Book Nook: 1984, by George Orwell

A while back, I stumbled across a social media post making a claim of the books most often cited that were never actually read by those citing them. George Orwell’s 1984 was at the top of the subjective list.

I admittedly had not read 1984, so I figured it was as good a time as ever to remedy that. Written in the late 40s, 1984 is Orwell’s take on totalitarianism and where it would lead. Written in the infancy of the modern totalitarian (Hitler, Lenin, etc), it is a more fleshed-out extension of Animal Farm.

Or, it is one long slippery-slope argument. Through Winston Smith and Julia, and what they endure from The Party, we see what Orwell believes is the end game for unchecked State-hood. It would never hold up in a log & reasoning or debate class, and thus why the frequent modern reference is a bit of a fallacy. I get the impression the younger you are when you first read this, the more profound it will seem. But it is at least a well-written slippery slope argument. It is the original Idiocracy, an almost-believable warning shot to society that it may want to veer from the current path.

The third act could serve as the stuff of horror legend alone. Then tension build and builds, not to a climactic one, but to a bitter, chilling conclusion. Ultimately, it crescendos in a sadness not even my country music can touch.

I would say more, but Big Brother is watching and ignorance is strength.


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