Nineteen Eighty-four

Nineteen Eighty-four

Book - 1992
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While the totalitarianism that provoked George Orwell into writing 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' seems to be passing into oblivion, his harrowing, cautionary tale of a man trapped in a political nightmare has had the opposite fate, and its relevance and power to disturb our complacency seem to grow decade by decade.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 1992.
ISBN: 9780679417392
0679417397
9781857151343
1857151348
Branch Call Number: ORWELL G
Characteristics: xlii, 325 pages ; 21 cm.
Alternative Title: 1984

Opinion

From Library Staff

Portrays a terrifying vision of life in the future when a totalitarian government, considered a "Negative Utopia," watches over all citizens and directs all activities, becoming more powerful as time goes by.


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OPL_AnnaW Dec 20, 2019

No one ever talks about the love story in this book, but it's one of my favorite elements of the story. If you've not read this dystopian classic about government surveillance and freedom of speech, it remains as timely as ever.

YLPLTEENBOOKBLOG Dec 05, 2019

1984 is a dystopian novel written by George Orwell that presents a suspenseful and captivating story. Winston Smith, the protagonist, is an average citizen living in a society run by a doctorial government, so his actions and beliefs are tightly regulated and limited by the government. Winston hates the government and the face of the government known as “Big Brother;’ he finds ways to rebel against the government knowing full well it is illegal. Will Winston’s secret affairs be discovered, or will his rebellious behavior continue? These questions drive the story line and create the heart pumping action of the novel. I enjoyed this novel because of the overarching feeling of thrill as I read it and saw Winston change as a character throughout the novel. There are many things that I love about this novel; but they are all spoilers, and I believe it is a lot more exciting to figure out by yourself. Everything from the introduction to the conclusion kept me well tuned with the plot. This conclusion of the novel left me feeling so many different emotions as it was so unexpected and shocking. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who has not read it. I would also recommend the movie as any form of this brilliant story is very entertaining. I give this novel a 5/5 for keeping me thoroughly enchanted with the characters, plot events, and the overall flow of the story. @Josh, grade 12, Yorba Linda Teen Book Bloggers

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gmoney83
Aug 24, 2019

5 stars - a must read
There are bad books, good books and important books, 1984 is an important book.
Orwell's 1984 is a warning against an over bearing and corrupt government (dystopia society throught too much control of our daily lives by the government.
Some people think this book to extreme. Orwell was using the USSR as an example, read up on the USSR and see what Orwell was warning against. People flee dictatorships, it is not hard to see why.
This novel gave us the line "Big Brother is watching". This is a world where even your thoughts are not your own. Imagine living in a one party system and you let it slip that you hated that political party. In a dictatorship with no tolerance or free speech, that person could land in legal trouble. Perhaps not every scenario described in the book seems like it could happen (if say, you are using the USA as your point of reference). But, the daily life of the average North Korean person is as foreign to an American, as say the gravity on the moon is to the gravity on earth.
1984 is more then a book that repeats over and over that dictatorsips and big government is bad, it is about losing your humanity in a dystopia. Toward the end, the main character is tortured, starved and talks about his legs getting so thin he can wrap his hand around his thigh.

n
naturalist
Aug 18, 2019

further reading:
“Democracy and Its Crisis”
A.C. Grayling 1949-
Oneworld Publications 2017, hc, 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1786072890, ISBN-13: 978-1786072894
Anthony Clifford Grayling CBE, 1949-
and,
“Enemies of Freedom : Understanding Right-Wing Authoritarianism”
Robert Anthony “Bob” Altemeyer 1940-
Jossey Bass Social and Behavioral Science Series
Jossey-Bass 1st edition 1988, hc, 378 pages
ISBN-10: 1555420974, ISBN-13: 978-1555420970
and,
“Fighting Back the Right : Reclaiming America From the Attack on Reason”
David Niose 1962-
St. Martin's Press 2014, hc, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1137279249, ISBN-13: 978-1137279248
and,
“Fixing America : Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media, and the Religious Right”
John Buchanan (author), John McConnell (foreword)
Trine Day 2005, pbk, 270 pages
ISBN-10: 0975290681, ISBN-13: 978-0975290682
and,
“F.U.B.A.R. : America's Right-wing Nightmare”
Samuel L. Seder 1966- and Stephen Sherrill 1961-
Harper 2006, hc, ISBN-10: 0060846712, ISBN-13: 978-00608467182006
and,
“The Party of Fear : From Nativist Movements to the New Right in American History”
David H. Bennett
Vintage Books Revised edition 1995, pbk, 608 pages
ISBN-10: 0679767215, ISBN-13: 978-0679767213
and,
“The Politics of Fear : How Republicans Use Money, Race, and the Media to Win”
Manuel G. Gonzales, Professor of History at Diablo Valley College
Paradigm Publishers, 1st edition, 2006, hc
ISBN-10: 1594512418, ISBN-13: 978-1594512414
Paradigm Publishers, 1st edition, 2006, pbk,
ISBN-10: 1594512426, ISBN-13: 978-1594512421

r
rebecacelest
Aug 06, 2019

While I understand Orwell's wish to argue "communism is bad" &c. he takes his world building to an impossible extreme that it makes his entire argument laughable. On top of this, the protagonist is far from likable.

m
mimsipod
Aug 04, 2019

I read this book many years ago as a much younger person, and as some other reviewers have said, I did not appreciate its darkness the way I have at this reading. It is a disturbing read in and of itself, but it particularly disturbed me now because so many of the things Orwell wrote about, that seemed so far-fetched years ago, are actually happening now - for instance the listening devices most people are subjected to, such as Smart TVs, Alexa, Siri and iPhones (don’t believe it? See Edmonton Journal, August 3/2019, page NP7).
Then there the appalling things happening in the U.S.A. For instance, presidential rallies that are very similar to the Two Minutes Hate rallies, removal from government websites of scientific knowledge about pesticides and climate change, division of the world into three superpowers (China, Russia, U.S.A.?) and much more. George Orwell was a prescient writer and thoughtful people who follow world politics might find this a compelling and interesting read. But it won’t make you feel better, it will just give you more to think about.

t
tsenko
Jul 29, 2019

I can’t believe I didn’t read this until 2019. Better late than never, however. There are good reasons why it consistently makes “top” lists. The year 1984 may have come and gone but this book is still incredibly relevant and important.

I had originally wanted to read this book when I was younger, but I realize now that I would not have been able to understand the dark undertones that it implied. I felt that the book moved very slowly, but I was worried for the main character's life on each page. While reading, I was also shocked at the similarities I found between our present world and the world under Big Brother. The book also creates a very detailed depiction of the world, with a new language and even a list of vocabulary with definitions. It introduced me to many concepts I had not heard of or thought of, and made me think very deeply about things that go on around me. Overall, I highly recommend this book for young adults who love dystopian novels.

onehalfofyouth May 25, 2019

“1984” by DAVID BOWIE: Bowie wrote this as the theme to a musical version of George Orwell's novel 1984. The musical never surfaced as the Orwell estate would not authorize it. (via songmeanings.com)

c
climbTheStairs
May 21, 2019

(Spoilers)
While I understand that the point of "1984" is to warn readers about totalitarianism by painting a detailed future dystopia, I find this book's plot to be extremely disappointing. Throughout the book, it seems as if all the events (Winston's love for Julia, meeting O'Brien, joining the Brotherhood, reading Goldstein's book, etc) are leading up to, perhaps, a rebellion; but instead, Winston and Julia are suddenly arrested by the Thought Police, and "1984" ends shortly after when they have been utterly defeated by the Party. "1984" is a great book to make us aware of the possibility of a totalitarian future, but its plot is also quite dull and anticlimactic.

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Quotes

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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)

b
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.”

i
itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 04, 2018

“We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.”

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Age

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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

c
climbTheStairs
May 21, 2019

climbTheStairs thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

i
itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 03, 2018

itsapurplegiraffe thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

c
Calsx
Aug 03, 2016

Calsx thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

m
mohandess2
May 12, 2016

mohandess2 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

d
Danuvius
Jun 02, 2015

Danuvius thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

l
liya6
Jan 28, 2014

liya6 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

SweetTreatsz125 Jul 22, 2013

SweetTreatsz125 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

platypus101 Jul 11, 2013

platypus101 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Summary

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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.

l
liya6
Jan 28, 2014

Violence: Contains violence

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