1984 is a masterpiece. There, I said it. A compelling, nuanced, blistering, and chilling look at the horrors of totalitarianism and its ability to warp the human mindset that has enough resonance to be readable and relatable in 2022 — despite being published more than 70 years ago — 1984 is a book everyone should read. Here are five reasons why you should read Orwell’s classic.
One of the many reasons that Orwell’s 1984 is such a masterpiece is its uncanny ability to predict the future. The idea that we are inundated with fake information, from fake news to false tweets, seems like something that could only be dreamed up by a science fiction writer. Orwell was able to anticipate how easy it would be for society to become overly reliant on information and how susceptible we would be to propaganda and fake news.
The love story
The love story is a big part of what makes Orwell’s 1984 such a masterpiece and why you should read it.
Not only is Winston, the protagonist, a fascinating character and one that the reader can relate to even though he lives in an oppressive society, but so is his love interest Julia. Her character helps the reader to understand society better because she is not as immersed in it as Winston, who works for the ruling party. The love story also helps to humanize both characters and gives them more depth than they would otherwise have. Their affection for each other also reveals a lot about how humans interact with one another and what we value without even realizing it.
From the way Orwell uses clocks to represent the omnipresent “big brother” to his use of the heroine, Julia, as a symbol of sexual freedom and rebellion, it’s clear that Orwell paid close attention to how symbols can help build and support a novel’s overarching themes.
One particularly interesting symbol is the one that shows “Big Brother” himself in the center with four arms: one holding a sword, one holding a globe, one holding a whip, and one holding a chain. This painting represents all eyes being on you as well as the idea that Big Brother sees everything and always controls everything.
Throughout the book, Orwell uses symbolism to create themes and build his world into something both horrifyingly real and yet completely fictional.
Its relevance in today’s world
One of the best things about George Orwell’s 1984 is that it’s a timeless parable. The world described in 1984 feels eerily relevant today, and that should give us all pause. Orwell wrote this book in 1949 to warn people about what could happen if we allowed evil governments to take control of our lives. It’s a cautionary tale about the dangers of fascism, which has unfortunately become more relevant in the years since the book was published.