Content: Contains sex throughout. However, it is not particularly graphic. But it is throughout. There are some sex scenes, references, prostitutes (Man has a dream about going to a 60 year old prostitute: Disturbing) Sex talk throughout.

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liya6
Jan 28, 2014

Violence: Contains violence

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