Tag Archives: George Orwell

1984: honest review [book]

“He who controls the past controls the future.

He who controls the present controls the past.”

― George Orwell, 1984

Those words keep repeating loudly in my head since I read this book. F-word, probably the most haunting not to mention frightening book I’ve ever read.

The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever, especially considering the reality we are living.

Nineteen_Eighty-Four_manuscript
A 1947 draft manuscript of the first page of Nineteen Eighty-Four, showing the editorial development.

1984 is still the great modern classic of Utopia, or perhaps a Dystopia, where it’s leaders regulate their citizen, in the most extreme ways. This one is a haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words.

Big Brother is always watching
Big Brother is watching

And if you are you expecting a happy ending, where love triumphs over all and human spirit is set free, well perhaps you should read the book…

Working, eating, drinking, sleeping, talking, thinking, procreating…in short living, all are controlled by the state. Any hint of obedience or dislike can be detected by various state apparatus such as the Thought Police, telescreen, or even your children, who will not hesitate to betray you to the authorities, betray is the wrong word to be used because even that action brings pride to their fathers… Even language is modified in such ways that you cannot express yourself, since individualism is a crime. What a scary world…

the_1st_unperson
Nikolai Yezhov walking with Stalin in the top photo from the mid 1930s. Following his execution in 1940, Yezhov was edited out of the photo by Soviet censors. Yezhov became an “unperson.”

The past is controlled, rewritten into something that will strengthen the incumbent ruler. Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past. There is no real truth. The “truth” is what the state says it is. Black is white, 2+2=5, if the state says so.

Scary…

Don’t forget “Big Brother is watching”!