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Thread: Overall impressions of the novel

  1. #1
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    Overall impressions of the novel

    Orwell's novel has been one of the most scrutinized in all of literature.

    It is also one of the prominent works of literature featured on banned book lists in the United States.

    The novel is also regarded as one of the most important pieces and should be studied by students thoughout the world.

    Additionally, 1984 is a novel which should be read more than once. Young readers should visit it again in a decade or so. You will find your perspective and interpretations may have changed.

    It is always interesting to hear what 1st-time readers think of the novel.

    Please share your overall, specific impressions of the novel.

  2. #2
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    1984 was a bit or a sencorey overload for me because so much was goimg on at the sametime. This novle never grabed me at any sipcific point in the book. To me this book laked adventure and suspence. maybe if I read 1984 in a couple years I would understand all this book has to offer. I didn't really enjoy this novle because the word font was hard to focous. I understand this is an upper level book to read but the only reason I didn't like this book was because how slow the book moved.

  3. #3
    I am still not one hundred percent sure what my over all impression of the books is.

    I believe that the begining (until part 2) is exstreamly slow and hard to stay focused on. But I do like the amount of detail Orwell puts into his writing. Once the story became enjoyable it was easy to imagine your slef right next to Wiston and experiencing what he experienced, from the torture to the love he thought he had for Juila.

    I wish Orwell was more optomistic. Although I do understand that if this book had a "Happy" ending then it would be unrealistic and would not keep you thinking, "What happened to Winston after that?"

    Orwell got me intrested, and I agree with you that we as students should reread this book as adults. I am exicted to see what my perpsective will be on the novel in the future. I am also intersted in seeing what will happen to our government/socity of today. Will Orwell get more things right? Will our life become a television show for those with more power than us? I guess we will have to wait and find out.

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    I'm going to be the "Negative Nelly" of the thread and say that I did not enjoy 1984.. I think it was a combination of the genre of the novel and the pace of the novel. I found 1984 to be very slow and very tedious to read, usually if I find myself interested in the book I read and finish it at a fairly speedy rate, but with this book I had to force myself to even pick it up thinking "You'll never pass the test if you don't read." I found myself relying on my conscience rather my own happiness to read. I also didnít like the characters. I didnít like Winston, his character I found to be irritating in a way? The way he knew what the truth was, but still questioned whether Big Brother was good or evil I found to be frustrating. As for Julia, her lack of intelligence just rubbed me the wrong way, and frankly, Iím not even sure what the value of her character was. The telecreens, pornosec, and Newspeak just seem so far-fetched that I didnít/donít see them being a plausible prediction into the future. That being said I think Orwell is and was a fantastic author, as I did really like Animal Farm, but 1984 just doesnít seem like my cup of tea.. I will keep in mind to read this book again as an adult, as my views are subject to change, but overall, I think itís safe to say, that I did not enjoy 1984.

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    Although the book took some explaining at times, the novel introduced a lot of new ideas in our society that we usually donít think twice about. My impression of the novel changed from beginning to end, but overall it was worth the read. Being a first time reader I didnít always understand what Orwell was trying to "ring the bell" on, but with some discussion, the messages became more significant.
    With the novel being written in 1948, it's amazing to see how accurate some of Orwell's predictions are even today, 68 years later. Some of the topics, such as distractions represented by the "pots and pans" incident have become so common in our society that we hardly recognize such diversions. The telescreens which monitored the people in Oceania can be relatable to all the surveillance citizens are today.
    The novel brought up many points that are still relevant to our society. The novel should be reread years from now because not only will our perspective change, but society will have also changed and maybe there will be more scenarios where he's trying to draw our attention.

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    I enjoyed this book tremendously. I think Orwell did indeed "Ring the bell" on many occasions. Although the book was a bit hard to get through at some points and quite pessimistic, I agree that it is an important book for all people to read. Not all things in the world are happy, and not all people are Americans, born and raised in the land of freedom of thought and expression. I don't think we can completely understand Winston's mind set, because of the way we were raised - but we can empathize with him.
    Orwell pointed out many flaws in modern day society with this novel. He really made me think about the 'pots and pans' of our culture, and re-assess what is truly important to me. Reading about a world where there is no loyalty, no love, no family, and not even a shred of hope left in the end, makes you really want to take Orwell's message to heart.
    One part of the novel that really struck me was when Winston was laying in bed with Julia, looking out the window, and wondering if anyone had ever just laid there and enjoyed solitude, which he quickly dismissed as a crazy thought.
    This novel shows how man may be inherently good or evil, it is unknown. But the one thing that is certain is that mankind is weak. The last true 'man' alive was beaten down until he broke. It also makes you wonder, what would make a human being be so cruel to another one, just to change the way he views something.
    This book brings up many interesting concepts and has made me think about the world in which I live.

  7. #7

    Thumbs up I love this book!

    I think the novel 1984 truly is a piece of art and I think that reading it has had an effect on my life. I think it's amazing that someone could single-handedly imagine a world such as Oceanina and all of its principles,and then record it with such amazing detail. Most people, upon developing their own philosophy, merely blurt it all out in a sort of speech or pamphlet such as The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. Not only did Orwell challenge Marx's ideas, he gave his philosophies life by allowing them speak for themselves through the actions and thoughts of Winston Smith; a method that not only allows readers to create their own interpretations of his philosophy, but also makes Marx's ideas look utterly plain and dull by comparison.

    I don't think the fact that 1984 is a long read should decide whether or not the book is good or "bad." The book is not "bad." You can't just decide that something isn't worth your time because you think it's boring. Contrary to popular belief, the novel 1984 was not written for your entertainment! I think people should appreciate the fact that someone like Orwell took the time to write a novel such as 1984; because it's not just a story about a middle-aged man with a miserable life. Orwell was making a point. He was trying to save people from letting their government take advantage of their own ignorance. He's using his own observations to give people a wake up call; "Stop being distracted and pay attention to what really matters!" "Those who control the past control the future!" etc, etc. His book is banned in many places for a reason. It encourages free thought and highlights the value of freedom. If the book had been published before the end of World War II, it would easily be on the top of Hitler's list of books to burn. I feel fortunate that he took the time to write the novel. In the end, he was doing everyone a favor by filling the book with warnings. It really is a significant source of food for thought. Though the novel doesn't apply to modern-day America, I still see this book as a gift.

    And as for the statement that the book has effected my life, I truly believe that it has. Now that I'm done with the novel, I don't really look at the government the way I once did. I don't really believe that anyone does anything for the common good of the people anymore. It all traces back to the hunger for power. I also think that it's helped me to appreciate all of the freedoms that I do have as an American citizen. I enjoy my ability to think for myself, and I am thankful that my life is not effected by things such as chocolate rations. But I really think I've learned from listening to the principles of doublethink. The concept that something happening inside the mind is as good as something happening in reality is fascinating. (Or the idea that reality only exists within the human mind itself!) Because if you tell yourself that the event happened, and you still feel the emotions that you would get from reacting to the action, what does it matter if someone tells you that it didn't happen? I think it's an excellent way to get anger out Finally, I've also started to notice references to the book everywhere. Maybe I'm just over-analyzing things to a point that I can make anything relate. The term "Big brother figure" has taken a whole new meaning to me. But maybe that's why Orwell decided to center the government around Big Brother.

    In the end, I can say that I definitely do not regret taking the time to read this novel. Not only were the setting and storyline really cool, but the messages were really deep, and I think that, if twisted enough, they could be applied to anyone's situation.
    Last edited by TheLonelyQueen; 11-30-2012 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Not done..!
    "Everybody wants to change the world, everybody wants to change the world, but no one, no one wants to die!"

  8. #8
    At first this book just seemed to be a description of the bleak life of Winston Smith, citizen of Oceania. Nothing very interesting happened, and I found my eyes glazing over as I flipped through page after page. I thought to myself, this is complete and utter fiction, a fantasy, and did not find myself relating it to real life. But, the further in depth I read, I found glimpses of things that could relate to current life, and that were entirely possible.
    Personally, I do not think that such a complete and utter totalitarian government could ever take hold, at least in the United States. That might just be a biased statement coming from a United States citizen, but I don't think that the citizens of the US would ever relinquish that kind of power to someone, or to a group of people. I believe that had the power been taken by force, we as citizens already recognize our strength in numbers, and would go to extremes in order to restore the democracy we have now.
    So in that sense, I do not look at 1984 as entirely possible, at least in the country I live in now. But, the ideas of emotionless citizens blindly following a eternal figure of which no one has ever seen, I believe to be realistic. Although hard to take hold over today's world (at least in my lifetime), I think if it ever got to the point where a small group did have complete control over an area, I think the methods described by Orwell would be very effective and entirely realistic.
    While at some this points I think this book is pretty far fetched, in others I think perhaps it's not. Although I'm pretty certain I will never live to see this kind of horror and control, I can't help but wonder if other generations will?
    Last edited by Marvin_the_cat; 11-30-2012 at 10:27 AM.

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    At first the book out very slow, it was hard for me to read it. I actually fell asleep reading it three different times. Not much happemned in the begining it basically described Winstons life.When part two came around the novel became much more interesting. I started to really enjoy the book. Orwell makes so many hints and gives so many warnings. For instance, he warns us about a society under surveilance. Almost all of us are under constant surveliance, in school and on the bus, even in the streets. I dont believe that the united States will become like Oceania because the people of America would be aware of what was going on, Unlike the proles. Although the proles seemed more concerned with pots and pans along with the lottery than what was important, which seems to be the case today. People freak out over sports and the lottery, now more than ever a lot of people are more focused on trivial things like that.
    I did really like this book, it became very interesting to say the least. I will probably end up reading thisbook when i am older, maybe i'll notice things that i didn't before who knows.
    So my overall impression of 1984 by George Orwell is that this is an amazing novel and everyone should read this book when they're young and again when they're much older.

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    I'm not a hundred percent sure on how I feel about this novel. I did not like it at all at the beginning of the novel. I felt like it was repetitive because Orwell described Winston and his daily life. I understand that it is an important part of the novel but I feel like Orwell made every day of Winston's life the same. It showed how much Big Brother controlled them. Big Brother can change history and combine two words of the opposite meaning together to create a word that makes complete and total sense (doublethink). It was very hard for me to get into it, until his days changed and he started seeing Julia, talking to O'Brien, and was sent to the ministry of love. I didn't mind reading it once it picked up. I was actually eager to read Winston's room 101 and see what would happen to him afterwards.
    Like Clutchspawn says, Orwell puts hints and warnings throughout the novel. This novel is extremely important, it explains how life could be and has been. By reading this novel it allows the United States and other countries from becoming like Oceania, a controlling country. In a way the US is similar to Oceania in the fact that we care about little things rather than the important things that matter. Winston stood strong against Big Brother until he was beaten down. By doing that Big Brother proved that they can control anybody and everybody. Overall, I didn't mind this novel but it was by far not my favorite either. I don't know that I will ever read this book again but now I can say that I read it and picked up all of Orwell's hints.
    Last edited by Soccerchick; 11-29-2012 at 07:30 PM.

  11. #11
    I think this novel is very accurate, or relevant, in almost every aspect. I did, however, think the bit when Winston recognizes the singing prole women as beautiful was strange, considering the culture he lives in. The end of the book seemed to be rushed, and unusually vague for Orwell. That's not to say it was a bad ending, because I did like it.
    Pots and pans are evidently a popular subject. I believe that there are far to many of them today, and people just don't seem to care as much as I think they should about the flaws of our society, and the future. They are too busy reading about some celebrity's love life to pay attention to their own government. I think that's a very scary thing.
    Telescreens have also been mentioned, which prompts me to say there's too much surveillance. I understand it's beneficial when something happens, and you want to know who did it, but why not stop it from happening in the first place? Besides, I doubt the benefit of security cameras is worth the loss of privacy.
    Opinions in 1984 are eliminated, and even if someone like Winston does have views that are against the Party, he can't say it. To me, this is just being politically correct, taken to the extreme. Too many of our rights are becoming restricted. I honestly am amazed by what has happened to the Bill of Rights.
    "I reject your reality and substitute my own" ~ Adam Savage

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    The bill of rights is well, better than it has ever been in terms of support.

  13. #13
    I'm going to be honest, i thought this novel was kind of boring at parts.. it just seemed to be a very slow read and a really hard concept. Most of the time i had no idea of what i read about until we discussed the novel in class. I felt myself falling asleep at some points. Towards the end of the book though i found myself really trying to understand the concept. When you read it, you think it's gibberish but when you think outside of the box, it's truly a very amazing concept. To know that some of these things that Orwell predicted have or will eventually come true. Could you have predicted the future? I also agree with Marvin_the_cat, i don't believe the United States will ever have a full totalitarian government, maybe other countries will, but not the US. The citizens of the US are proud of their freedoms and would be very very unhappy if anyone, such as some totalitarian leader, tried to change that. No matter what, i think any US citizen would fight against such a leader as that, but as i said before i think the overall meaning of the book is quite extraordinary, but the book itself is really boring. I'm sorry to any of you who really enjoy this novel, just expressing my opinion.

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    My opinion

    1984 in my opinion was a very advanced book to read. Content wise, it was hard to follow and I found my self blankly "reading" and not "understanding" the text. The theme however, was very creative to me. I believe that in an extreme case, the theme could surely come true. Reading the book twice really helped me understand it more thoroughly. When Orwell points out that Proles buy Lottery tickets in high hopes of striking it rich, it really hit me how corrupt our government is. Not because of how they are, but what they do to people. It never really struck me until reading this book that hope IS the one thing keeping the government in control of the people. This occurs in the book and in our society. Handing your money away to buy Lotto Tickets is just another way this book reminds us just how sneaky those in power can become. This book actually messed with my head because I started questioning if our history was even real! All jokes aside, the book was a slow, slow read for me. It took me a very long time to catch up in the plots, but certain parts of the book were very interesting and flew by. All in all I did not "enjoy" the book, in fact, I had to force my self to push through it but I do think it is a necessity to read. Especially more than once.

  15. #15
    I personaly thought that at the beginning of the novel was very dry and boring but as I continued to read the book my perspective on the book changed. The novel started to become more interesting and I started to compare Orwell's predictions to historical events and current events today. Through the eyes of adults and in some cases young adults, people really begin to understand the true meaning and lesson of 1984. I also believe that you should give the book another chance if you didn't like it. You should also be open minded and relate to Orwell's prophecy like opinions. I think that George Orwell was definitely odd for his time but the best people are.

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