A Book Review “1984”, George Orwell

About The Book:

In 1984 Orwell creates a Dystopia; a fictional technologically advanced world, where life is so unbearable and extremely bad because of oppression, fear and terror. Oceania, a formal political union of USA and the countries of the British Commonwealth, is where the story happens, where people have no control whatsoever over their lives, thoughts and beliefs. They live under a cruel dictatorship ruled by “The Party”, where even their thoughts are detected by the thought police and they get punished for their political unorthodoxy.

“INGSOC” is the English Socialist Party, which is the political ideology of the totalitarian government of Oceania.

His aim was to draw an image of a world he didn’t want people to go after, being aware of the consequences of what the world could turn into after WWII. He actually in a way or another was right when he imagined a miserable world like that and assumed it would be around the 80s.

Summary:

Winston Smith is a citizen in Oceania, he works in the Records Department in The Ministry Of Truth, where all the information, documents, news, entertainment, education, and fine arts are being issued and controlled. His job was to rewrite, change and destroy history.

He is unhappy with the whole system of “The Party”, and unable to express his disappointment and  anger to others, because there is no body to trust and no real friends to lean on, therefore he starts writing what he thinks in his diary, while knowing the penalty of doing this can be death. People in Oceania are being observed by Telescreens that are installed everywhere possible, so that people don’t get any privacy.

Oceania is always at war either with Eastasia or Eurasia, the party controls facts and changes history, which is called “Reality Control”,none of the citizens remembers the past.

During the “Two Minutes Of Hate” Winston notices an inner party member, named O’Brien, and assumes he is an alley, while at the same time he notices a girl with dark hair, Julia, and assumes she is a foe from the “Thought Police” and assumes that she is there to observe him. This time the “Two Minutes Of Hate” is focusing on the treachery of Goldstein, a previous “Brotherhood” member who was as important as “Big Brother” himself, but tried to revolt against “The Brotherhood”.

A few days later Julia hands him a paper confessing her love to him, they manage to later meet alone, and later they both fall in love with one another, and believe that their loyalty to one another can never be changed or destroyed. Julia also is unorthodox, and doesn’t believe in the system. Winston manages to find a room to rent for both of them to spend romantic time alone as often as they can. The room belonged to Mr. Charrington, who didn’t mind to let it for some money.

Winston and Julia meet O’Brien and confess to him their hatred towards the party, believing O’Brien is a member of “The Brotherhood”, an underground organization that’s aimed to bring the party down. O’Brien welcomes them to “The Brotherhood” and promises to deliver “The Book” to them to read, the underground’s treasonous book written by Goldstein.

Winston starts reading “The Book” in their rented room, while Julia is napping next to him, and they suddenly hear some noise coming from the wall, and find out that behind the painting on the wall there is a Telescreen. They get caught and separated. Winston notices that Mr. Charrington suddenly looked younger and realizes that he belongs to the “Thought Police”.

Winston finds himself locked for days in “The Ministry Of Love”, which is responsible for law and order, in a room without windows and no one to trust and talked to. Finally O’Brien comes in and Winston thinks he also got caught, but he realizes that O’Brien is there to torture him, make him confess and break his spirit. O’Brien has been watching Winston for the last 7 years and the Party is made aware of all his crimes.

O’Brien continues to torture Winston for months, trying to change his ways of thinking, and forcing “Doublethink” into his brain,  which is the ability of holding two opposing ideas in one’s mind and believing in them both, it was impossible to achieve until O’Brien takes Winston to “Room 101”, the room where people are made to face their worst fears, and Winston’s is rats, O’Brien threatens Winston to open the cage of rats and let them attack his face. Winston loses control over himself and screams “do it to Julia” which shows a complete loss of dignity and principles.

At the end Winston is changed, he is not the man he used to be, he spends time at the “Chestnut Tree Cafe”, watching news on daily basis there through the Telescreen. He meets Julia by accident, they talk briefly, she has also changed, she is not as charming as before, she confesses to him that she betrayed him during the torture. Winston has changed so much that he finally comes to love “Big Brother”.

Review:

The idea of the books is awesome, it’s a great fantasy and a very well put dystopia. It’s very alive and real that the reader can feel the characters, they seem real and natural. The way things end is kind of predictable, but the amount of sorrow and the feel of sorry is unpredictable.

I didn’t like the fact that Orwell put a lot of unnecessary details into the book, it made the book a little too long and just a little boring sometimes; there are lots of details that could be unmentioned and the story would still feel and look great.

I wouldn’t say that it’s an easy read, sometimes the reader would need to read things twice to understand and connect things together. I would recommend people who read this for the first time to read different summaries and reviews to see the idea and the point of the book clearly!

Enjoy reading 1984,

Katia

 

Advertisements

A Book Summary: The Other Thing “Who Killed Layla Al Hayek”, Ghassan Kanafani

Main Characters:

  • Saleh: a famous laweyer, who’s accused for killing Layla
  • Layla: a rich woman who’s married to a man called Sa’eed, and Dima’s friend
  • Dima: Saleh’s wife
  • Sa’eed: Layla’s Husband
The Other Thing "Who Killed Layla Al Hayek"

The Other Thing “Who Killed Layla Al Hayek”

Summary: 

Saleh,the narrator and the main character in the story, writes a letter to his wife, Dima,  emphasizing to her that he didn’t kill Layla, after being arrested, explaining why did he not defend himself in front of the law, although he is a lawyer himself, and tells her why he decided to keep quiet, accepting to be considered the murderer, after discovering and realizing “the other thing” that actually killed Layla.

In his letter  to his wife, he writes every single detail about the story of the murder of Layla, from the moment they met along with Dima and Sa’eed, to the moment of her murder, relieving to his wife his actual intentions of accepting to take Layla’s father legacy to his daughter, wanting to win Layla as a lover.

Saleh happens to be in the murder place and, but not in the scene of murder, as he was supposed to meet Layla for their usual affair, when Sa’eed was traveling and away from home, but Layla didn’t show up nor opened the door for him. All the evidences and witnesses happen to be against him as the detector starts detecting the case of her murder, and the circumstances happen to point their fingers at him, while Layla is already dead and can’t defend him as the only person to prove his innocence

Saleh decides to remain totally quiet and refuses to defend himself in the court, and that pisses his lawyer and the judge off, but still he remains quiet, knowing for sure, nothing can prove him innocent no matter what he does, because “The Other Thing” that killed Layla is nothing but “The Accidental Circumstances” that put him from the beginning in that position, place and time. Explaining in his letter that the only things that can get him out of this scary matter and push his neck away from the hang rope is another “Accidental Circumstance”, which somehow deep inside him he knew isn’t going to happen but at the same time somehow wished for it to.

At the end Saleh’s innocence is not to be proved and he is sentenced to death by hanging.

The Kingdom Of All Kingdoms, You & My Coins “Episode 16″

The Kingdom of All Kingdoms
The Kingdom of All Kingdoms

Queen Zoya visits her Kingdoms frequently, and doesn’t like half of what she sees down there! This time she noticed how the “Citizens” disrespect each others money and properties all the time.

She noticed how “Citizens” borrow money from each other, and when it comes to paying back they feel like giving something precious they own away, which shouldn’t be the case, because it isn’t theirs in the first place. So they start delaying, and finding excuses in order not to pay back, or the find ways to pay in installments, while they received the money at once.

Or when they borrow things from each other, they misuse, misplace and abuse them, unlike if they were theirs. They rarely care for what they don’t own, and they don’t put themselves in each other’s shoes.

They don’t have to borrow things to misuse them, they might misuse things they see and encounter in public areas, even things like trees and plantations.

Queen Zoya didn’t like that at all, she even got pissed off, and punished everyone she met, who misbehaved that way, by damaging their own belongings and turning their golden coins into bronze coins in front of their eyes, for them to know the reason behind her action, thinking they don’t deserve to own things and be in charge for things!

The Kingdom of All Kingdoms, The Royal Educational Missions! “Episode 1”

The Kingdom of All Kingdoms
The Kingdom of All Kingdoms

The King and the Queen are on a mission to increase the level of education in all the “Remote Kingdoms” after noticing a huge drop down in education and “citizens’ IQ” there.

Communicating with some “citizens” did actually show that education in the underworld is fruitless. there is one communication happened between the Queen and one “citizen”:

Dear citizen of the remote Kingdoms,

Provide my royalty with your exact address, our Royal Educational Missions need to reach out to you and all the locals in your surrounding to figure the reasons for low IQ. We believe there is a serious problem in education in your region.

We look forwards to your civil proper support.

The Queen of The Kingdom of All Kingdoms,

Zoya

The “citizen” did cooperate:

Remote Kingdom Jordan,

15, South  Eastern St. Block 1505

Come so I can screw your face!

The Queen’s response:

Dear Citizen, 
My royalty did stress on the importance of a civil and proper help…

Anyway, the missions will be there soon.

The Queen of The Kingdom of All Kingdoms,

Zoya

The “citizen” was still mad for no obvious reason for the queen, and kept insulting and cursing the King, the Queen and the Kingdom of all Kingdoms. The Queen did still want to help her citizens, nevertheless they are in her remote kingdoms. And so the Queen ordered a new house for the “citizen” keeping in mind the “citizen’s” emotional status and materialistic needs to settle down and find a shelter, her order came like this “What is wrong with this citizen… Give her a new house, maybe she needs a place to stay in…” but still the “citizen” was acting weird.

The Royal Educational Missions already have a plan and have their standards to detect the error in education and the low IQ. Their mission now is just to find the reasons and measure the size of the problem then afterwards take action. In case the problem was not sever and can still be handled the Royal Educational Missions will change the whole system of education in the “Remote Kingdoms”, keeping in mind the culture, the needs and the diversity in the societies. But if the problem was very complicated and there was no chance to fix educational problems in some “Remote Kingdoms”, the Royal Educational Mission will have to report these regions as “Educationally Useless”, the “citizens” in these regions will be used differently to serve “citizens” who are more educated and help them develop their kingdoms.

The King and the Queen both understand and realize the importance of keeping the progress everywhere. If one kingdom refuses to be educated it should be as a helping tool for others. The uneducated kingdoms can be easily turned into complete industrial camps, where “citizens” have to work 8 hours daily to manufacture and provide what educated and more progressed “citizens” need for their further progress. Their lands will soon change, and there will be no culture, or history, or pleasure at all, it all will be removed from their lives. The landscape will be changed in order to benefit from it and use all the elements earth has in certain regions. Big factories will be installed, and basic housing systems will be built. no colors, no beauty, only what is needed for a basic life of a worker. Uneducated “citizens” might be moved away to lands that can be of a much use, to another “Remote Kingdom” they have never seen or heard of.

For you down there, in the underworld, this may sound harsh, may sound cruel. But for The Kingdom above there is no other way to do things, since every “remote kingdom” has given hundreds of human years to develop, to improve itself and prove to The Kingdom above that they are worth huge progress and deserve a royal support.

I will tell you more next time!

For those who missed the introduction here it is:

https://mindblowme.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/the-kingdom-of-all-kingdoms/

Katia