1984, an iconic dystopian novel by George Orwell wastes little time with pleasantries;
something is off with this world from the brilliant first line: “It was a bright cold day in April,
and the clocks were striking thirteen” (Orwell 1). Protagonist Winston Smith works for the
oppressive Oceanic government; he mulls over past news and texts to alter the past in order to fit
the desires of the government. As the novel progresses, he grows wary of the government’s
ways, and jeopardizes his life to reconquer his individualism by maintaining a journal of his
thoughts and pursuing a forbidden relationship.
1984 is an astoundingly relevant story whose appeal seems to strengthen as time passes;
it is warning against totalitarian control and oppression and a beacon for individualism. The
themes it displays regarding censorship and propaganda are remarkably powerful, and the central
theme of the power of words and how controlling them allows for domination. I truly believe
that most people should read this classic novel at least once in their lives, and therefore, it
deserves a 5/5 rating.