Darlene Carandang, Special Assignment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 A haunting timeless classic

Author: George Orwell

Call #: FIC ORW C.1

Reviewed By: Darlene Carandang


It is the year 1984, or at least those who reside in the crippled society where simple commodities such as the date are indefinite believe it is. Orwell depicts what is unquestionably the most bleak, disturbing world resulting from giving one person or entity too much unchallenged power and the drastic change in life once stripped of basic human liberties. The novel takes place in Oceania, one of three super states in which countries were divided into after a global war. Oceania is divided into three classes, the elite being the Inner Party, the middle class being the Outer Party and the lower, largest class being Proles who have more freedom than the Party members yet, due to this freedom, do not concern themselves with the affairs of the Party and therefore are also the most easily controlled. The image of its omnipresent leader Big Brother is utilized throughout the city as both propaganda to portray the Party in a positive light while simultaneously using it as a method of intimidation in order to act as a reminder that the Party is always watching you under constant surveillance with little to no places for privacy. Every single aspect of life is controlled by the state in favor of the Party and any hint of hate, disobedience or even possible threat will inevitably be detected by either the telescreens set up for the purpose of watching each movement or even one’s own children who are raised to have no remorse in turning their parents. Those arrested will disappear as if they had not existed in the first place. History in this novel proves itself to not be concrete as the Party rewrites the past and disposes of the facts, which would then therefore leave no trace that any events had happened and would only exist in memory. The “truth” is what the Party says it is. Any form of individualism is heavily restricted, and even the English language itself is being modified and destroyed in a way that would limit the amount of words one can use to express themselves. Thought itself is considered a crime. 1984 forces the reader to raise questions that Orwell leaves unanswered, and the powerful, compelling writing and philosophy of 1984 makes the novel undeniably one of the most memorable pieces of literature.