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1984 (1 Viewer)

Indigo

Senior Member
I've cheched around and I can't beleive no one has posted this yet. I just finished reading it yesterday and It was pone of the best books I have ever read. My English teacher was talking about it and he reminded me that i had been meaning to read it for ages so I went off to my school library and borrowed it.

I couldn't put it down! When most people talk of 'classic' books in my mind it usually makes me think of really heavy going stuff like the Lord of the Rings, (sorry, but I hated it). I had no idea that 1984 was anything like that. I started talking about it with my mum who read it when she was 17 and I'm trying to persuade my twin brother to read it too.

It was one of those books where all the way through you are unsure of wether the charcters are going to get out or not. With most books you have a pretty good idea. I don't agree with a lot of what Orwell wrote but I thought it was really interesting. The scene in room 101 really freaked me out. I know though, that a lot of people really don't like the book and I thought it would make an interesting debate about politics an the future. Sorry if this had allready been done.

I'm off to go borrow Animal Farm. :)
 

Julian_Gallo

Senior Member
Orwell was one of the greatest, I feel. You should read his other books as well. Hell, read all of them if you can find them. My personal favorites were "Keep The Aspadistra Flying", "Down and Out in Paris and London", "Coming Up for Air" and "Homage to Catalonia". If you enjoyed "1984", you will really enjoy the others as well. They're all different, but highly enjoyable.
 

Indigo

Senior Member
Sure, my mum said that 'Down and out in Paris ad london' is great. i'll be sure to try the others.
 

midlandsmuse

Senior Member
starrwriter said:
Incidentally, Orwell wasn't writing about the future. He merely extrapolated the political and social trends of his own age, which produced fascism in Europe and totalitarian socialism in the Soviet Union.

A point made to me last month in a writer's group I attend. Orwell wrote the book in the early 40's and wanted to call it 1948 but no one would publish it. Then he changed it to 1984 and was published.

Before you read "Animal House," you should know it is an allegory about the broken promises of Stalinist Russia.

I had to read Animal Farm at school and I hated it. But that was because I read it at the wrong age. 14. Too old for the cutesy animals talking and too young for the politics. I read the book again at 22 and absolutely loved it.
 

Ralizah

Senior Member
I read it when I was 14 and loved it.
I think it just depends on how deep your understanding of it's themes and what it satirizes is. I was a pretty well-read child, so I knew all about the revolution.
 

Mike C

WF Veterans
1984 is possibly the finest novel of the 20th century - how many books have titles that become part of the language? 1984, Brave new world, Catch-22... I think that's it.

indigo, you say you didn't agree with everything Orwell said - what, exactly? The book works on many levels.
 

colvin11

Senior Member
I read 1984, and loved it. except for the ending. I didn't like the way there was all that build up, with the pyscholgical torture. It should have neded there, the last bit where he meets the woman again just spoiled it for me
 

Mike C

WF Veterans
The last part is essential, Colvin, to show that there is absolutely no hope of a triumph over big brother; that anyone can be made to sell their souls, grandmothers and lovers down the river to save themselves.

A happy ending would have left doubt, and would have demeaned all that went before.
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
A happy ending for 1984? Who'd have even thought of such a thing? As it stands, the book's ending is perfect. I maintain that there is not a book more dreary, depressing, and bleak as 1984, if the ending hadn't been so anticlimactic it just wouldn't have worked.
 

Mike C

WF Veterans
Indeed; the payoff being, of course, that England in 1948 (which 1984 satirised) was a bleak and dreary place, and that life under a totalitarian regime isn't about acts of heroism, but about mundane existance and conformity.
 

Mike C

WF Veterans
Indeed; the payoff being, of course, that England in 1948 (which 1984 satirised) was a bleak and dreary place, and that life under a totalitarian regime isn't about acts of heroism, but about mundane existance and conformity.
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
Eh, Orwell was actually talking about communism in the book and what would happen if it spread throughout the world. England was no totalitarian state.


What I especially love is how it doesn't come out and say what exactly is happening with the global climate. Are there really three superpowers trying to conquer the world or is it really just one superpower keeping its people in check by creating a state of constant war? Bombs are dropped on London, but Big Brother probably wouldn't hesitate to drop them in his own people. Maybe there are three superpowers working together, or maybe there is one totalitarian state that has completely cut its people off from the rest of the world.

Brazil does a really good job of combining the concepts of 1984 with those of Brave New World, and adding enough comedy and absurdity to make it an incredibly entertaining movie.
 

lisajane

Senior Member
I read Animal Farm at 16. Hated it. I can't stand stories about animals, but I did really like the whole Russian Revolution stuff (so much so I wanted to study it as my history subject a couple of years later, but the class wasn't held).

I've had people tell me to read 1984, but I don't know if I'll give it a try, it doesn't sound like my thing. Edgar Allen Poe is more my style.
 

Mike C

WF Veterans
If it doesn't sound like your 'thing', all the more reason to read it.

And AF isn't a story about animals.
 

Mike C

WF Veterans
Hodge said:
Eh, Orwell was actually talking about communism in the book and what would happen if it spread throughout the world. England was no totalitarian state.

I'm afraid you're mistaken, Hodge. AF was about Stalinism, 1984 was a satire of Britain as it was in 1948.

You have to remember that although Britain was not a totalitarian state as such, it was still suffering from food rationing and censorship of news was happening much as Orwell described it, and England was a bleak and desolate place to live. Orwell himself worked for the ministry of information and the BBC and was responsible for such tasks as Winston Smith is protrayed as carrying out. He's also been linked with MI5. 1984 is an exercise in taking the environment you live in and stretching the point to it's logical conclusion.

The ministry of truth and the ministry of love were based on real government buildings and room 101 existed (and still exists, in every country in the world) albeit under a less sinister name.

His identification of England as Airstrip One was quite visionary when you consider the relationship we now seem to have with the US.

If you want to know more I'd recommend his recent biography, which gives context to a lot of what Orwell wrote and demonstrates quite ably that Orwell only ever wrote (as we advise newbies every day) about what he knew.
 
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Londongrey

Senior Member
Hodge, you also need to understand what similairites and differences that Orwell had with Winston Churchill when viewing England to get a very good insight into 1984. What many people find surprising is that Orwell had a deep love of England, and a respect for it. That is often over-looked when people read 1984.

Like Mike said above his biography is very interesting and informative, offering a new perspective on his work.
 

colvin11

Senior Member
I wasn't saying it should be happy at all, him getting tortured and broken doesn't strike me as being particularly 'happy'. It is the very last bit, after he says to do it to her, tha tspoiled it
 

Mike C

WF Veterans
And again I will tell you that the last part is an essential part. It shows that Winston's rebellion is futile, and that Big Brother is so confident that room 101 has broken him that he is allowed to live. Therefore instead of having the potential for martyrdom, he becomes a warning to others. His confession is broadcast on TV. He has become dehumanised.
 
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