1984 is a fictional novel written by George Orwell that tells the story of Winston Smith, who lives under the watchful eyes of Big Brother in the nation of Oceania. He works in the Ministry of Truth where he is responsible for altering historical records in order to fit the needs of the Party. Here, he meets a dark-haired girl named Julia whom he falls in love with. However, the Party reprimands any sexual acts or forms of love among its people. Yet, Winston and Julia fulfill their need for love with each other and manage to keep their relationship a secret from others. After being together with Julia and even renting a small apartment above an antique store where the Party has no means of supervising the couple, Winston meets O'Brien, an apparent member of the Brotherhood, a group of people who oppose all teachings of the Party. Winston unknowingly walks into the Party’s trap to ultimately uncover his romantic relationship with Julia. He and Julia are discovered at their apartment and taken to the Ministry of Love where they are tortured and forced to confess to having gone against the Brotherhood. In the end, both of them are brainwashed by the Party into submission, forgetting the intimacy they once had.

Altogether, this book speaks about the damage of a totalitarian rule and the effects that extreme levels of control can have on people. It was a great novel to read, full of mystery that I would recommend to any person interested in a complex plot to follow.

Review by: Dolores R.

Dolores is a virtual volunteer at Sylmar Branch Library. She is a 12th grader at Orthopaedic Medical Magnet High School.

—Dana Eklund, Sylmar Branch Library