1984

1984

A Novel

Book - 1985?
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Written more than 70 years ago, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, his dystopian vision of a government that will do anything to control the narrative is timelier than ever...

* Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read *

" The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. "

Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can't escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching...

A startling and haunting novel, 1984 creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the novel's hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions--a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : published by Signet Classic, [1985?], c1949
ISBN: 9780451524935
0451524934
Characteristics: 328 pages ; 19 cm
Additional Contributors: Fromm, Erich 1900-1980
Alternative Title: 1984
Nineteen eighty-four

Opinion

From Library Staff

Also available as an eBook. Also available on eAudio.

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HCL_featured Sep 19, 2018

"Challenged in the Jackson County, FL (1981) because Orwell's novel is "pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter." from www.ala.org American Library Association


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Sean_Exon
Sep 23, 2020

1984 is a dystopian novel about a totalitarian regime that takes place in a country called Oceania, outside the city of London. Here, “Big Brother” watches everyone’s every move; even a person’s most inner thoughts are monitored by the thought police. The main character, Winston Smith, is a government employee whose job is to rewrite history to put the government in a positive light rather than accurately recording the events. He hates the regime and often has thoughts of rebelling which is a thought crime. Thinking that he is entering a Brotherhood to overthrow the government, he is really being double crossed by O’Brien to reveal his hatred for the government. From that day on, Winston’s life is forever changed by the cruel situation he lives in.

Reading this book through humanistic eyes, this story has a lot of sadness. Human holds no value, no worth in the eyes of a totalitarian government. People are used or destroyed as the government sees fit. There is no humanity to speak of. Similar to Orwell’s Oceania, a lot of what happened in this story still happens in today’s oppressive regimes where Big Brother watches everyone’s every move and labor camps are still used to torture and reform citizens. There are many countries today that change historic events and school text books to suit their own needs. In a sense, the author is exposing the existence of the dark side of society in which we live. There are parts in the book that are hard to follow, but overall, I couldn’t put this book down.

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Maria_Wa
Aug 25, 2020

This book is absolutely not what I expected. In this dystopic society, power is paramount and under the oppressive environment of such a society, humanity's nature is altered. Orwell creates a harrowing tale of truth, memory and the meaning of our existence.

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wendy20130101
Aug 18, 2020

It is totally the same as what Mr. Orwell described in the book as what has been happening in China since 1949. Every Chinese should read the book in order to understand not only "HOW" but also "WHY" the CCP doing like that.

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alecbussott
Aug 18, 2020

Haunting. A commentary on the world that is and the world that might be.

j
jessegabriel
Aug 17, 2020

There's no question why this book is so revered in literature circles.
It's a classic, not only respected by it's 'relevancy to today' but the fact that it's an excellent piece of writing. I consider the ending to be one of my favourites, it was executed perfectly and leaves you thinking more than just about it as a book, but as something far more real.

One of my favourite books now.

k
KaedonC
Aug 07, 2020

1984 is a dystopian fiction book by Scott Orwell set in a dystopian England where "the party" oppresses any show of emotion or free thought. The story starts when Winston illegally buys a diary to express his emotions. Later at work, Winston and O' Brien share a look of understanding and Winston starts to suspect that O' Brien is a member of the Brotherhood, a secret organization plotting to overthrow the "party" Later when Winston is walking , home, a woman with brown hair hands him a paper that says "I love you." Julia - the woman and Winston start meeting more often to express their emotions and grow to love each other. Some time after, O' Brien reveals that he is a member of the Brotherhood and contacts Winston and Julia and gives them a copy of Emmanuel Goldstein’s book, the manifesto of the Brotherhood. Later when reading the book to Julia, soldiers barge in and reveal that O' Brien was a spy from "the party" who catches people like Winston that seek to join the Brotherhood. O' Brien tortures Winston and threatens to put a cage full of rats on Winstons' head- his worst fear. Winston begs O' Brien not to do it to him, but to Julia. In doing so, O' Brien breaks Winston and releases him into the outside world. He later meets Julia, but feels nothing for her. Now he loves "Big brother", the leader of "the party." I would recommend this story to 8th graders who like dystopian fiction.

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Anirudh_Kannan
Jul 17, 2020

1984 is a slightly disturbing dystopian novel which takes place in an imagined future where much of the world has fallen victim to never ending war, permanent government surveillance (the government can see what you are doing wherever you are), and propaganda. The government enforces these rules through the means of "Thought Police" to persecute individuality and eliminate individual thinking. The government is led by a person named Big Brother (we do not know if he exists or not). The protagonist, Winston Smith is a hard working file worker in one of the departments of government. However, he secretly despises the government and he also hopes for eventual rebellion. In work, Smith has two colleagues; Julia, and O'Brien. As the story moves on, Winston and Julia fall in love with each other and go into a forbidden relationship with one another. They are eventually caught and the rest of the novel revolves around how they get out of their sticky situation.

There is not much to dislike in this novel, this novel clearly portrays something that could actually happen to a country. Orwell's clever use of imagery, metaphor, makes this novel very fun to read. I would say that this book is appropriate for 15 or 16 years and up, since there is a bit of sexual content. Also, this book is a bit harder to understand as a younger kid.

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tauseef365
Jul 04, 2020

Make no mistake, although this book is dystopian in its premise, it is based on how the British establishment operated prior to the book's publishing. It was meant to be a cautionary tale, a veiled expose of disinformation systems of the day; however, in its thoroughness it is as close to an instruction manual for mass mind control through propaganda as you will find. Once you complete reading it, the real analysis of the information age in which we live begins.

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LidiaRoman57
Apr 14, 2020

This book was pretty interesting as it did have a couple of shocking revelations towards the end, which was nice. In the beginning it was a bit boring but it did turn around towards the middle of the book. This was interesting as I don’t usually really dystopian books but it was a good read for sure.

‼️ Very good comment, carolwu96. Personally I would say that Huxley was closer to our current situation, but that's just me talking, I could be wrong.

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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)

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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.

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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.”

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itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 04, 2018

“Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”

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itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 04, 2018

“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

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itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 04, 2018

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

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itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 04, 2018

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

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Sean_Exon
Sep 23, 2020

Sean_Exon thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Anirudh_Kannan
Jul 17, 2020

Anirudh_Kannan thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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NicePerson_290
Mar 04, 2020

NicePerson_290 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Samayoa2002
Jan 22, 2020

Samayoa2002 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

meG9Jley0l1Iq85KmNprhgL8 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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itsapurplegiraffe
Feb 03, 2018

itsapurplegiraffe thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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AveryChiu64
Aug 03, 2016

AveryChiu64 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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mohandess2
May 12, 2016

mohandess2 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Danuvius
Jun 02, 2015

Danuvius thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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liya6
Jan 28, 2014

liya6 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Summary

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s
SIRENREAD
Apr 10, 2020

In future written in a time long past, but ahead of its time, George Orwell speculates on a time where the government owns media, information, and you. This novel is a chilling exploration of themes and politics we face today. Imagine the government changing history to benefit their narrative. We don't need to, it's happening. Imagine if the government observed your web browsing, texts, phone conversations, etc. They technically do right now. Imagine if the government controlled media and hyped themselves over other nations, while excluding "the grass is greener on the other side" stories. Any time a politician denounces the media for reporting the truth, while trying to pass their narrative as the only truth speaks to this idea. Propaganda is rampant in our media.
Sure we don't have posters advertising that "Big Brother" is watching us, but this novel is on point regarding the complacency a society can have to the stripping of their freedoms as long as they our brain washed.

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.

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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.

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liya6
Jan 28, 2014

Violence: Contains violence

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