I first read this book when I was 14 and I had a little crush on the local librarian, and when he recommended it I binged it in one weekend. But I was only 14 and completely clueless about politics and such, so although I thought it was a great book, I don’t think I completely got it.
So when one of my colleagues told me he was reading it, I had to pick it up and read it again so we could talk about it after.
And I’ll tell you what, the book was way more terrifying reading it for the second time. Partly I guess because I understood more about what was happening, but also, so many parts of it were eerily close to the way society is going right now. And the fact that this book has been around (and popular) for so long, but doesn’t seem to ring any bells is quite scary!
How could you communicate with the future? It was of its nature impossible. Either the future would resemble the present, in which case it would not listen to him: or it would be different from it, and his predicament would be meaningless.George Orwell – 1984
It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be gotten rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word?George Orwell – 1984
When my colleague read the quote above, he immediately sent it to me, along with the screenshot below from the BBC News website. I love the English language and the thought of words being reduced down like this makes me despair, but it seems like we’re heading there already!
But she only questioned the teachings of the Party when they in some way touched upon her own life. Often she was ready to accept the official mythology, simply because the difference between truth and falsehood did not seem important to her.George Orwell – 1984
I’d definitely say that this book should be recommended reading, it’s not easy and it doesn’t have a nice fluffy happy ending, but it will definitely make you think about society differently. Just because things that are happening don’t affect you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be appalled and outraged by them and protest on behalf of those who can’t protest for themselves.