1984 - George Orwell

1984

By George Orwell

  • Release Date: 1983-10-17
  • Genre: Classics
  • Size: 2.54 MB
Score: 4.5
4.5
From 1,888 Ratings

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Description

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

With extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity, George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life in this edition.

“Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker
 
In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.

Reviews

  • I hate this book

    1
    By Reedtale
    Winston is gross. The concepts and ideas in the book are fascinating, but I can’t get past how boring and disgusting a person the main character is.
  • Explained the Democratic Party

    4
    By Ashhope1
    Look at the USA we live in right now. Must read book!
  • Mind and Body

    5
    By Dr. Strangelove!
    Eric Arthur Blair (known more commonly by the pseudonym George Orwell) encapsulates the horrific ends of totalitarian regimes’ physiological and psychological warfare. It’s not enough to enslave your body; they must also enslave your mind. A totalitarian utopia is one where any rebellion is not only impossible but imponderable. Every action is monitored and scrutinized, leaving no room for individualism. All must give way to oligarchical collectivism, and that which does not bend will break. Oft cited as a linchpin in the critique against the increasingly technocratic societies developing around the world, 1984 is perhaps more relevant today than when it was written. Whether it’s the exclusionary capitalistic practices of western civilization - where behavior is graded to permit access to services and social media is unceasingly and intently monitored for ad profiles - or the statistical despotism being employed in China - where the Communist government monitors all actions via their horrific social credit system - this book is a cautionary tale. Individuals should not sacrifice power to bodies, corporate or governmental, that would abuse it and stamp out what they see as opposition. Privacy and freedom of thought / speech are inalienable human rights that should not be infringed upon. No ideology - even the ones we are privately partial to - should have a monolithic dominion over mind, body, and soul. The flow and control of information should never be vested in one source, for those that absolutely own the present can and will manufacture their “objective” reality. Beyond its contemporary relevance, 1984 also serves as a fascinating look into the Red Scare mentality that pervaded the west post-World War 2. Having survived Earth’s most horrific calamity, weariness and fear abounded. People wanted to avoid another Great War and were inhospitable towards worldviews that enabled extremist authoritarian regimes (and rightly so). 1984 shows why the Cold War was waged and what the west sought to avoid. Were the west to forget itself and come to resemble their ideological foes, where novelists and news-reporters vanish in the dead of night, that would be a sorry sight. The western world has never been perfect - McCarthyism is a stark reminder. But it always tries to be better by adhering to a chaotic system of checks and balances. Hopefully the west will escape its fugue. Our infighting and absentmindedness have allowed for totalitarian regimes to recover lost ground. It has allowed us to slip far from our lofty ideals. Democracy, with strict previsions for privacy and freedom of thought / speech must prevail. The west must not forget itself and become what it has long sought to avoid. Sadly, as I write this, it seems the western world has built the tools necessary for a panopticonic society and is pondering whether to use these tools on themselves. Let us not be the dead.
  • orwell is a GENiUS !

    5
    By biancaaaaH
    definitely one of the best books I have EVER read.. and ngl it was because of this book that I want to read more and become more aware of my surroundings bcuz man this author really knows how to get to people’s minds and say exactly what needs to be said /pointed out and never ingored. I believe everyone should read this book, even if it’s just for a mere school project or test o whtv.. it’s enLigHtEninG
  • Good idea but boring

    3
    By Pekelo36
    I did not get past Chapter 7. Interesting topic but the narrative overcame me. It is very boring, nothing happens. Only descriptions and more descriptions.
  • Just keep coming back to it

    5
    By dlbeetle72
    I read this story for the first time in 9th grade and since then I come back to it. If humanity follows the paths of some in our world, 1984 will become our future. I think some administrations used this as a play book in all honestly, it's a timeless classic like most of Orwell's books that show a glimpse in history or our future.
  • Not my cup of tea

    1
    By I-Am-Your-Mother
    I really disliked it for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is the protagonist, Winston Smith. As I read the description for the book, I got the impression that Winston was a heroic rebel... Well he was a rebel, but no hero. No, he was a creep. At one point in the book, he expresses to himself that he desired to rape and kill a girl, later that he wanted to smash that same girl's head in with a rock, and then again later, he said wishes all virtue and goodness didn't exist. Said he wanted all people to be "corrupt to the bone". I had expected a hero and got a monster instead. And it's not just him. The Brotherhood rebellion is just as evil as the people they fight against. They said they'd corrupt the minds of children, kill hundreds of innocent people, encourage prostitution, disseminate disease, even throw acid in a child's face if it'd further their cause. Those are the "good guys" of the story. How am I suppose to support that? How am I supposed to root against the Party when the people opposing them are no better? How am I supposed to care if Winston lives or dies, when he's a pervert, and no better than a criminal? Why do so many people like this book?
  • Why pay?

    1
    By SchoenbergsNipple
    The book itself is superb, but apple's attempt to make money off of a book that is free press is not. Download a free PDF online.
  • Surprised Me

    4
    By A Fellow Grace Non Fan
    As an eighth grader, a teacher made me read this. I really didn't want to read it at all when I started but at the end of the book, I realized I had quite actually enjoyed the book. It really made me think and the book reminded me of North Korea and even America. It was scary to see how this book relates to the real world. Also, the beginning was a bit confusing to me with the title and setting being 1984, but then I realized the publishing date was 1949. I concluded that it was a futuristic book. The book has a somewhat interesting storyline but it has good psychology and thoughts. The ending of the book was bad though and I felt like it was too plain and bland. I definitely expected a more surprising and exciting ending. There's a part I found really boring where Winston read Goldenstein's book. I'm glad I read this book, but as an eighth grader, I feel like I didn't understand the book in it's fullest context. I plan on rereading it when I'm older and comparing my opinions about the book. Overall, great book, with few boring parts, and parts that really made me think about life. I would recommend it to some, who have the patience to read through this book and a more futuristic dystopian type. There were a few parts that were kind of unnecessary and more like fillers. Anyways, I rate it 4/5.
  • Never more relevant.

    5
    By TristansHaze
    The more I watch the actions of the trump administration, the more I fear that this is our future. Please read this book and realize that if we ever support him this WILL be our future. Orwell might as well have been Nostradamus.

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