Orwell Essay

1215 Words5 Pages
Published back in 1949, along came a book called 1984 written back one of my heroes, the great George Orwell. I read it again, and again: it was right up there among my favorite books. Nineteen Eighty-Four describes what it's like to live entirely within such a system. Its hero, Winston, has only fragmentary memories of what life was like before the present dreadful regime set in: he's an orphan, a child of the collectivity. His father died in the war that has ushered in the repression, and his mother has disappeared, leaving him with only the reproachful glance she gave him as he betrayed her over a chocolate bar - a small betrayal that acts both as the key to Winston's character and as a precursor to the many other betrayals in the book. I sympathized particularly with Winston's desire to write his forbidden thoughts down in a deliciously tempting, secret blank book: I had not yet started to write, but I could see the attractions of it. I could also see the dangers, because it's this scribbling of his along with illicit sex, another item with considerable allure for a teenager of the 50s, that gets Winston into such a mess. The government of Airstrip One, Winston's "country", is brutal. The constant surveillance, the impossibility of speaking frankly to anyone, the looming, ominous figure of Big Brother, the regime's need for enemies and wars - fictitious though both may be - which are used to terrify the people and unite them in hatred, the mind-numbing slogans, the distortions of language, the destruction of what has really happened by stuffing any record of it down the Memory

More about Orwell Essay

Open Document