In celebration of the Banned Books Week, I managed to finish 1984 by George Orwell before the 27th. Fun story about that, I didn’t really know about Banned Books Week until a few days ago while I was scrolling through my dash on tumblr and It just so happened that I was reading a quite controversial dystopian novel that discusses totalitarianism. So, it’s quite hard to ignore that coincidence.
Also, I am happy for myself for really finishing this book because, to be honest, there has been so many attempts before which lead to snoring in the couch which lead to putting the book back on the shelf. It was a graduation gift (in my request) from a childhood friend. My teacher was talking about it back in high school saying that 1984 is the origin of the reality TV show, Big Brother (in which I now know that it’s more than that). But that’s not the reason why I got interested in reading it. The reason is the fact that George Orwell, this guy from 1949 made a novel predicting what may happen in the future, which is 1984. Which is, in our timeline, our past. Which makes it easier to relate if it really happened or not.
And the reason why I decided I really have to read the book (not just make attempts on starting it but actually finishing it), is the series of signs from my mundane life. The first one, is this article from wordpress about this book being banned in Thailand. Which makes it 10x cooler! And still, on the same day, while I was watching vlogbrothers’ behind the scenes of The Fault In Our Stars (because I just finished watching it. Now you realize how long it took me to read this blippid book), Shailene Woodley confirmed 1984 as her favorite book and The Fault In Our Stars as being second to it.
So yeah. Never ignore coincidence. And that is how it lead me here. Yey.
But really, this book is really dark and gloomy and there was never a scene where the character was actually happy. I mean even if he was having sex with this girl (and in their world, sex is like, prohibited), there was still this hint of controlled actions that gives you the feeling of confinement. The world the characters are in is unsafe and uncomfortable and there’s no way of escaping it. Imagine your life having that feeling of being watched, like all the time.
What really stuck me about this book is how it described the people’s perception on what is real. And it’s really terrifying to think that it may also be our case. Especially in my generation where we depend so much on media. After reading the book, I was left with dreadful thoughts. I became conscious on the things I listen, see and learn. What if these things are just mere cover-ups on what is really happening?
What is really happening?
If the Party was able to convince the main character, Winston that 2+2=5, what then becomes of us in this world? How much truth do we really know?
This is a really ingenius way of exposing the ways of the authority. And on behalf of the Banned Books Week, I think that this book should not be banned at all. I think that everyone should be able to read it. I’d like to end this entry with one of the important quotes that should be written in every commonplace book or be tattoed on every skin just to give everyone a warning,“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”