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1984 (lit essay)

Posted on February 27, 2009 at 11:40 PM

1984 is a book written by George Orwell. The story is very well written and shares some interesting and often terrifying insights into a futuristic civilisation. The novel takes place sometime after the Second World War in a civilisation known as Oceania. The people of this world are divided into the inner party and the outer party, or upper class and lower class.

The inner party is a small political organisation that is in charge of Oceania. The highest ranked member of the inner party is a god-like figure called Big Brother. The outer party or proles as they are more commonly referred to, populate 85% of Oceania. The proles are the working-class societies that are ruled over by the inner party with an iron fist. The proles obey and believe anything that the inner party says and are constantly reminded that whatever they do or where ever they go Big Brother will be watching them. Whether it is through spies of the inner party or the millions of camera's and computer screens set up all over the place.

The stories' protagonist is Winston Smith, a 40-year-old man who belongs to the outer party. Winston is one of the only citizen's that is not completely controlled by Big Brother and over the course of the story we learn how he secretly hates his grand over-lords and joins a secret brotherhood that plan to overthrow the almighty Big Brother.

Before reading this novel I had assumed that like many other stories concerning the structures and controlling powers of politics this book was aimed at teenagers, but after reading it I found that many of the issues targeted the adult community.

I think what the author, George Orwell, was trying to teach us was that a community where an almighty super-power reigns is possible. In fact in some country's it has become a reality for culture to be brainwashed into robots – the Nazi's; Iraq; international terrorists; and communists have all shown characteristics that the inner party promotes. I think Orwell is also saying that it is important to stand up to authority and never give in to a power because of its rank, we were all created equal.

There are only four real characters in this book, as most of the community has become mind-less robots that are there only to carry out the biddings of the inner party. I found that each character is slowly revealed in great depth as the proles manage to uncover more and more about this frightening system of control Big Brother has begun.

The writing, I found, flowed very well and gave the reader an excellent view of Winston's world. The writing was also very clear and easy to read, considering the complexity of the narrative.

1984 was a fairly thick novel (about 24 chapters) and will take a good week or so to read, but it is worth your time and I guarantee you will not close the book unchanged. Overall, I'd give it a ten out of ten and strongly recommend it to any one interested in science fiction.


Categories: ESSAYS, Literature

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