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I was first introduced to this book through the many articles i had read which used the term orwelian to describe the happenings. I was intrigued by this word and still had no idea of what it meant, until that it is I stumbled across this deceased author.
Orwelian of course, is a term synonymous with this book Nineteen Eighty Four. The plot for this book centres around a future world as he saw it in 1984, the world has been divided into 3 super states, Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. After a bloody civil war in England, which is one of the states comprising of Oceania falls into a state of shock and terror where the iron fist rules and towers over everyone, people are listened to through all manner of surveillance equipment, thoughts are scrutinised and anyone who steps out of line with the party doctrine is dealt with severely.
The main character in this book is Winston Smith who works as a history revisionist for the outer party, it is his job to ensure that the only reality the proletariat gets it's their version of reality. They have sought to dumb people down by dismantling the language and through dismantling the language, most people do not have the means of conveying their emotions, they have been essentially rendered zombified. The existence of the many is squalid and desperate but people are unified under the party doctrine.
Winston yearns for more, his intellectual capacity seeks freedom and escape from the mental chains which bind so many, however if he is to do that then he must turn on his back on the party and here in lies the journey he must take.
Orwell writes in a truly eloquent and concise manner, he draws you deeper and deeper into the plot while having you identify with the characters in a way which really captures the imagination. The plot is truly hard hitting and compelling and he makes the brilliant transition from fiction to non fiction and back again.
There are those at the time who saw this book as simply a piece of fiction, who spoke at great lengths about the satirical side of things. Likewise though it is not an attack on socialism per sa, rather it is an exceptional fiction book which has extremely strong undertones which provide a warning of the perversions which he recognised even back then were seeping into society.
It is a warning shot because while the world of 1984 has thankfully not become a reality, there are of course real dangers that a weak un educated public will slowly accept the ethos conveyed in this book. This is why I truly think this book is epic because it transcends all levels.