1984 – George Orwell – (book review)

1984, is a dystopian social science fiction novel by the English novelist George Orwell, It was published in June 1949. The story takes place in an imagined future, the year 1984, when much of the world has fallen victim to perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, historical negationism, and propaganda.

This book managed to be both; fascinating and disturbing at the same time! Throughout the pages, I couldn’t comprehend how spot-on George Orwell was in his predictions. Many passages in this book were scary but also true; as for our world “today”.

Winston, the main character of the novel, lives in a country where individual thought is banned, where only the leader, “Big Brother” is allowed to deliberate and to decide. Rouse by his natural need for reflection and critical analysis, Winston finds it hard not to make use of his inborn talents. He starts questioning the wisdom of Big Brother and moves hopefully toward his own liberation. But in his struggle for liberation he stands alone.

Winston is smarter than many other citizens, but he is also discontent, paranoid, weak-willed and passive-aggressive. He’s not special in any way nor young, attractive or strong. He doesn’t find strength within himself, he doesn’t “save the world”. He tries, he fails. His fellow intellectuals have sold their inalienable right to think freely and a guise of physical well-being. Winston is the last man in Europe, the only human being who wants to use his independent mind.

Winston’s relationship with Julia was tender and a necessary escape from the reality. Unfortunately, their bond is established purely on physical attraction. He treats her like she’s a sex toy. He thought of her as someone with limited intelligence and had to be patiently told each detail that others could immediately comprehend.

Orwell’s novel is a study of every possible way a nation can be beaten down by its government: spiritually, physically, intellectually, by the media, torture, surveillance, and censorship, to the point where the state can manipulate reality at will.

One of the most interesting parts of the book is that of language. It shows how alteration of language can consequently alter thought and how for example the use of adjectives is crucial for being creative and able to use one’s imagination. Orwell also points out that the “simplification” of language affects the mind and its ability to think objectively.

Orwell is one of the smartest writers, reading this book is the best reading experience I’ve had.

Why I studied Law, and why I want to study law again?

The minute you tell someone that you want to study law – they assume one thing right off. You want to be a lawyer. You want to practice law. This misconception has spread, tainting the view of young students who look at degrees. They assume that if they don’t want to argue in court and fight cases, then they are wasting their time.

I studied law for one year. I wasn’t struggling with it at all, it was fun i had to read, read and read all the books and notes material provided by staff, we had assignments and study for exams, I actually loved it. But later on I realized I don’t want to be a lawyer, but I want to study law as well. And no I don’t think I was wasting my time, having a law doesn’t restrict you, but it opens many roads for successful careers.

In my experience, here are some reasons why a law degree is still an excellent choice – even if you don’t want to be a lawyer.

It teaches you writing and research skills. As a law student, you need to be able to back up everything you say. It teaches you to know what you are really talking about, and how to find solid evidence to back up what you are saying.

It teaches you how to be professional. When you study law, most of your lecturers will be lawyers. Many of them practicing. And through them you will learn valuable skills, like professionalism. Lawyers understand better than anyone how to cover things up, and they will teach you simple things, like making sure all agreements are in writing, keeping copies of important stuff etc.

Your choices are wide. Law is about anything its not a narrow field. You learn about criminal acts, business dealings, politics, how institutions work, etc. This opens you up to a wide range of options when you look up for a career.

It demands respect from the world, with no offence to any other degree. The law is after all one of the most difficult degree to get into. It ranks up with medicine, architecture and finance as highly competitive degrees. As an LLB graduate you will demand a respect and have an edge that many others who have selected more generic degrees won’t.

It’s the perfect choice for me certainly, i have a secret plan about getting into law again if it works (insha’Allah). Whenever someone asks me what I want to be, I don’t have a single answer. I want to work in politics and international relations. I want to write or step in media. I would like to explore tourism as an option. Currently I’m studying really very irrelevant subject as per my future planning. The law can back me up on any of these chosen fields without limiting me to one.

Law is a fantastic option. It’s not easy, never pick a law degree thinking that it’s easy. But it teaches you skills and toughens you up, so that the world becomes your oyster.