March online ebook club – Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

1984This month I thought we’d get into the spirit of the great dystopian novel with one of the greatest – Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Nineteen Eighty-Four follows the life of Winston Smith. Winston lives in Oceania where the former United Kingdom existed. The state is controlled by a Dictatorship that includes ‘Thought Police’ and a leader known as ‘Big Brother’. Winston works in the ‘Ministry of Truth’ which involves rewriting history in favour of the current regime. Despite this, Winston hates this regime and secretly wants to rebel against it.

This book was first published in 1949 and paints an eerie view of a future world. What do you think?

1. How accurate are George Orwell’s predictions of a future society? Can you see any comparison with the world we live in today?

2. What did you think of the character’s of Julia and O’Brien. Did you trust either one of them? Why do you think Winston was so trustworthy of O’Brien?

3. Winston has been described as a hero in the novel. Do you agree with this?

4. How effective was Orwell at creating the dark tone and atmosphere of a dystopia and the horror of room 101?

5. If you were in Winston’s position, knowing what you know, how would you rebel against the party?

It would be great to hear your thoughts on this novel or recommendations for any other dystopian novels. You can download the book from Overdrive.