Sunday, September 7, 2014

George Orwell's 1984: A Review

Written in 1948, 1984 is 
A frightful commentary on our contemporary culture. Erich Fromm writes in the Afterward, "Books like Orwell's are powerful warnings, and it would be most unfortunate if the reader smugly interpreted 1984 as another description of Stalinist barbarism, and if he does not see that it means us, too." I found myself guilty of this in the beginning, until I realized that Oceania was North America and Britain. Orwell of course is speaking against our "centralized managerial industrial society..." bureaucratic and materialistic as well as Communism. 

The principle characters are Winston Smith and Julia, and the story deals mostly with their love affair under a purely totalitarian structure. O'Brien - a servant of Big Brother - tortures Winston both physically and psychologically. 

Key words and phrases: Big Brother; Double think; War is peace; Freedom is slavery; Ignorance is strength.