A Novel

Book - 1977
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Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, Published by Signet Classic :, New American Library,, ©1977.
ISBN: 9780451524935
Branch Call Number: FICTION Orwell George
Characteristics: 328 pages ;,17 cm
Alternative Title: Nineteen eighty-four


From Library Staff

Cedar Roe Library discussed this book on January 22, 2019.

Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.

List - Favorite First Lines
JCLMattC Nov 09, 2018

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

believed to be pro-communist // 1984, the world is a power-play and contemporary man is a non-entity controlled and watched by Big Brother.

The futility in this book will destroy the emphatic, just as it had me.

From the critics

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Aug 07, 2020

1984 is a dystopian fiction book by Scott Orwell set in a dystopian England where "the party" oppresses any show of emotion or free thought. The story starts when Winston illegally buys a diary to express his emotions. Later at work, Winston and O' Brien share a look of understanding and Winston starts to suspect that O' Brien is a member of the Brotherhood, a secret organization plotting to overthrow the "party" Later when Winston is walking , home, a woman with brown hair hands him a paper that says "I love you." Julia - the woman and Winston start meeting more often to express their emotions and grow to love each other. Some time after, O' Brien reveals that he is a member of the Brotherhood and contacts Winston and Julia and gives them a copy of Emmanuel Goldstein’s book, the manifesto of the Brotherhood. Later when reading the book to Julia, soldiers barge in and reveal that O' Brien was a spy from "the party" who catches people like Winston that seek to join the Brotherhood. O' Brien tortures Winston and threatens to put a cage full of rats on Winstons' head- his worst fear. Winston begs O' Brien not to do it to him, but to Julia. In doing so, O' Brien breaks Winston and releases him into the outside world. He later meets Julia, but feels nothing for her. Now he loves "Big brother", the leader of "the party." I would recommend this story to 8th graders who like dystopian fiction.

Jul 17, 2020

1984 is a slightly disturbing dystopian novel which takes place in an imagined future where much of the world has fallen victim to never ending war, permanent government surveillance (the government can see what you are doing wherever you are), and propaganda. The government enforces these rules through the means of "Thought Police" to persecute individuality and eliminate individual thinking. The government is led by a person named Big Brother (we do not know if he exists or not). The protagonist, Winston Smith is a hard working file worker in one of the departments of government. However, he secretly despises the government and he also hopes for eventual rebellion. In work, Smith has two colleagues; Julia, and O'Brien. As the story moves on, Winston and Julia fall in love with each other and go into a forbidden relationship with one another. They are eventually caught and the rest of the novel revolves around how they get out of their sticky situation.

There is not much to dislike in this novel, this novel clearly portrays something that could actually happen to a country. Orwell's clever use of imagery, metaphor, makes this novel very fun to read. I would say that this book is appropriate for 15 or 16 years and up, since there is a bit of sexual content. Also, this book is a bit harder to understand as a younger kid.

Jul 04, 2020

Make no mistake, although this book is dystopian in its premise, it is based on how the British establishment operated prior to the book's publishing. It was meant to be a cautionary tale, a veiled expose of disinformation systems of the day; however, in its thoroughness it is as close to an instruction manual for mass mind control through propaganda as you will find. Once you complete reading it, the real analysis of the information age in which we live begins.

Apr 14, 2020

This book was pretty interesting as it did have a couple of shocking revelations towards the end, which was nice. In the beginning it was a bit boring but it did turn around towards the middle of the book. This was interesting as I don’t usually really dystopian books but it was a good read for sure.

‼️ Very good comment, carolwu96. Personally I would say that Huxley was closer to our current situation, but that's just me talking, I could be wrong.

Apr 07, 2020

According to Neil Postman, author of Amusing Ourselves to Death, two chilling predictions forebode the future. One, the boisterous blindness described in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World; the other, the governmental oppression in George Orwell’s 1984. ⁣

I had read Brave New World last summer, touring a world in which everyone forsook critical thinking and followed assigned roles. 1984 was written in a similar manner: rather than the plot, the book focused on the functioning of the system. Yet they were also different: while Brave New World depicted blissful ignorance, 1984 was all about forced compliance. ⁣

1984 took its components from history. Constant monitoring and the Thought Police, for example, were reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, during which the family unit collapsed and children-turned-spies sent dissenting parents to the government.⁣

1984 also had surprising foresight into the future. President of the supposed beacon of the democratic world, Donald Trump displays an obsession with omniscience eerily similar to that of the Oceania government. Just like the Big Brother, “nobody knows more” about anything than Donald Trump! ⁣

Another similarity lies in the two government’s manner in purging public anger. Trump blames his failures on China, just as Oceania’s government targets indifferent rival countries to divert attention from the real problem — hierarchal inequality. Ironically, it was Trump’s own recent response to the unequal distribution of coronavirus testing kits that betrayed the real problem; according to him, inequality is just “the story of life.” ⁣

Amidst all the horror, it was the concept of Newspeak, an evolving language specifically created to limit the human thought, that gave the most shivers. It is also here that I think, contrary to Postman’s belief, Brave New World and 1984 converge. Although one appears to assert control through distraction and the other suppression, both are just ways to regulate minds to the profit of the ruling class. ⁣

Ignorance is Strength, but whose ignorance, and to whose strength?

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Apr 07, 2020

If you would like to know what is totalitarizm, you need to read this brilliant book. If you wonder what real life was in the Soviet Union, you need to read this genius novel. If you don't believe that propaganda actually works, you will change your mind after you will finish a last page of “1984”.


1984 is a dystopian novel written by George Orwell that presents a suspenseful and captivating story. Winston Smith, the protagonist, is an average citizen living in a society run by a doctorial government, so his actions and beliefs are tightly regulated and limited by the government. Winston hates the government and the face of the government known as “Big Brother;’ he finds ways to rebel against the government knowing full well it is illegal. Will Winston’s secret affairs be discovered, or will his rebellious behavior continue? These questions drive the story line and create the heart pumping action of the novel. I enjoyed this novel because of the overarching feeling of thrill as I read it and saw Winston change as a character throughout the novel. There are many things that I love about this novel; but they are all spoilers, and I believe it is a lot more exciting to figure out by yourself. Everything from the introduction to the conclusion kept me well tuned with the plot. This conclusion of the novel left me feeling so many different emotions as it was so unexpected and shocking. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who has not read it. I would also recommend the movie as any form of this brilliant story is very entertaining. I give this novel a 5/5 for keeping me thoroughly enchanted with the characters, plot events, and the overall flow of the story. @Josh, grade 12, Yorba Linda Teen Book Bloggers

Aug 24, 2019

5 stars - a must read
There are bad books, good books and important books, 1984 is an important book.
Orwell's 1984 is a warning against an over bearing and corrupt government (dystopia society throught too much control of our daily lives by the government.
Some people think this book to extreme. Orwell was using the USSR as an example, read up on the USSR and see what Orwell was warning against. People flee dictatorships, it is not hard to see why.
This novel gave us the line "Big Brother is watching". This is a world where even your thoughts are not your own. Imagine living in a one party system and you let it slip that you hated that political party. In a dictatorship with no tolerance or free speech, that person could land in legal trouble. Perhaps not every scenario described in the book seems like it could happen (if say, you are using the USA as your point of reference). But, the daily life of the average North Korean person is as foreign to an American, as say the gravity on the moon is to the gravity on earth.
1984 is more then a book that repeats over and over that dictatorsips and big government is bad, it is about losing your humanity in a dystopia. Toward the end, the main character is tortured, starved and talks about his legs getting so thin he can wrap his hand around his thigh.

Aug 18, 2019

further reading:
“Democracy and Its Crisis”
A.C. Grayling 1949-
Oneworld Publications 2017, hc, 192 pages
ISBN-10: 1786072890, ISBN-13: 978-1786072894
Anthony Clifford Grayling CBE, 1949-
“Enemies of Freedom : Understanding Right-Wing Authoritarianism”
Robert Anthony “Bob” Altemeyer 1940-
Jossey Bass Social and Behavioral Science Series
Jossey-Bass 1st edition 1988, hc, 378 pages
ISBN-10: 1555420974, ISBN-13: 978-1555420970
“Fighting Back the Right : Reclaiming America From the Attack on Reason”
David Niose 1962-
St. Martin's Press 2014, hc, 256 pages
ISBN-10: 1137279249, ISBN-13: 978-1137279248
“Fixing America : Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Rule, Big Media, and the Religious Right”
John Buchanan (author), John McConnell (foreword)
Trine Day 2005, pbk, 270 pages
ISBN-10: 0975290681, ISBN-13: 978-0975290682
“F.U.B.A.R. : America's Right-wing Nightmare”
Samuel L. Seder 1966- and Stephen Sherrill 1961-
Harper 2006, hc, ISBN-10: 0060846712, ISBN-13: 978-00608467182006
“The Party of Fear : From Nativist Movements to the New Right in American History”
David H. Bennett
Vintage Books Revised edition 1995, pbk, 608 pages
ISBN-10: 0679767215, ISBN-13: 978-0679767213
“The Politics of Fear : How Republicans Use Money, Race, and the Media to Win”
Manuel G. Gonzales, Professor of History at Diablo Valley College
Paradigm Publishers, 1st edition, 2006, hc
ISBN-10: 1594512418, ISBN-13: 978-1594512414
Paradigm Publishers, 1st edition, 2006, pbk,
ISBN-10: 1594512426, ISBN-13: 978-1594512421

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Nov 18, 2019

He felt as though he were wandering the forests of the sea bottom, lost in a monstrous world where he himself was the monster. He was alone. The past was dead, the future was unimaginable. What certainty had he that a single human now living was on his side? (page 23)

Jan 05, 2019

"He remembered how once he had been walking down a crowded street when a tremendous shout of hundreds of voices women's voices--had burst from a side-street a little way ahead. It was a great formidable cry of anger and despair, a deep, loud 'Oh-o-o-o-oh!' that went humming on like the reverberation of a bell. His heart had leapt. It's started! he had thought. A riot! The proles are breaking loose at last! When he had reached the spot it was to see a mob of two or three hundred women crowding round the stalls of a street market, with faces as tragic as though they had been the doomed passengers on a sinking ship. But at this moment the general despair broke down into a multitude of individual quarrels. It appeared that one of the stalls had been selling tin saucepans."

ArapahoeKatieK May 23, 2018

“Big Brother is Watching You.”

Feb 05, 2018

Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.

Feb 04, 2018

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”

Feb 04, 2018

“In the face of pain there are no heroes.”

Feb 04, 2018

“Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one.”

Feb 04, 2018

“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

Feb 04, 2018

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

Feb 04, 2018

“We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.”

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Jul 17, 2020

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Apr 10, 2020

In future written in a time long past, but ahead of its time, George Orwell speculates on a time where the government owns media, information, and you. This novel is a chilling exploration of themes and politics we face today. Imagine the government changing history to benefit their narrative. We don't need to, it's happening. Imagine if the government observed your web browsing, texts, phone conversations, etc. They technically do right now. Imagine if the government controlled media and hyped themselves over other nations, while excluding "the grass is greener on the other side" stories. Any time a politician denounces the media for reporting the truth, while trying to pass their narrative as the only truth speaks to this idea. Propaganda is rampant in our media.
Sure we don't have posters advertising that "Big Brother" is watching us, but this novel is on point regarding the complacency a society can have to the stripping of their freedoms as long as they our brain washed.

platypus101 Jul 11, 2013

Orwell had a daunting task: creating a future nearly half a century away from the time period in which he was writing. This future had to be its own complex, independent society, but it also had to be the natural end result of the totalitarianism Orwell witnessed in the communist and socialist regimes of World War II. That's part of the horror of 1984: this future is a recognizable one, even in the 21st century. It's easy to see how those in control can, through manipulation and propaganda, maintain that control simply for the sake of sating their own power hunger. It's easy to say "no one could ever tell me what to think or what to do," but the Party's use of Big Brother, the Thought Police, the Two-Minute Hate, and Doublethink make it easy to see how a person's ability to think independently and discern fiction from reality can be eroded when there is no touchstone to fact. Revising and rewriting the past to make certain that Big Brother and the Party are always correct has effectively eliminated historical accuracy. How can one think and reason in a society where everything is a fabrication?

JennComishen Jul 17, 2012

Winston, a member of the straight forward, controlled society we now live in 1984, begins to question Big Brother, along with a collegue of his. The two of them get information and try to take down Big Brother themselves, however with the help of a betrayel Big Brother catches on to their plans. Using the dark methods of Double think and the haunting room 101, both Winston and his collegue are 'barinwashed' as the rest of society is, and taken over by Big Brother

Bayside Jul 02, 2012

Nineteen Eighty-four is about a Utopian society set in that year. In this society the government controls everything, including the past, the present, the future, privacy and language. Citizens are controlled by fear and brainwashing, and are always under direct supervision by telescreens, allowing little to no privacy. The novel revolves around a member of the society by the name of Winston. Winston is a relatively average member who, throughout the course of the novel, begins to secretly rebel against his government.


Add Notices
May 26, 2015

Sexual Content: Contains sex throughout. However, it is not particularly graphic. But it is throughout. There are some sex scenes, references, prostitutes (Man has a dream about going to a 60 year old prostitute: Disturbing) Sex talk throughout.

Jan 28, 2014

Violence: Contains violence

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