George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four

Has anybody ever read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, or seen one of the film versions?

I’m part-way through reading it (for the second time), and I’ve seen both the 1980’s film version with John Hurt and Richard Burton, and a 1950’s BBC version with Peter Cushing. Although in one respect it’s “historical” in the sense that the events it presents are now in the past, it shows how a society has the potential to go seriously wrong. And of course some of the concepts have become part of popular culture - the various *Big Brother *TV series, some developments in society being described as “Orwellian”, etc.

Have others read the book? And if so, what did you think - about the novel itself and its impact?

Don’t have to read it. I* live* it - I am an American. Except over here the title is Political Correctness :cool:

Agreed! The Thought Police:eek:Think about the ways gov’t. continues to insert itself into so many aspects of our lives. From the food we eat,to the cars we drive.It is just a matter of time before wecarecall sporting’ blue jumpsuits,having Big Brother wake us out of bed,watch our every move,make sure we get plenty of exercise…coming soon to a neighborhood near you…:rolleyes:

War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength

Its a timeless book…and I fear our own American society is mashup of the authoritarian state/thought control described in 1984 and grave crimes against true sexuality and the family described in Brave New World

Are you saying: “Big Barack is watching you.”?

I’ve read it and enjoyed it.
Nowadays, when thinking about the “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength” slogans, I’m inclined to think about them in realtion to the media.
It boggles my mind what passes for news these days, both in the local paper, on television, and on the internet.
Consumption is idolized and people devote so much time and energy to distracting themselves from reality.
These are really challenging times. May God bless us all. Amen.

The novel was definitely prophetic. I recently left the UK after 10 years of living there and so many things seemed like straight from the book. Scary. Of course, it is not just the UK but it is a wider ideological and political trend. I can’t believe how many people are happy to give the state so much power and call it freedom.

I wonder,if on some level there isn’t a disconnect re what is actually happening in this country?It’s as though a lot of people can’t see the forest for the trees.It isn’t as through Obama has been coy about his intentions for this country and his plans to fundamentally chane it as we now know it…:shrug:

Read it many times. Always a good read. It’s one of those books that gives you something new each time you read it.

If I heard correctly, something like 2% of the population socially engineered the rest of Germany into Nazi Germany.

Hmmmmmm… Maybe there is a lesson there somewhere…:cool:

I really love 1984. It was a great book and Iove seeing how it impacts society even today.

But, I really hate how every political conspiracy theorist uses the book as a reference guide, as though it’s an encyclopedia to pluck facts from and cite as a source. It’s become as cliche as pointing to Nazi Germany and like the holocaust/Hitler I’ve found that the people who point to it the most are the ones that are the least likely to have read and understood it and/or really understand the way the world actually functions now. People scream “Orwellian!” because they have been told to all their lives and think that it makes them insightful.

I also find it interesting that no one does the same thing with ‘Brave New World’. I wonder if it’s because fewer people have read it, or if its because it depicts a society that essentially self-destructs and its easier to see huge problems (real or imagined) with our government than it is to look at the average citizen and tell them that they are what is enabling our downfall.

(For the record I find the idea that we are headed for collapse absurd and hyperbolic.)

Yes. There is truth in what you say… in regard to the book being ‘cliche’ and also IMHO, perhaps over quoted needlessly.

However, in view of today’s ‘Political Correctness’ the book is almost prophetic. Perhaps that is why it is reasonating with young and old alike these days.

^This. :thumbsup:

Read it. Enjoyed it. Scares me.

There are some aspects of it that seem to be present in our society. I think double-speak whenever I hear that anyone pro-life is in a war against women or that being for the murder of innocent children is being pro-choice.

If you can find a copy, I highly recommend you read “1985” by Anthony Burgess after you finish the novel. Burgess, who I would rate as one of the top 5 Catholic English novelists, wrote the book as half essays with very insightful commentary on Orwell’s novel (probably the best insights into the novels and its wellsprings that I’ve read), and the second half a tribute novel that play’s off Orwell’s book into Burgess’s own view of what 1985 would be like (from 1978, when Burgess wrote it) - a hideous, dysfunctional Britain of continuous labor strikes, a newly politically powerful population of Islamic immigrants, and a youth culture deadened by promiscuity and violence but ignorant of literature and history. (Pretty prescient, actually.)

As Burgess points out, Orwell novel was less about 1984 than 1948, and the social undercurrents of post WWII British society. Some of the things American readers find unusual and distinctive were readily familiar as satire of the drab British socialist state to English readers when it first came out.

Of the film versions, I thought the John Hurt version was excellent and very true to the novel.

When you look at the most famous dystopian novels, it looks like they are used and misused by all political persuasions to attack the other side. “1984” and “Big Brother” is used as a battle cry by both left and right. Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” is very clear in describing political correctness and the desire not to offend aggrieved political pressure groups as the cause of the book-burning regime (as Bradbury often noted in interviews), yet liberals routinely cite the book as an example of the government suppressing dissent to preserve its own power, which is quite a different thing than the nanny-state described in the novel.

(Yevgeniy Zamyatin’s “We” is also worth reading, as it was a huge influence on Orwell’s 1984, as well as George Lucas’s film “THX-1138,” which it closely resembles…)

Brilliant book, very similar to aspects of modern society

I’m a university student. It’s very much “you can have your opinion unless I’m offended” up here at school. I’m not conservative, but at least the conservative students aren’t as easily offended

I’ve tried. Several times.

I read the book a long time ago. Compared to the way things actually worked out, the methods used by the government to control the population in “1984” were pretty low-tech. Now, the government has a lot more high tech ways of watching and controlling, although the ubiquity of the TV screen is certainly here.

And it’s not just government. People are happy to give up their privacy to Facebook and Google and allow themselves to be sold to and targeted by advertisiers. Of course, the government could order Google or Facebook to hand over that data, or simply hack into it.

The Thought Police don’t call themselves that; they call themselves news media.

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