When I first heard about 1984, it had just been chosen as our local book club's "Book of the Month." Many people (friends, people on TV, etc.) were talking about it, but I had never really "picked it up" until then. Now, I'm very open minded when it comes to trying new books, but when I was a "newbie" in the literary world, I was more than happy with staying within my comfort level when it came to reading material (i.e., YA Fiction).
So 1984 was our book club choice, and I snagged a copy from the bookstore to try. When I was finally coerced into trying it ("If you don't like it, you don't have to read it. Just give it a TRY!" my mom said) I was on vacation and couldn't care less about this dystopian, dysfunctional, old-style story. I wanted to read fun and easy things, not something so incredibly dry and dull (which was my perception back then), that would inevitably put me to sleep after a day of excitement and sight-seeing!
Nevertheless, I sat down on the bed, sighed, and tried to read a good few chapters to start. About...I don't know, an hour or so after I started, my mom asked, "Are you going to give up?"
At that, I shushed her and said, "Hold on- it just got interesting."
I was hooked. I was intrigued. I was very much into the story and where it was going. I did get lost with some of the "futuristic" lingo, phrases and terminology; my eyes would glaze over and I would have to shake my head to get my concentration back on track. But when the plot got fast-paced and interesting, nothing could pry me away from my book. Not even meals.
I loved it. I loved George Orwell's perception of the future- OUR future. (I mean, come on. What's better than a man starting to question the world he's living in and the way it's being run?)
So, since it's Banned Books Week, I've decided to write about 1984, a) Because of it being banned, b) Its controversial topics, and c) Because I have a strong opinion about why it was banned.
1984 was challenged because it was deemed "pro-communist and contains explicit sexual matter" in Jackson County, Florida, and banned in the U.S.S.R shortly after it was translated into Russian. In my opinion, I believe that 1984 was questioned not because of its sexual matter, but because of the book's popularity and how it reflected on the government...especially one so scarily close to our own.
Now, I'm not a rebel...I don't rebel against the government. I'm not an activist (that I know of)...but I sure do love reading about other people rebelling against their own dystopian society.
1984 may not have you swooning with romance, tearing up at sweet and sad spots and it may not ever be your favorite book in the world. But if you're looking for a book to get you thinking...1984 is the one.