I have always preferred to read classics first and then only try my hands at the contemporary ones. However, rules (even the golden ones) are to be broken. I could not resist and kept reading between the timelines – some new and some old. I have heard much about 1984 (Nineteen eighty-four) by George Orwell and always wanted to read it. I had the book resting in the series on my bookshelf but could not find the momentum and the impetus to turn the pages. Nevertheless, days passed for good and I finally got my hands and eventually overcome this novel!
Since this is a ‘classic’ and very popular, I hope most of the readers must be knowing the average idea of the story – there is someone Winston who fights the oppressive Big Brother. The rest is history! I would not like to waste the time of my readers by telling this happens first and that happens next… I will focus on the main agenda – positioning 1984, the novel, at a relevant place.
Geroge Orwell, to be clear, was more a political writer than a novelist. There is politics in his writing veins and we see a glimpse of that in each of his important writings (even the minor ones). The object of satire in this novel is the state which becomes the antagonist and the rulers care for themselves letting the subjects die in oblivion… the horrific picture that the author presented in 1949 (unaware of what would be becoming the reality) mostly became the reality coming towards the early 20th Century. This thing called ‘relevance’ is there in plenty in the novel of Orwell and that’s why Nineteen Eighty-four is a novel that every eager reader should be reading at least once!
The novel is a satire, a perfect satire which has space for everyone to continue their speculations – is it on socialism; is it on ‘democracy’; is it an imagination? And many questions like these are always there since the novel got published. However, in spite of the questions, what you get by reading the novel is the real fun of reading (fun intended to mean pleasure). The irony in the novel is evident in the nomenclature as well – Thought Police, Ministry of Peace, Ministry of Love, Ministry of Truth…
After Animal Farm, this one by Orwell remained the most popular and seldom people get ahead to read the 1985 novel by him! You should also enjoy reading because I am still feeling the reverberations of the song:
“Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me:
There lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree.”