1984 has a cool concept. Looking back on the book, that’s about as much as I can say about it. The story was dry and slow and uninteresting and the love affair was confusing. I didn’t gather that Winston’s wife was alive until well into his romance with Julia and everything about their relationship seemed untrue. She loved him without ever talking to him? He hates her and wants to kill her and then the next day risks his life to see her? Julia herself admits to having had affairs with lots of men, and Winston finds this an attractive quality as it shows her hatred of the party. If she had slept with so many men, what made Winston special? They didn’t get along very well. Julia wanted to rebel in small ways for her own pleasure, while Winston wanted to understand and change society.
Half of the book was composed of descriptions of Winston’s varicose ankle and the gross food and the dilapidated buildings. Orwell wrote this book as a warning against totalitarian governments, and you can tell. The entire premise of the book is just “this is really not fun, you don’t want this.” The idea of a totalitarian world where you can be arrested for thinking against the Party is a pretty cool concept. The plot is not.
The Party’s goal is to take away all happiness and joy from their citizens, in order to maintain control. Reading this book had the same effect.