Nineteen Eighty-Four

August 25, 2008
By Felicity Ramsden, Watford, ZZ

Have you ever seen a movie trailer, and waited for a specific event in the trailer to occur in the movie, and it is only after this point that you can begin to enjoy the film for what it is? That is, in a sense, what I did when reading 'Nineteen Eighty-Four.' The book is famous enough that I had already heard of 'Big Brother' and 'Room 101,' the latter being the event I waited for. It is because of this, and because 'Room 101' is only mentioned as the book begins to draw to a close, that I can only really comment on the ending of the book. Nevertheless, I shall try to bring together my scattered thoughts on the rest of the novel.
My thoughts of the beginning an middle of the book, are that it dragged, particularly when Winston is given 'the book.' I thought that these passages went on for too long without either speech or action to break apart the solid wall of information. Also, I felt that this information had already been presented through action, and this was just repeating what the reader already knows. I found this small section rather boring.
However, on a postive note the beginning and middle of this book introduce and explore the differences to the world we know. The reader is soon familiar with this changed world, and therefore can relate to the characters. The sense of pessimism is started in these chapters, 'He was already dead, he reflected' and is amplified as the story continues.
When 'Room 101' and therefore the ending of this book, is reached, the reader does feel that there is no shred of hope for the remaining characters. This is not altogether pleasant, and yet the reader is still compelled to read on, perhaps to discover the secrets of what lies inside 'Room 101'
The beginning of the ending is perhaps too violent, describing a little too vividly the details of Winston's punishment. However, when converstation starts and the reader is allowed to see the workings of the party's mind, the story becomes infinitely more interesting.
As the secrets of 'Room 101' are revealed, the reader is left asking his or herself, is escaping them any better than being subject to them? Winston is left feeling empty: without emotion, without love- is that really an improvement from being punished in the 'Ministry of Love'?
In conclusion, this book is very thought-provoking, although some parts of the middle are a chore to read. It is descriptive, mysterious and full of suspense, but by no means enjoyable.
No, this is more of a warning of what could have been, then a book written for the sole purpose of entertainment.
Consider yourself warned.

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