1984 Review
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While making my way through the local bookstore a few weeks ago, I started to feel a little bit guilty. You see, the local high schoolsí summer book lists were out. Every single high school student in the area has to read 1984, and Iíd never read it. What kind of reader can I be, I asked myself, if Iíve never read 1984? So I read it.

Now I see why high school kids are so depressed and disillusioned -- not to mention confused. Reading this book is only for the tough, the extremely politically-minded, or the insane. And after reading it, Iím quite sure that I fall into the third category.

1984 -- in case youíve never read it, either -- tells of a world in which the government knows all, sees all, and controls all. The world is divided into three governments -- Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. Winston Smith, the bookís main character is a Party member in Oceania (a sort of middle-class citizen) who works for the Ministry of Truth. Itís his job to rewrite old newspaper articles to make them accurate with the current news. For instance, if Big Brother, Oceaniaís omnipotent leader, announces that Oceania is at war with Eastasia and is allied with Eurasia, itís the Ministry of Truthís job to destroy all records of Oceaniaís ever having been at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia. If a former Party member is arrested and assassinated (by an organization called the Ministry of Love) for his disloyalty to the Party, the Ministry of Truth is responsible for removing any hint of his existence from any past news articles. And everyone is just supposed to go on, altering their memories in the same way that the Ministry of Truth alters the news.

Winston, however, isnít falling for it. And slowly, he starts to secretly oppose the Party and seek out a group of rebels called the Brotherhood -- even though he knows that heíll inevitably be killed for it.

1984 is in no way light -- or quick, or easy -- reading. It looks like a simple little book, but youíll have to wade through it. And that takes determination. And if you attempt to read it while sitting by the pool, people will look at you funny -- I know this as a fact.

So if you feel a slight twinge of guilt for not having read 1984, let me put your mind at rest. Itís okay. You donít have to read this book to be a good human being. In fact, youíre probably better off without it. Itíll only make you disillusioned and paranoid. Just leave this one to the high school kids.

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