Check out our Clean Guide for 1984 by George Orwell. This is a fantastic read but you’ll be shocked, just like we were, by the content inside. Purchase our Clean Guide so you know which parts of the book to skip.
Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever.1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.
This is the second time I’ve read this book and I’m happy to discover that I still love it. And it’s nice knowing that fact; especially since your “favorites” don’t always stand the test of time. Maybe this is more typical of movies. I just know that it’s alarming to think of some of the movies I loved as a kid and now … well, 1) it’s embarrassing to have told someone it was great and 2) to have tried sitting down with them to watch it. Yikes! But back to the book …
I want this to be a favorite of yours too, so I’m going to tell you a few things. Don’t worry – no spoilers.
It has the best opening line of all time. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” Isn’t that great! There’s just something about it, though I’m not sure what, that I really love! I think it has to do with “thirteen.” (My second favorite opening line, by the way, is, “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it,” from The Voyage of the Dawntreader).
Next. People don’t love this book for the characters. Hopefully this will help get you in the right frame of mind. The characters in the book, and there’s really only a handful, aren’t there to be likeable or pull your heartstrings. They are there for one purpose – to explain and convey a concept.
It is the concept that makes this book great and a classic! For the concept is about a negative utopia where the government is all-powerful. Why? Because people have ceased to think for themselves; and in fact, can no longer think, for the words that would convey deeper meaning and expressions of intellectual thought have been systematically erased from the human vocabulary by the government. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”
If you want a book to make you think, and perhaps keep you alert to holding tightly to your rights as a citizen, then you should read this!
One other thing – there is an ongoing debate as to how the story ends.
Because of a number of explicit sensual scenes, I would strongly recommend downloading Book Radar’s 1984.