Just finished it. Some of it was what I expected, most of it was far superior than I had thought.
I didn't so much think it was a total pessamistic look at what our future could be; sure some of it was, but some of it was heroic even if the "hero" was not sucessful to the end, he held out an admirable amount of time.
For its time, with so much it lists as new and so much we take for old and for granted; I'm pretty impressed with Orwell's vision of how things would advance and how they could be used.
Post by janetcatbird on May 2, 2005 19:13:49 GMT -5
Hoo boy, I read "The Stranger" last Spring in the same lit course where I read "No Exit". It's weird, the pleasure he takes in the ordinary moments, but then to be so apathetic about everything...a long time ago I read "The Plague" but I have very vague memories, and I didn't know about the allegory of Fascism.
I love "Animal Farm", wonderful story. It helped that before my 9th grade English class read it my teacher spent two days going through the history of the Russian Revolution so we knew for darned sure which animals stood for who. (Reccomended out-of-print book, "How DOes a Czar Eat Potatos?". It's a children's book, but it's a wonderful showcase of how the czar/noble life was so drastically different from the peasants. "How does a czar eat potatos? A regiment of soldiers shoots the potatos with a canon through a wall of butter into the czars mouth. How does your father eat potatos? Grabs a handful, eats them fast. Grabs another with some cabbage, if there's any." My mother used this with her social studies classes, even in middle school.)
Whoa, long digression. Anyways, I also enjoyed "1984", a scary narrative to make you take notice. Interesting characters as well, the whole journal release and then you wonder just how long you yourself could hold up in such a place. (There are supposed to be 3 major works of distopias: "1984", "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley--haven't read yet--and some other I can't remember.
Just a great little reference: on "Daily Show" Samantha Bee did a piece the other week about the spin artists for the Conservatives, the ones who come up with new phrases and cast the town hall meetings. Anyways, she gave this guy a list of phrases to see what the new spin buzzwords were: Bee: "Drilling for oil" Spin: "Responsible exploration for energy" Bee: "Logging" Spin: "I would say, 'healthy forests'." Bee: "Manipulation" Spin: "Explanation and education" Bee: "Orwellian" Spin: dead silent, mouth opens but he can't think of anything
"If it's dangerous to talk to yourself it's probably even dicier to listen." --Jim Hightower
I've read 1984 twice, but not in several years (as I just can't take it) and think it's a remarkable book. In terms of genre, it's one of several "dysotpian" novels that kind of served to define postmodernism in literature. For those interested in the genre, Aldous Huxley's BRAVE NEW WORLD and WE by Eugene Zamyatin are a couple that preceeded 1984. Ray Bradbury's FAHRENHEIT 451, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, by Anthony Burgess, THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood and CLOUD ATLAS by David Mitchell followed. And lots, lots more.
Authors feed to the sign of the times. In the 50's with Abomb testing, came the horrors of mutation. Also with Communism gaining strength, Orwell was terribly terrified of it's infiltration into the "free world" Hence he created the monster Communism into society contral and corruption of government by writing 1984 and Animal Farm " All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal then others". His fears were best sellers.
All the books you've mentioned i have read. Even as a child I was a bit sceptical about human potential for good if left to our own devices without social constraints.
I had to read 1984 my freshman year in high school. At the time I hated it, and thought the sex scenes between Winston Smith and Julia (which happens to be my real name, my friends still tease me for that, ugh) was just too disturbing. But after reading Huxley's Brave New World, I really begin to like 1984 because comparing that to Brave New World, 1984 is actually pretty orthodox and un-disturbing. Orwell's Animal Farm is a even better piece, I love his portral of people and communism through animals. The thoughts presented in that totalitarian dictatorship is just heart chilling.
Behind the hazel eyes, An innocent soul hides.
The angel-like smile, Always follows her beauty.
The eyes of Eléana, The harbor of the never ending love...