George Orwell’s 1984 (also Nineteen Eighty-Four) is a literary memorial of dangers that lurk within governments and, more generally, all power structures that might seek to censor information. Rumour has it that 1984 is awaiting a rewrite as some audiences could find its content disturbing. Today we are talking about reasons you should or shouldn’t read 1984 by George Orwell.
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten”– George Orwell
Below I will share the hard facts about the book, 10 reasons to read the book, 10 points that could make you reconsider putting it on your reading list and some spicy facts about the title.
What you need to know about 1984
Nineteen Eighty-Four (mostly spelled 1984) is a novel and cautionary tale by George Orwell, whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair. The book is a dystopia around the topics of censorship, totalitarianism, mass surveillance and the consequences. Orwell asks questions about truth and manipulation in politics and society.
Nineteen Eighty-Four was initially published in 1949 by Secker & Warburg and translated into 65 languages.
- Penguin books censored the cover in a clever way, which was not received too well.
- There were rumours about a feminist rewrite of the story. This is not a thing. What is true is that there will be another book telling the story from Julia’s point of view. Julia is the love interest of the protagonist Winston from the original 1984.
- During World War 2, Orwell worked as a propagandist for the BBC. Some say seeing this propaganda work up close led to the creation of 1984.
- An alternative title for the book was “The last man in Europe.”
- Another Rumour is that Orwell was under government surveillance while writing 1984, after he published The Road To Wigan Pier.
- Orwell borrowed Japanese propaganda for his novel. The “Thought Police” is based on the Japanese wartime secret police who arrested Japanese citizens for having “unpatriotic thoughts.” Their official name was the Kempeitai, and they named their pursuit the “Thought War.”
Reasons to read 1984
- You will finally know what the term “Orwellian” means.
- You can appreciate that something originally published in 1949 as a dystopia has become reality in 2022. That is either very dark British humour or someone used the warning as a manual.
- You will not only be in the know when someone uses the term Big Brother but know its exact origins.
- You know that the government and media are lying to us, and love to read a good story to confirm that bias. Some might substitute the word bias in the sentence before with truth or knowledge.
- You want to know how the current development in our society turns out. Old George did not have a crystal ball, but it looks like he knew things.
Reasons to avoid reading 1984
- You trust your government, think it is transparent with information and think it always works for the best of the people.
- Are you easily depressed when thinking about the state of the world? You better skip this one and sleep well.