1984

The worst literary book I have ever read is “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, written by George Orwell. As noticed by most readers and critics, many aspects of the story in Nineteen Eighty-Four make references to Nazi Germany and Communist Russia through the mention of “Thought Police” alluding to Gestapo and NKVD as well as the obvious cult of personality of the “Big Brother” hinting upon the cult of personality of Hitler in Germany and Stalin in the Soviet Union. Even more subtly, the story makes reference to a western world and the conflicting information that government provides for the public to arouse hatred for the “enemy”. Although these indirect references in nineteen eighty-four are evident, they over-simplify the situation and create an unrealistic representation of a society, presenting the general public as a heard madly following the ideas of the government.

The main reason I do not like this book is because the author presents the society almost as a prison and a situation of constant misery and fear. Although difficult situations can be created through abuse of control and other social crisis’s, human nature is such that people get used to anything. A soldier learns to laugh and pull pranks on his comrades when he knows their lives may be in danger. Humans adjust to anything and their emotions and feelings have shown to survive in all societies. In the society of “Nineteen Eighty Four” however, the government manages to destroy strong bonds and even eliminate love. This is what makes the book unrealistic and consequently causes me to automatically loose my interest as a reader.

Another observation that I made about this book that causes me to dislike it is that it presents each individual as a follower inevitably adjusting to the system. Although Winston Smith and Julia attempt to fight for their love and withstand the restrictions, even their exceptionally strong personalities are broken. This book demonstrates the power of a political system to destroy primary human values such as love and the relationships between people. I may be an optimist, but in no society throughout history have people stopped loving and caring for each other through out history, therefore regardless of the intentions of this book, it fails to reflect reality and even more importantly misrepresents human nature.

One Response to “1984”

  1. Jon Says:

    Valentyna, an interesting point you raise here is whether we should adjudge books to be bad if we don’t like their content, or whether what’s important is their form. You’ve certainly emphasized what Orwell says here, rather than how he says it. But could we admire a book that’s well-written, even though we find its topic or its opinions offensive or obnoxious? Or vice versa: could the fact that a book has something important to say redeem the fact that it might be poorly written?

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