1984

Jonny Axehandle 05-07-2005 02:08 PM
Careful what you say, BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!

It's the classic story about the future of the political world. A dictatorship government known only as "The Party" has taken over Oceania and their leader, Big Brother, watches you 24/7 via telescreens.

It got very interesting when I tried to visualize this futuristic world while reading it. It was written in the 40s, but takes place in 1984. So the future to the author is the past to us. Instinctiely you think of the technology in 1984, but most of the technology then was unthought of in the 40s so it's a challenge to picture this world.

Right now I am at the part where Winston Smith is in the cafeteria and talking about Newspeak to his friends.
Travis Bickle 05-07-2005 02:25 PM
It's one of my favorite books of all time.

A great deal of stuff that Orwell imagined has come true, no?

Think about that...
Zopwx2 05-07-2005 04:11 PM
Great book.

It almost perfectly describes the a planet on its way to complete totalitarianism.

It may not be the best piece of fiction ever written, but Orwell wrote the perfect warning. "Make sure the world doesn't become like this".

And everytime you see a little bit of 1984 in the world you should be inspiried to act.
Jonny Axehandle 05-07-2005 04:14 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Cerpin Taxt
It's one of my favorite books of all time.

A great deal of stuff that Orwell imagined has come true, no?

Think about that...


So far I've only picked up on a few things that compare to today, but I haven't gotten that far.
TanookiJoe 05-08-2005 11:09 PM
Ah, one of my favorites. I hope you like it, Jonny. The ideas in that book are incredibly pertinent and incisive. I hope they don't fly over your head -- the book gets quite heady down the line. (I know I didn't get everything the first time I read it.)
Mike 05-08-2005 11:10 PM
I never read 1984 but I read Animal Farm. The allegory really smacks you over the head with that one. I don't remember much but I remember the one pig was Stalin and the other one was Trotsky, I think...
Captain Maw 05-08-2005 11:21 PM
well, i have to say 1984 stunk. i mean, it was entertaining but the love story and the social commentary was quite drab and undeveloped. a little bit too overrated as well.
TanookiJoe 05-08-2005 11:24 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Captain Maw
well, i have to say 1984 stunk. i mean, it was entertaining but the love story and the social commentary was quite drab and undeveloped. a little bit too overrated as well.


Confused

"Drab and undeveloped"? The book devotes whole chapters to it!

I don't think making a light read was Orwell's goal.
Sharpshooter005 05-08-2005 11:26 PM
quote:
And everytime you see a little bit of 1984 in the world you should be inspiried to act.


Thats the problem. You can find your own little aspects of "big brother" anywhere, according to your own social or political leanings. What I might call totalitarian, someone else would say is fine. And vice versa.

This isn't an indictment of the book, by any means. It's more an indictment of people. In fact it's not really an indictment of people in general, it's more an indictment of select individuals who I've met, who feel that just shouting "big brother" then not supporting their argument is the answer to things.

It's been a long, long while since I've read it. Unfortunately.
TanookiJoe 05-08-2005 11:57 PM
Sharpshooter points out one of the great ironies I've noticed about Orwell. Orwell was keenly aware of the power of language, (which is the point of Newspeak in 1984), and warned about the corruptive influence of words that sound impressive but have no real meaning. As he point out in his essay "Politics and the English Language" (available here), even in 1946 the word "fascism" had ceased to have any substance and could now be applied to anything you don't like. Ironically, Orwell himself has become one of these empty phrases. (i.e., describing something as Orwellian, comparing to Big Brother, etc.)

People often display a disturbing lack of understanding
about what Orwell was talking about. I read one professional essay that went on and on about how putting supreme power in the hands of a single individual like Big Brother was a mistake and that this was the point of 1984, when anyone who has actually even skimmed the book knows that
spoiler (highlight to read):
Big Brother doesn't really exist.


Of course, not all reference to Orwell is unwarrented. Indeed, when a real parallel to what Orwell was talking about does happen, it should spur you to action.
Captain Maw 05-09-2005 12:01 AM
yeah, btw. that's a huge spoiler. for anyone who hasn't read the book, yeah, don't read it.
Zopwx2 05-09-2005 12:03 AM
Ugh.

Orwell wrote a super over exaggeration in order to warn us becuase he was a paranoid wierdo.

Whether or not he is right is not my problem.....or is it?
TanookiJoe 05-09-2005 12:36 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Zopwx2
Ugh.

Orwell wrote a super over exaggeration in order to warn us becuase he was a paranoid wierdo.

Whether or not he is right is not my problem.....or is it?


"Paranoid weirdo" doesn't describe Orwell. Most of his predictions were simply exterpolations of things he had witnessed or observed. And 1984 was not meant to be a wholesale prediction of the future. (The year it was set it is near random: it was just a reversal of the last two digits of the year he wrote it, 1948.)
Zopwx2 05-09-2005 12:45 AM
quote:
Originally posted by TanookiJoe
quote:
Originally posted by Zopwx2
Ugh.

Orwell wrote a super over exaggeration in order to warn us becuase he was a paranoid wierdo.

Whether or not he is right is not my problem.....or is it?


"Paranoid weirdo" doesn't describe Orwell. Most of his predictions were simply exterpolations of things he had witnessed or observed. And 1984 was not meant to be a wholesale prediction of the future. (The year it was set it is near random: it was just a reversal of the last two digits of the year he wrote it, 1948.)


I know.

I just wanted to call someone a paranoid wierdo.

And its not like 1984 has inspired me to get off my ass and stop watching TV or anything...
BethMcBeth 05-09-2005 12:53 AM
I personally have not yet read the book yet but I do beleive that I saw a little of the movie it was defently very interesting I really liked it, Iam going to try to read the book next.

-Beth
NVWC2006 05-10-2005 04:30 PM
quote:
Originally posted by GAT-X105
I never read 1984 but I read Animal Farm. The allegory really smacks you over the head with that one. I don't remember much but I remember the one pig was Stalin and the other one was Trotsky, I think...


I haven't read Animal Farm, though all my english teachers say we should read it sometime.

1984 is a required reading for sophomores at my school, so I read it last year. We analyzed various aspects, from the main character's (Winston!!) actions to his name and other fun stuff.

Also, maybe I got it wrong, but from the descriptions, I always pictured the photos of Big Brother they had to be Geraldo Rivera. Big Grin

It was interesting yet freaky, many different things in one. It was a little odd for me for sexuality to be so blunt in the book. I mean I'd read things worse, but in 1984 it just seemed to stick out. I dunno why but for something written in 1948, I thought it'd be less perverted than that. But hey, I'm stupid.

spoiler (highlight to read):
It's unbelievable, how intricit the society they live in is. Whenever Winston thinks he is actually getting away with something, he's wrong. They ARE always being watched. People in the government are PAID to try and draw out rebels, just so they can be caught early in advance. Whether people like Goldstein and the Brotherhood (xmen!) are real or not, The Party takes advantage of it all. And while we can see aspects of Big Brother today, we can also see things against it. I mean, a teen antisex league where nearly every teen is a member? Do you really think that would have as many members today? Tongue


there is so much to speak of concerning 1984 that you cannot discuss it all at once in a single thread, it'd have to be spread out like..page by page almost, just to get it all. we can go on and on, but summed up, it was a powerful book and warning for the future.
Pero_Is_Crying 05-19-2005 11:51 AM
1984- the book that put "double plus ungood" into my daily vocabulary. It's been a long time since I read this one. I've been meaning to read it again since I gave it to someone for Christmas and she wants to talk about it, but I've forgotten so much. I do think about it every time I go to the Walmart International Airport (aka Super Walmart) and see those damned tvs that are always on, beaming Walmart propaganda into our brains. I half expect everyone to stop shopping and start shouting at them for a full two minutes should a Goldstien looking fellow come on.

Though it did really strike a chord, I think the reason I've avoided reading reading the book again for years is because it depressed the hell out of me the first time. Every time I get it into my head to start reading it again I stop and ask "Wouldn't you rather just watch Brazil?" At least Brazil is as funny as it is bleak and the Winston-like character
spoiler (highlight to read):
gets away in the end, even if it is only in his mind.


Depressing or not, I think everyone should read 1984 when they're still young so they can recognize the warning signs of a world gone mad. TanookiJoe is right. Spotting a touch of 1984 in 2005 SHOULD inspire us to take action to change it. Unfortunately, it's too late.