George Orwell - Secker & Warburg

Read By: Anna_sant



Whose face is that? I don’t know. I nearly used the ones with Obama’s face and Hitler’s face on it but then, nah, I still love my life.

The first sentence is posted in pamphlets which are everywhere in Oceania. It is like a reminder to all of Oceania’s citizens to think before they act against the Party. The second sentence is the slogan of the party which is as you read: ironically opposed each other.

Why did I choose this book? Well, it goes back around some time ago when I was searching for a good book to read. At first, I was reading one particular book’s synopsis with a dystopian genre and moved my cursor to the review section. One review caught my attention and I read it. The reviewer talked about the book (the one that I was looking at) and recommended ‘1984’ as a book with similar genre. I don’t know why, but I was interested to know about the book; thus, I searched for it on the internet. When I read the synopsis and the reviews, I found it an interesting type of story and added it to my list of books to read. Then, I got busy with other stuff, read other books, and forgot about it until this Reading 5 course. I remembered about this book and thought that it is the right time to read it. Finally, I got to read it and, well, I like every minute of it (though, many things confused me at first).

Some of you may find this book boring, complicated, or even confusing. I was also confused at first as there were many unknown words which were made up by the author, but as I go along with the story’s flow, I got to find the missing pieces and could finally grasp some parts of the story. I find the story intriguing because it touch a sensitive subject: politic and dictatorship. Some ideas which are offered by the author through Winston’s, the 1984’s main character, very detailed narration force the gears in my brain to move and, as a result, make me actively thinking and questioning. Why would all of the citizens just went along with some of the Party’s rather questionable methods? Will there be another rebellion? Would the rebels end up like the previous one?

Many things are still left unanswered in the story so far, but that is what fueled me to read the book until the end. It may take a while as I have many other things to do, but I believe I can find the time.

For government, remember this:

NRDateBook's Chapter/PagesPages/WordsPlaceTime
17 September 2017Part One: Chapter 1 (page 1-25)25Boarding House27 mins

I like many things in this chapter. Firstly, I like the idea of irony in this book which is the place of the main character's (Winston) job. He worked at Ministry of Truth (Minitrue in Newspeak, something established not long ago) that was ironically had an objective to erase any information which in many ways opposed the Big Brother (someone who appeared to be the leader of a party which monopolized the Oceania's governance). Secondly, I like the Two Minutes Hate in this story which is really intense. Lastly, I like how paranoid the main character was. It's rather entertaining, but also pitiful. I wouldn't blame him though. If I want to write a diary full of my hatred toward the dictator, I would be very concious of the telescreen, which surveys all of my movement, in the room too.

28 September 2017Part One: Chapter 2 (page 26-36)11Boarding house15 mins

The children portrayed in this story are a bit terrifying. Scratch that, they are REALLY terrifying. The Big Brother's ideas were successfully drilled into their skulls and made them the very first to report any odd activities/ conversation to the Thought Police, even if it was their parents. They were very deligted to see the criminals being hanged and would get upset if they did not get to see it. Horrible.

315 September 2017Part One: Chapter 3 (page 37-39)3At a restaurant, waiting for fried rice6 mins

This chapter was okay. It told a story about Winston's family in a dream. Like every chapter, it was full of Winston's narration, how he interpreted everything around him. He dreamed his mother and baby sister stared at him, accusing him of their death which was done because of him. He did not give details about the cause of their death later after the dream.

423 September 2017Part One : Chapter 3 (page 40-47)8At Nurul Huda mosque, waiting sleep to come18 mins

Waking up with sweat all over his body, Winston moved out of the bed to start his day with The Physical Jerks; some kind of gymnastics I think. I found it kind of hilarious imagining the main character doing some stiff version of gymnastics movements while thinking about some heavy stuff. He tried to remember his life before the war, before Big Brother ruled over the country, before Great Britain became Oceania; while the instructor in the telescreen barked at him to bend his stiff back lower.

524 September 2017Part One : Chapter 4 (page 48-60)13In front of Tania market.18 mins

This chapter was about the details of work in Minitrue especially in the record section where Winston worked. It was mentioned that, I quoted, "people in the Records Department did not readily talk about their job." Winston suspected the man whose spectacles darted a hostile flash at his way may or may not have the same job as him.
Many things about Winston's work were mentioned here.

628 September 2017Part One : Chapter 5-7 (page 62-103)42In front of Tania market and then moved to Lab 2.1 hour, 3 mins

Oh my God. I can't believe I should write this over.
Sooo, these three chapters, again, told us about Winston's everyday struggle in his mind.
In chapter 5, Winston was eating at the canteen when he found his good friend (but then he corrected it as comrade because 'you don't have friends nowadays'). His friend, Syme, a specialist in Newspeak. He said that he was workinh to make the dictionary even thinner than it already was. He thought that unnecessary words must be gone and just use simple words instead. So, no better and worse, no best and worst, just plain old good and bad. Wow, that country is becoming sad and boring.
In chapter 6, Winston began his journal with his story when he tried to use 'prostitution'. He was actually already married but then separated (divorce was not allowed by the law) because they could not have a baby. His wife was a very devoted citizen of Oceania. She was really obedient to the point that she did not have a will of her own, like a doll.
In chapter 7, again, Winston and his journal. He seemed a bit braver now to think freely without too much fear. He wrote at the end of this chapter 'Freedom is a freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows' which was a part of a letter for O'Brien (but not sent to O'Brien) that Winston thought would share the same belief as himself.

73 October 2017Part One : Chapter 8 (page 104-130)27SBC; another restaurant (because I only had drink before); boarding house57 mins

This, too.
I think I had not enjoy reading lately because I had been stressing about some other things. So, when I read this chapter, I was blinking rapidly to make those troubling thoughts away from my mind. Let me read in peace! I should read this chapter over one day.
Nevermind my emo rambling.
Anyway, this chapter is the end of Part One. And you know what? This Part One is only the introduction. Yes, you read it right. INTRODUCTION. 1/3 of this book is only the INTRODUCTION. Can you believe that? It just shows how complicated this story is. The author seemed to like giving the readers details of the setting and ideas residing in his story.
I really hope I can finish Part Two (9 chapters, 152 pages) this week. I already in my second chapter since this monday, so the future is still bright. I'm glad I have found my energetic silly self again. Wish me success. :D

89 October 2017Part Two : Chapter 1 (page 133-147)15Boarding house14 mins

While the last chapter was about Winston trying to get info about past events from old people, now, we get romance. Kind of. The chapter started with Winston going to the lavatory and saw a girl fell to the floor. When he helped her to stand, the girl slipped a paper to his sleeve. Btw, that girl had already made some minor appearances in Part One. So, like any other time, Winston's paranoid side arose. What purpose did the girl had toward him? But, it all vanished when he read the letters written on the paper: I LOVE YOU. Well, after that, it was about how Winston tried to get a hold of the girl again without being suspicious. When they finally could meet, the girl carefully told him when, where, and how to meet her, then they separated ways. From those mere minutes meeting, Winston could remember the hand that he held. Ew, gross.

910 October 2017Part Two : Chapter 2 (page 148-159)12SBC; boarding house13

Well, I don't like this chapter. It shows how their attraction was just because they were both against the party. Winston even said "The more men you've had, the more I love you."
It refers to how he hated the women in the party who wore red sash to show their purity and it looks like he hated it because it's a part of the law, arrogance to show purity. He said that he hated purity, he wanted everyone to be corrupted to the bones. The girl was just equally (sorry) fucked up, too. I was interested with the last sentences in the last paragraph that really conveys what I think about this chapter. There is no pure emotion. It's all mixed up with fear and hatred. Their attraction were also a mere political act.

1011 October 2017Part Two : Chapter 3 (page 160-171)12Boarding house12 mins

This chapter told a story about their exhanges about themselves. The girl, Julia, talked about herself, while Winston talked about his marriage and his dislike toward his wife.
I kind of weirded out by the fact that Julia's first 'love affair' was when she was 16 with an olderman of sixty until the man commited suicide. She said that she was glad because she would have been found out if not for the man to die on his own. Wow, she was indeed corrupted to the bones. Good for you Winston.
I also didn't like the fact that Winston once had tried to kill his own wife. Even Julia questioned him why he didn't just do exactly that, meaning she supported his want to kill his own wife. They made a good couple in a bad way imo.

1112 October 2017Part Two : Chapter 4-5 (page 172-197)26Boarding house (it's getting boring here)26 mins

Chapter 4 : It's just about how Winston and Julia acted like a married couple (they ate, conversed and slept together). Julia brought jam, bread, sugar, tea, and coffee whuch are a rarity among them. Honestly, I don"t really care about their relationship, but it seems that it has some kind of effect for the later chapters.

Chapter 5 : In this chapter, Syme had vanished. There was no explanation. It was just an accepted fact that Syme did not exist and never existed like everybody else who had disappeared.
This time, Winston told Julia about the war, about Eustasia and Eurasia (the enemy of Oceania), etc. But it seems Julia was bored and uninterested in listening to Winston's story about the history which was slowly disappearing. Julia did not even acknowledge the war with Eurasia and just said that it was probably just the party's made up story. Winston was shock and said that "....Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished?....History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right...."
Julia did not seem to believe Winston and did not try to understand his explanation because she's uninterested toward such things.

1213 October 2017Part Two : Chapter 6-8 (page 198-226)29Parking area; UNS front gate, a mosque34 mins

Chapter 6 : The shortest chapter of this book. It talked about Winston's meeting with O'Brien. O'Brien said that he was interested in hearing what Winston thought about Newspeak and gave him his address to meet later. Winston interpreted this as a roundabout way to give him O'Brien's address, where Winston could find him and talked about maybe a conspiracy.

Chapter 7 : This chapter kind of intrigue me. Winston's guilt over his mother and sister's (maybe) death was explained. So, when he was little, he was a greedy, egotistical child. Because of the hunger, he thought that he had every right to have all of the food even though he was supposed ro share it with his mother and sister. When his mother brought chocolate, he demanded to get the whole chocolate. His mother refused and divided the chocolate into three parts. His sister looked at the chocolate dully and did not know what to do with it. Seeing this, Winston grabbed his sister's share and ran for the door. His sister gave a small wail while his mother tried to calm her down by hugging her and at that moment Winston just knew that his sister was going to die. Feeling guilty, he went out. You greedy little brat.
What I like about this chapter is about how Winston seemed to realize that whatever the party did, they could not change someone's heart. They might able to change someone's mind, but not their heart. What's the connection with the story above? You ought to read the book!

Chaoter 8 : I think Winston's visiting O'Brien, talking about his thought freely and believing every single word uttered by O'Brien were a bit... naive. He only saw a weird glint in O'Brien's eyes and a dream where he met O'Brien and suddenly he believed him, even though he was usually so paranoid. It just seems like Winston was really desperate to find someone with similar thoughts like him. There was something fishy about O'Brien's behavior and words, but I can't grasp what it is.

1314 October 2017Part Two : Chapter 9 (page 227-282)56At the boarding house while enjoying the rain in the morning40 mins

There are too many boring details here, so I skipped some parts. It mainly told a story when Winston, in his hiding place in Mr Charrington's sgop with Julia, was reading a book from O'Brien. He read 3 (really long and boring) chapters of the book. Oddly, he had not found anything new there. Hmm... did you smell it? Fishy. After that, while the couple was enjoying looking at a ladi in a yard (I'm not kidding), an unfamiliar voice was heard. The Thought Police! And guess what? That Mr Charrington who kindly gave them a hiding place was the leader (his appearance also became younger). That's why I told you not to accept stranger's help. Ckckck.

1415 October 2017Part Three : Chapter 1-2 (page 285-328)44Boarding house (no surprise here)43 mins

Chapter 1 : It's a story about Winston in a prison of Ministry of Love. Many prisoners went in and out. Some of them went to the so called Room 101. Sime prisoners seemed to be terrified when they heard that they would be brought to Room 101. I didn't know what it is, but I can guess it was not something pleasant. From what the last prisoner blabbered about, it could be a room for investigation and torture. At the last page, O'Brien came to that place.

Chapter 2 : Finally, Winston got his turn to be investigated and tortured, but not in Room 101. Then, I guess, there would be something different in Room 101. There are some interestung things in this chapter while O'Brien tortured Winston. One of them is how the party brainwashed prisoners into what they called ideal then killed them immediately in a "clean" state.
Before I read this chapter, I thought that the notion "You live in my memory"is cheesy. In realitt, it holds some truth. Maybe because it is overly used by people, the true meaning has become lost (cliche).

1516 October 2017Part Three : Chapter 3-4 (page 329-356)28Tennis court36 mnt

Chapter 3 : The "brainwashing" continued. O'Brien still continued to convince Winston that the party was always right. Winston might have slowly believe it but he still believed that he had yet to betrayed Julia.

Chapter 4 : It seemed O'Brien's efforts already showed positive result. After the last encounter, Winston got steady meal and got fatter and lazier day by day. He didn't even have the energy to stand up against the party anymore. He even wrote "FREEDOM IS SLAVERY" and "TWO PLUS TWO MAKE FIVE" just like how O'Brien wanted him to think. At the end of the chapter, Winston was brought to Room 101.

1617 October 2017Part Three : Chapter 5-6 (page 357-393)36At the roadside; boarding house43 mnt

Chapter 5 : O'Brien told Winston that everyone knows what's in Room 101. The thing in Room 101 is the worst in the world and it varies from individual to individual. So, the room might show you your worst fear to make you surrender. Something like that. It is, indeed, very scary to hear. It was quite... laughable when I  found out that Winston's worst night mare was rats. Hmm... on second thought that made sense. In the end, he had had enough and betrayed Julia.

Chapter 6 : Finally, the last chapter. It just shows how Winston and Julia became strangers again but with more hatred and disgust toward each other. They came out even more... what is it... ideal for the party? Weird on the head? I don't know. They aren't really likeable from the start.
I feel a bit disappointed that in the end Winaton could not stand against the dictator, but, it is more realistic I guess. I mean, what one person could do against such people who held greater power and intelligence?
Before reading this book, I was wondering why such a famous book does not have a movie yet? Now, I know the answer.
All in all, a good book to read if you like deep thought-provoking book and you have many time to comprehend every single part of this book.