I was wrong. 1984 is a masterpiece. It has a bit of a sad ending but, it is Orwell. He was one of the greatest writers of his day and this work is deserving of every homage it gets and belongs to an elite class of literary classics that has influenced our culture in such a massive way. This book is massively important and it's implications of what our future could become (or is becoming) is slightly horrifying. It's a book that makes you think while stirring emotions that the protagonist is currently feeling. Winston Smith (Mr. Generic Name) struggles for a better way of life in his own ways throughout the book. He strikes back at the Party's doctrines by personally rebelling against their mores by sleeping around on his missing wife, writing in a journal, drinking beer in a pub with a stranger, just by actually living; stepping out from such a regimented humdrum life.
The novel is truly about the human struggle against regimes, political entrapment, and against the infringement of personal and social liberties. Our protagonist has no rights. Although there are no laws, everything is actually illegal except what you are instructed to do. You are not allowed to live. His struggle ultimately culminates when he falls for another party member and cannot take it anymore and has to be with her. He does what any person would do to be with the one they love. He can't be with her out in the open so they have to hide their love by sneaking out of London, the principal city of their 'superstate'.
Sometimes you read a novel that affects you in ways you didn't expect. I didn't expect this book to cause me to reflect so much on our current government and how often we are moving away from a free market system. I'm not a raging communist or in any way do I believe that capitalism in and of itself is a perfect system. It's 11/16/2015 and we are going into a very decisive election year. 2016 will be a year (or at least as it is projected based on the front runners now) where both major party nominees are very divisive candidates. On one hand you have Donald Trump (a complete joke) who is a celebrity and successful business man in his own right versus Hillary Clinton a successful lawyer, first lady, and politician. She has accomplished a great deal in her own namesake and can function as a commander-in-chief. Her only catch is that she is involved with the scandals of her husband and her own debacles of her past record. That's the problem with being a politician seeking a higher office, you have held office before and no record is or can be perfect. Trump has his own skeletons as well. From multiple past marriages, racist and sexist comments, to just not being able to keep his mouth shut, he comes with his own baggage. Aside from who I think will be a better president, they both move us forward to a 1984-esque government. Clinton as a Democrat will move for more government control of our own personal liberties, as is the case with her party. Less personal liberties, more government control makes for a more functional government. Trump would do the opposite. Restrict personal liberties less (gun ownership, less taxation, etc.) and give the government less control yet fuel big business giving them more lobbying power and more of an ability to control the lower class just like that of The Party in the novel. But all of these things Trump would do would be under the banner of better for the people and better for the party. Sound familiar?
If you haven't experienced this book, add it to your list. If you can get through the initial forty pages or so, you'll love the book if you have any love of political thrillers at all. It's such a great work anyone should be able to relate to the characters and overall story. I would sincerely recommend 1984 to any adult. Buy it, read it, pass it on. This is a great one.
Confession time: This is my first blog and so I am finally getting into the rhythm of writing. Finishing the book was no problem. Most blogs posts tend to be longer than these, but I am working on that and I figure the more I write the more I will be able to put into words. I appreciate anyone who may be following along. This will get better.
What's next? The list is taking us to non-fiction this time with Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. I am looking forward to this one. I'm a nerd (a huge one) and I haven't read this one, so not only will I learn a lot, I will really enjoy this one. Or I could be wrong again.