Today, I bring you a review of the novel I have just finished: Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell. I will avoid spoilers in this review, but there may be one or two.
The story begins in April 1984 - an ordinary man, Winston Smith is walking home. But the world in which he lives is a terrifying, fanatical regime in which all of the people adore and idolise the Party, and it's leader the great Big Brother. Posters a metre wide are pasted on every wall, showing Big Brother's face and the ominous words 'Big Brother is watching you'.
In every building, in every home, there are telescreens - these perhaps resemble the televisions of today, but instead they spout propaganda day and night and they can never be turned off. And they are watching your every move.
One false movement, one grimace, one flicker behind the eyes of dissaproval, one strange reflex and the Thought Police could come knocking on your door. You would be 'vaporised' - erased completely from history, never having been born at all, never having existed. Winston is employed in the Ministry of Truth, where every day he falsifies documents to prove the Party to be the all-knowing, always correct power.
If the records proving a human existed are destroyed, and the memories of that person all distorted and forgotten - did that person ever exist?
This review may seem unusual and confusing but this is what the novel brought out of me. I cannot tell you the story because it would ruin all of it. 1984 is a society, a world that never happened, a world that could have happened and perhaps someday will become reality. A world where no one trusts anybody, where your own child could be a spy ready to report you, where your every movement and every thought is analysed and where you are fed lies (but are they lies if you are convinced they are true?). A thought process called doublethink helps the citizens of Oceania rid themselves of opposing thoughts - doublethink is to simply look at two contradicting thoughts and believe both of them. To understand doublethink alone, is to use the thought process.
A wonderful book. Read it.