1984 by George Orwell

Opening Hook:

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.


 Orwell’s opening line in “1984” masterfully introduces readers to a world of dystopian control and enigma. The phrase “bright cold day” along with “clocks striking thirteen” creates a sense of confusion and discord.. They arrest the reader mid-stride and pique her curiosity. It sets the tone for a warped reality.

The clocks can strike thirteen here? This means the story world is not as we know it.  If a clock can strike thirteen, what else differs from what we have known? How are we to find our bearings in this upside-down world?

In one sentence, we find ourselves mired knee deep in a world where reality is a shape-shifting monster. The unfamiliar makes you uncomfortable. This world is not just unfamiliar, it has no similarity to anything you have known! As a concept, that is a lot more upsetting—even terrifying. The terror isn’t just because of the switching of identities; it is because EVRYTHING has switched identities! If nothing is solid and everything is pliable, how are you to trust anything, know anything?

The totalitarian ruling party has created this world. It takes away your assurance and gives you a world on which you cannot depend. Orwell’s vivid descriptions of a world where individuality is suppressed and conformity is enforced will send chills down your spine.

The protagonist Winston fights to retain his humanity while the regime seeks to strip him of his identity. His harrowing journey compels you to reflect on the value of freedom and tenacity of the human spirit.

The novel’s themes are as relevant today as they were when Orwell first wrote the book. The recent ‘V for Vendetta’ by Alan Moore (also a movie), is also on the same theme.

The novel delivers on the promise of the hook—and makes magic.

Have you read 1984? How about Animal Farm?

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