Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
Winston Smith is a low-ranking member of the ruling Party in the nation of Oceania. Everywhere Winston goes, even his own home, the Party watches him through telescreens; everywhere he looks he sees the face of the Party’s seemingly omniscient leader, Big Brother. The Party controls everything in Oceania, even the people’s history and language. Now, the Party is forcing the use of an invented language called Newspeak which will prevent political insurgency by eliminating all words related to it. Even thinking rebellious thoughts is illegal. Such thoughtcrime is, in fact, the worst of all crimes. But a seed of dissent grows in Winston—one that will bring him into direct conflict with the Party, and with devastating consequences.
Rarely has one book ever been so rich in political and social criticism as 1984. Originally published in 1949, this new graphic novel edition of the dystopian classic, powerfully illustrated by Matyáš Namai, reveals Winston’s fight against the Party in all its horror and futility.
I’d not read 1984 before, and was intrigued to learn the story of Big Brother, so I was excited to see a graphic novel available. This was very easy to read and easy to understand the story of 1984.
I was surprised at some parts, shocked at Winston hiding in the only corner of his house where the cameras can’t see you. The thought that the government could be watching you at all times, in your own homes through your tv, is a scary thought. So do I get the rebellious side of the people who wanted to revolt? Of course. I didn’t see the person who was undercover being the person it was, I thought it was going to be someone else.
I liked the relationship between Winston and Julia, it was like finding a bit of happiness in the darkness. My daughter asked if she could read it as she has done some school stuff on 1984 (she’s 13), but there are some graphic pictures in the book so I don’t think it’s suitable for young teens.
Thanks again so much to Palazzo Editions for my gorgeous physical copy, and thanks to Netgalley for my e-arc.