A reading club with a view to the future

476 George Orwell: “1984”

“1984” depicts a dystopian society under the totalitarian rule of Big Brother, exploring themes of surveillance, thought control, and resistance



"1984" is a classic dystopian novel that portrays a dark and oppressive future where the ruling Party, led by Big Brother, exercises complete control over its citizens in Oceania. The story follows Winston Smith, an outer Party member, as he rebels against the Party's tyranny and struggles to maintain his individuality and sanity. Orwell's gripping narrative delves into the dangers of totalitarianism, the manipulation of truth, the suppression of free thought, and the importance of preserving human autonomy in the face of oppressive regimes.


  1. Title: 1984 
  2. Author: George Orwell 
  3. Publishing Year: 1949 
  4. Publisher: Secker & Warburg 
  5. Length in Hours: 11 hours and 22 minutes 


5 main ideas

  1. Totalitarianism: The novel serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of totalitarian governments that suppress individuality, control information, and exercise relentless surveillance over their citizens.
  2. Thought Control: The Party employs Thought Police and the manipulation of history to mold public perception, control minds, and quash dissent.
  3. Surveillance State: The omnipresent telescreens and the concept of "Big Brother is watching" underscore the pervasive surveillance that strips citizens of privacy and fosters fear.
  4. Newspeak: The Party's language manipulation through Newspeak limits freedom of expression and restricts independent thought.
  5. Resistance and Hope: Winston Smith's resistance and his affair with Julia exemplify the innate human desire for freedom, love, and the pursuit of truth despite the oppressive regime's efforts to crush individuality.

5 funny quotes

  1. "He thought of the telescreen with its never-sleeping ear. They could spy upon you night and day."
  2. "Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull."
  3. "The aim of the Party was not merely to prevent men and women from forming loyalties which it might not be able to control. Its real, undeclared purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act."
  4. "But it was perfectly possible to be safe from being caught up in a counter-revolutionary plot."
  5. "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."
  2. "Big Brother is Watching You."
  3. "The best books... are those that tell you what you know already."
  4. "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows."
  5. "If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself."

5 dilemmas

  1. Winston's internal struggle between conformity and rebellion as he grapples with his loyalty to the Party and his desire for freedom.
  2. The ethical dilemma of the Thought Police's methods in enforcing loyalty and suppressing independent thought.
  3. The conflict between maintaining a facade of loyalty and acting upon one's true beliefs in a society where even facial expressions are scrutinized.
  4. The psychological dilemma of living under a regime that twists reality and demands loyalty to the Party's ever-changing version of truth.
  5. The moral dilemma of loyalty and trust between individuals in a society where betrayal can lead to severe consequences.

5 examples

  1. Winston Smith, the protagonist, works at the Ministry of Truth and becomes involved in an affair with Julia.
  2. Big Brother, the leader and face of the Party, represents the symbol of the regime's omnipotent and oppressive control.
  3. The Ministry of Love, where Winston is taken for "reeducation," is a terrifying place where the Party inflicts punishment on dissidents.
  4. The Two Minutes Hate, a daily ritual, is a mass event of public outrage and hate directed towards Party enemies.
  5. O'Brien, a high-ranking member of the Inner Party, becomes a complex figure who manipulates and challenges Winston's beliefs.

Referenced books

  1. "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism" - A fictional book within "1984" that outlines the principles of the Party's rule.
  2. "The Book" - A forbidden and subversive text that Winston seeks, which challenges the Party's teachings.
  3. "Goldstein's Book" - A banned book allegedly written by Emmanuel Goldstein, providing insight into the Party's manipulation and oppressive methods.

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"Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull."

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