As Block 4 began, we asked students in Year 10 to reflect on their own personal enjoyment of reading 1984, a required text at IGCSE, and to choose a task to reflect on their journey. Some students chose to write a book review based on their own experience of the book, below is an excellent example of the works our students submitted.

1984 is a dystopian political book, it revolves around the premise that the West has adopted a form of totalitarian communism. The story follows Winston, a man in his late 30’s, who struggles against the system and begins to question the order of the world.

Some might consider 1984 a depressing read, it follows themes such as betrayal, totalitarianism, liberty and censorship along with language restriction and the use of invasive technology. This book raises several moral questions about leadership, censorship and boundaries of privacy, which is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s modern society.

I personally wasn’t a huge fan of 1984, I felt that the structure and plot wasn’t exciting or compelling enough to justify such a heavy read. However, one must realise that George Orwell was a dying man when he wrote 1984, he had held many values to heart during his lifetime and had had them all crushed. 1984 is perhaps partially a reflection of Orwell's view of the path that Humanity could travel upon.

The book itself was also very insightful into the future, Orwell wrote about a totalitarian state with gulags, torture and censorship of the media before the soviet Union had grown to the height of its power, the scenes depicted in 1984 seem to be very similar to that of the Soviet Union even down to the similarities between the secret police and the fact that Orwell wrote the book in 1948 further amazes me.

1984 is a must read for anyone, particularly native speakers, not only because it will appear in your IGCSEs but also because it is such an acclaimed book, which people will reference all the time.

Felix, Year 10

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