I’m always nervous when talking about classics so this isn’t strictly speaking a review. More of a discussion I suppose.
1984 by George Orwell has made a bit of a comeback in conversations over the last few months after the US election last year. Reading about governments that manipulate the news and their country’s history records to suit their narrative is scary given everything that’s going on in America at that moment. “#FakeNews”
The representation of Julia was particularly interesting to me. She started out as a strong woman, participating in the ‘two minutes hate’ whilst fighting back against the works of the Inner Party. It was also Julia who initiated and took charge of the relationship between her and Winston. However, as the story moves on and the relationship between Winston and Julia progresses she becomes something of a sex symbol. Winston’s descriptions of her are solely focused on her appearance and the reader is giving very little information about her as a person.
Overall, I found the pace of the book to be very slow at times. The beginning was very interesting as it went into great detail about the dystopian society, and I found the ending to be very interesting as it showed Winston’s struggle and decline, turning against everything he had previously believed. The main plot, however, was very slow and all the characters were very unlikeable. I am aware that this highlights the bleak and monotonous atmosphere of the society, however, it didn’t make for an enjoyable read.
This book has been on my TBR list for a very long time so I’m glad to have finally read it. Part of me was expecting there to be a big uprising against Big Brother and the Inner Party at some point in the novel, however, I suppose having a romantic relationship of any kind was a rebellion in itself. Whilst the ending didn’t take me by surprise I found it very harrowing. Reading the final few pages felt just like being in Winston’s head and you could really feel his internal struggle and eventual submission.
Have you read 1984? What did you think of it? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments!