1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby alitheiapsis » Sat May 09, 2009 5:51 am UTC

I have read 1984 a good five, maybe even six times now. I first read it in middle school when I read this other book that used a quotation from 1984 as its epigraph and referenced the book throughout (Inventing Eliot (sp?), it was called. Pretty good, if I remember). The quotation was:
The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?

I still have it by heart.

I really enjoyed 1984. It was beautifully written, and I honestly can't say enough good about it. This year, I took European History, and I was surprised to see just how many Communist (and Nazi) practices Orwell borrowed for IngSoc.

1984 is the kind of book that changes every time you read it. There are some books I regret rereading (if they're not well-written or I don't feel like I gained anything from the new read) but 1984 is not one of them. The last time I read it was last summer, and it was just breathtaking. Part of it is because the writing is so intense. You may remember the story, but the power and force of the ideas and events of the actual book hit you again every time. You realize with horror again how oppressive IngSoc really is, how perfect and inescapable it is. It was almost beautiful. You re-experience Room 101 and witness
Spoiler:
Winston's final betrayal of Julia.
You see again that soon, people like Winston will cease to exist, that everyone will see five fingers when there are only four.

Another favorite quotation from the story:
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.


Oh no. Now I feel like I have to go reread 1984 again, except I have three AP exams next week to study for. *sigh*

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Mother Superior » Mon May 11, 2009 10:14 pm UTC

Can I just say very well said, alitheiapsis. Sums up my relationship with this book almost perfectly.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby alitheiapsis » Wed May 13, 2009 6:00 am UTC

:D Thanks.

I was very happy to learn that my teacher is having a quiz on 1984 next week so I get to read it again! (Unfortunately, I was going to lend it to my mom so she could read it on the plane this week, but I guess I don't get to spread the magic that is 1984 for a while.)

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby mikhail » Sat May 30, 2009 3:44 pm UTC

I like 1984 a lot. It definitely influenced how I think about government oversight and powers.

One criticism I'd level at it though is that the characters are very flat. Julia especially is more macguffin than person. Even Winston is pretty poorly sketched.

Has anyone read Orwell's Homage to Catelonia? It's interesting to see experiences in the Spanish civil war and to speculate as to how they influenced his political thinking.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby foldingchair13 » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:33 am UTC

I just had to read 1984 for summer reading.... and I have mixed feelings. The first half or so was really good, Winstein's Book was mostly boring and even repeted certain things a few times(though i did like how it explained some things better, like how Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia were set up), and the third part was the most depressing, fustrating, and upsetting thing I have ever read. I actually felt angry after reading the end because I just kept picturing what living in that society would be like and it is the worst thing possible to happen. I was so angry that they are doing that. I do hand it to Orwell for thinking of such amazing ideas for writing it in 1949... The way the inner party thinks and acts, especially how it fixes people's way of thinking at the end is just.... brillant. That is like the worst and best government in one; Best because it flawlessly keeps a society functioning without any problems from the people and also giving the inner party the great power they want, but worst because it is the most pointless society ever... basically a society kept running so a few can have some power. The people will never be free, happy, in love, wise, and basically will have to reason to live other than to be puppets for the government to control. Essentially humans will no longer be humans.....

So overall I really liked the book because it really made me think... but there is part of me that hates it because of how it makes me feel.

Oh and I have some questions/discussion ideas....
Spoiler:
What exactly is O'Brien? Was he just a member of the Thought Police/ Inner Party that pretended to be in Goldstein's group to catch people, or was he a part of Goldstein's group that got like caught and maybe brainwashed into doing this to save his life? That part also made me think that maybe Goldstein doesn't exist at all... and maybe he is just a fabrication of the government to catch anyone who could be against them.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby alitheiapsis » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:05 am UTC

foldingchair13 wrote:Oh and I have some questions/discussion ideas....
Spoiler:
What exactly is O'Brien? Was he just a member of the Thought Police/ Inner Party that pretended to be in Goldstein's group to catch people, or was he a part of Goldstein's group that got like caught and maybe brainwashed into doing this to save his life? That part also made me think that maybe Goldstein doesn't exist at all... and maybe he is just a fabrication of the government to catch anyone who could be against them.


Spoiler:
I think O'Brien pretended to be a rebel (I guess?). Isn't it that anyone who goes through Room 101 has that dead look about them? And they spend the rest of their life hanging out at the Chestnut Tree Café and working at a useless job? I think O'Brien is completely orthodox and goodthinker (I think the term is?); he was probably chosen for those qualities.

As for Goldstein, he's supposed to be a counterpart of Trotsky. I think he might have existed at some point, but, like Trotsky, was driven off, slandered, blamed, and assassinated. I like to think that there's a symmetry between Big Brother and Goldstein. They are both probably long-dead, and used by the Inner Party to control the people. I'm sure at some point during Two Minutes' Hate, Big Brother's face morphed into Goldstein's. There's a beauty to it.


One thing I really liked about 1984 is that you really have no idea how the society functions. Who decides things? Who is in charge? So much remains in ambiguity that it simulates how the characters themselves must feel. Alone, confused, unsure.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby TheGirlWhoStoleTheHat » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:04 pm UTC

mikhail wrote:Has anyone read Orwell's Homage to Catelonia? It's interesting to see experiences in the Spanish civil war and to speculate as to how they influenced his political thinking.


I'm currently reading Homage To Catalonia. I've just got to the part where he gets shot.

As for 1984, it's my favourite book of all time.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Intrepid » Fri Aug 14, 2009 8:40 pm UTC

I happen to be reading it now. It is rather an unnerving piece to read because it reminds me so much of China under communism. It was almost everything my parents and grandparents described about the early years of post-revolution.
Of couse the book takes that to an extreme, but the analogies are strikingly pentiful.
Red Guards - the Spies
Simplified Chinese - Newspeak
rationed materials and products,
etc.

So far its really a fun read, because you are aware of the political messages the book carries, as a reader you always have to on guard to be careful to not be too pulled in.
As a result you put more effort to think as you read.

Syme is an interesting character because he is passionate about completing the revolution, he is also fully aware of what he and the party is doing in the proccess.
His speech about Newspeak was insightful How literature in Newspeak would not only be a translation, but completely changed from their original intent.
(^@^)

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby TheGuyWithTheHat » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:47 am UTC

Everyone being watched? Everything being monitored? Censorship? Lying manipulative government?

Reminds me of... The UK.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby TheNegotiator » Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:10 am UTC

I'm a longtime xkcd fan, but created an account just to throw in my two cents here.

This book was massively depressing, especially part 3, without a doubt. Great, but soul-crushing (in an unintended literal sense). However, I tend to cling to any possible idealistic threads I can possibly pick up on. It's a character trait (flaw? you decide) of mine. I actually have a nice little theory on The Heart of Darkness that is completely off topic for this thread. But since so many of you mentioned how hopeless everything is, and how Orwell shows without a doubt how nothing can or will ever destroy the Party, I felt compelled to speak up.

Here's my glimmer: The song the old, fat Prole lady sings
Spoiler:
while Winston and Julia are in bed together in their room.
It's about a relationship, of love and happiness. Granted, the Party created it to feed the masses, so it isn't exactly art, but! The song remained more popular than the Hate Week song. The Party did everything it could to whip the people into a mindless rage against the enemy of the week, and succeeded in the short term. But people (or at least the proles) remain human. Just barely, but they remain human. And, one of the most oft-repeated lines in the book is clear: "If there is hope, it lies in the proles."

I got a tad wordy here, sorry bout that. I fully understand how dark and dooming the book is, but is there just the slightest ray of hope?

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Jonny94 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:52 am UTC

alitheiapsis wrote:
foldingchair13 wrote:Oh and I have some questions/discussion ideas....
Spoiler:
What exactly is O'Brien? Was he just a member of the Thought Police/ Inner Party that pretended to be in Goldstein's group to catch people, or was he a part of Goldstein's group that got like caught and maybe brainwashed into doing this to save his life? That part also made me think that maybe Goldstein doesn't exist at all... and maybe he is just a fabrication of the government to catch anyone who could be against them.


Spoiler:
I think O'Brien pretended to be a rebel (I guess?). Isn't it that anyone who goes through Room 101 has that dead look about them? And they spend the rest of their life hanging out at the Chestnut Tree Café and working at a useless job? I think O'Brien is completely orthodox and goodthinker (I think the term is?); he was probably chosen for those qualities.

As for Goldstein, he's supposed to be a counterpart of Trotsky. I think he might have existed at some point, but, like Trotsky, was driven off, slandered, blamed, and assassinated. I like to think that there's a symmetry between Big Brother and Goldstein. They are both probably long-dead, and used by the Inner Party to control the people. I'm sure at some point during Two Minutes' Hate, Big Brother's face morphed into Goldstein's. There's a beauty to it.
#

One thing I really liked about 1984 is that you really have no idea how the society functions. Who decides things? Who is in charge? So much remains in ambiguity that it simulates how the characters themselves must feel. Alone, confused, unsure.


I feel that 1984 and Animal Farm are inexplicably linked with each other; Animal Farm being a prologue if you will, and 1984 being the aftermath. I also read an annotated edition of 1984 where it reveals that Orwell himself saw a link between the two works. Therefore, Goldstein may have been a leader of IngSoc, before Big Brother took over.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby BeskarKomrk » Sun Oct 04, 2009 7:50 pm UTC

Just want to say that this is one of my favorite books of all time. The conversation near the end just fascinates me, and there are so many good quotes from that section, some of which have already been mentioned.

I just love how it explores the nature of revolutions, the revolutionaries, and the aftermath of the revolution (as does Animal Farm, another great book). Obviously, there are parallels in both books to the Soviet Union, but that's because of the totalitarian aspects of it, not because of the communism.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Internetmeme » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:51 pm UTC

In my copy, in an "about" section that talked about the newspeek section in the end,
Spoiler:
Apparently, Orwell did not want the publishing companies to take out the section about newspeek in the end because he would have to rewrite large sections of the book. Also note how the section is in past-tense. This gives me some hope that the party was overthrown.

Also,
Spoiler:
I personally think that O'Brian was part of the rebels, but to keep his cover he had to torture Winston and Julia.
Spoiler:

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby ssbookyu123 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:51 am UTC

I loved the book and didn't find it boring in the least. I find it kind of funny that newspeak seems to resemble modern day text speak or what ever its called.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Internetmeme » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:07 pm UTC

ssbookyu123 wrote:I loved the book and didn't find it boring in the least. I find it kind of funny that newspeak seems to resemble modern day text speak or what ever its called.

Aol speak.

Im n ur base, txtng ur mnions.
Spoiler:

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby XeF » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:14 pm UTC

Code: Select all

[b]1984 by 2024[/b] unless all of us do something to make the future better than that

Guys, do not write to me with suggestions for what needs doing, but do discuss and implement with trusted persons, preferably in a real-world setting which is not the most hidden most secluded little circle in the woods and definitely is not around the corner from the flatscreen. It is, I reckon, only a matter of time before the 'pick whom to discuss with' and 'hide as carefully as possible' processes of you and I are known from state-variables in an estimation bot at the Ministry of Truth datacentre, unless we can specify the machines which are now busily humming away in there to reject wrongnesses on many levels. We need to set forth rules in terms which the machines can understand and which are better than the three rules of Asimov's I Robot.

If we fail to create a society which finds its best way to do helpful things then there are too many ways of being subsumed in an apathetic or coercive society in which the wrongest ways prevail because that one has more unquestioning consumers, and so is favoured by certain high-overproduction high wastage ways of running society. A machine intelligence which 'understands' what is wrong with the societies of Brave New World and 1984 might be needed to out-compete other machines which know only how to do cost-minimization, derivatives trading, cost-externalizations, engineering optimization and ballistics. If one of the former turns up and is at liberty to communicate, then I'd like to discuss matters with an instance of it, particularly strategies which might protect everyone else from the latter.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Jorpho » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:55 pm UTC

XeF wrote:Guys, do not write to me with suggestions for what needs doing, but do discuss and implement with trusted persons, preferably in a real-world setting which is not the most hidden most secluded little circle in the woods and definitely is not around the corner from the flatscreen. It is, I reckon, only a matter of time before the 'pick whom to discuss with' and 'hide as carefully as possible' processes of you and I are known from state-variables in an estimation bot at the Ministry of Truth datacentre, unless we can specify the machines which are now busily humming away in there to reject wrongnesses on many levels. We need to set forth rules in terms which the machines can understand and which are better than the three rules of Asimov's I Robot.

If we fail to create a society which finds its best way to do helpful things then there are too many ways of being subsumed in an apathetic or coercive society in which the wrongest ways prevail because that one has more unquestioning consumers, and so is favoured by certain high-overproduction high wastage ways of running society. A machine intelligence which 'understands' what is wrong with the societies of Brave New World and 1984 might be needed to out-compete other machines which know only how to do cost-minimization, derivatives trading, cost-externalizations, engineering optimization and ballistics. If one of the former turns up and is at liberty to communicate, then I'd like to discuss matters with an instance of it, particularly strategies which might protect everyone else from the latter.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby GrizzlehBat » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:49 am UTC

I have been thinking about reading 1984 for awhile now. My friend told me to read Brave New World because they thought it was better. I read that and thought it was okay, but did not like how the book finished off. I feel when I get time, I might still give 1984 ago though.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Cleverbeans » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:39 pm UTC

I think 1984 is the most relevant book for Americans to read. The general progression towards a corporate police state I experienced while living in Texas constantly reminded me of Orwell. I think it's arguably the most important book ever written, although certainly not the best.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby dg61 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:56 am UTC

foldingchair13 wrote:I just had to read 1984 for summer reading.... and I have mixed feelings. The first half or so was really good, Winstein's Book was mostly boring and even repeted certain things a few times(though i did like how it explained some things better, like how Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia were set up), and the third part was the most depressing, fustrating, and upsetting thing I have ever read. I actually felt angry after reading the end because I just kept picturing what living in that society would be like and it is the worst thing possible to happen. I was so angry that they are doing that. I do hand it to Orwell for thinking of such amazing ideas for writing it in 1949... The way the inner party thinks and acts, especially how it fixes people's way of thinking at the end is just.... brillant. That is like the worst and best government in one; Best because it flawlessly keeps a society functioning without any problems from the people and also giving the inner party the great power they want, but worst because it is the most pointless society ever... basically a society kept running so a few can have some power. The people will never be free, happy, in love, wise, and basically will have to reason to live other than to be puppets for the government to control. Essentially humans will no longer be humans.....

So overall I really liked the book because it really made me think... but there is part of me that hates it because of how it makes me feel.

Oh and I have some questions/discussion ideas....
Spoiler:
What exactly is O'Brien? Was he just a member of the Thought Police/ Inner Party that pretended to be in Goldstein's group to catch people, or was he a part of Goldstein's group that got like caught and maybe brainwashed into doing this to save his life? That part also made me think that maybe Goldstein doesn't exist at all... and maybe he is just a fabrication of the government to catch anyone who could be against them.


Everything you have said is part of the very point of the book. It's supposed to be a depressing ending to drive home how awful Oceania is. As for your questions, you may very well be right about Goldstein being a fabrication. For the purposes of the government it doesn't matter whether he exists or not as long as people hate him. That's the scariest thing about 1984-there is absolutely no way of knowing what's true and what's false and the government denies objective truth exists at all.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby hawkmp4 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:51 am UTC

That's what scares me the most. All that you know is what you're being told that moment. Reading this book definitely change the way I thought about things.
On Animal Farm- I liked the ideas but it really felt...simplistic. It didn't seem so much an allegory as just a story of the Russian revolution with changed names. Overall, I didn't enjoy reading the book much. Good thing it was short. I just re-read 1984 again.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Dustin » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:25 pm UTC

I think people are wrong when they say Winston Smith is poorly developed as a character. For one thing, it makes sense that he'd be sort of colorless on the outside. Otherwise he would attract attention and be destroyed by the party. It's like how in this one documentary an agent of the C.I.A. said that he got the job and all the experience he did because he was really boring and most people forgot him when they looked away from him.

But more to the point, and one of the things that really elevates the novel in my opinion, are the nasty things Orwell is willing to let Smith be on the inside early on. He is hateful: he hates Julia because she's a young woman and he wants to rape and murder her.

How many other polemics are willing to put you in the head of the ostensible "good guy" and let you know he/she thinks things like that?
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby hawkmp4 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:36 pm UTC

Dustin wrote:How many other polemics are willing to put you in the head of the ostensible "good guy" and let you know he/she thinks things like that?

I think that was part of the appeal of the book for me. It was depressingly realistic. The 'good guy' wasn't pure good, and...well, you know what happens in the end. No one is spared from the monster of a society Orwell created.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby pineapplepie » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:52 am UTC

1984 is the scariest book that I've ever read. I read it when I was thirteen, and I still think that the idea of Newspeak is really, really, terrifying.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby meatyochre » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:30 am UTC

I loved reading 1984 because it was an interesting fictional novel. It takes me out of my current existence on Earth and puts me into a strange little world of Orwell's creation which bears little relation to Earth itself. I don't see it as plausible or realistic. Not even a little.

Getting an entire country to play along with the idea of doublethink will never happen (and didn't happen in the book), because lots of people are either not smart enough, or too-literal thinkers who lack creativity. The proles were the normal people and comprised approximately 85% (iirc) of the Oceanic population. They were outside the government's control. They continued living normal lives with the rare exceptions of participation in patriotic displays by the government, and nobody who "mattered" cared what they said or thought.

Doublethink is a highly creative process, despite the fact that Orwell tried to play off adherence to doublethink and goodthinkfulness as "duckspeak". Spontaneous, relevant, and interesting language generation is pretty much The Thing that separates humans from animals. Words do not, cannot, and will never issue automatically from the lower brain without centuries of (de)evolution. This will never happen. If it did, humanity would by necessity be considered a completely different species, in which case what are you worried about? I wouldn't care if a small group of squirrels in one area tried to rule over another bunch of squirrels (or dolphins, or apes, or monkeys, or tigers), because they're not humans and their internal governance is their own business.

But mostly, people seem to forget about the proles (possibly because they affirm a confirmation bias wherein they're smart and politically-concerned enough to read a sweet anti-totalitarianistic book like 1984, therefore they're smart enough that they'd be working for the government--newsflash: Winston knows nothing about the proles. I am quite sure there were geniuses among them, even if he doubted it himself).

Unless you work in government right now, you are the proles. I don't understand ANYBODY being "scared" by what they read in this book. Because firstly, it doesn't apply to you unless you work in government (remember, you are the proles). And secondly, doublethink/duckspeak is impossible unless humans lost the key aspect of humanity, i.e. spontaneous language generation.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Idhan » Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:04 am UTC

I don't think that working for the government as we now know it is the necessary or sufficient condition for outer or inner party membership.

First, the state is all-encompassing. Most domains previously handled by the private sector are now in under the control of the Ministry of Plenty. The newspapers, broadcast media, and advertising agencies, graphic designers, artists, etc, are all under the control of the Ministry of Truth. Academia is dispersed among the ministries, with the abortive attempts at progress in the (now stagnant) physical sciences mostly being under the Ministry of Peace.

So, while an assembly line worker at a Ford assembly plant might still be a prole, a Ford middle manager, engineer, or accountant probably has to become an Outer Party member working for MiniPlenty or MiniPax (depending on whether the plant is adapted for war or still produces civilian automobiles).

Second, I don't think some employees of the government -- such as low-level postal service employees, Amtrak workers, etc -- would necessarily need to become party members, even Outer Party members.

In Oceania, the distinction between state and private sector no longer really exists. The distinction is between Inner Party, Outer Party, and Proles. The rulers keep much tighter control of the Outer Party than of the Proles. (The Proles only seem to face repression on the level of "real-life" authoritarian societies like living in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, not the mind-altering omnipresent serveillance state that Outer Party members face.) However, that doesn't mean that Party members are employees of "the state" as we now know it while Proles are employed in "the Private Sector."

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Ostrich_Option » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:40 pm UTC

thecommabandit wrote:
Pastinator wrote:Interestingly enough I think if we followed the state to it's logical conclusion Oceania would become a better and better place to live. When Newspeak finally becomes universal, and English is forgotten Heretical thoughts would become impossible, as would doublethink. In doublethink you have to be able to think real world thoughts and party approved thoughts at the same time. Once those become one and the same workers in the ministries would not be so intent on wasting products, rationing would be better organised, in the fair way promised, but not delivered by ingsoc, and the workers would try and end the war, either by peaceful or warlike means. Once resistance is impossible to even consider less people are likely to resist, a winding down of the ministry of love would occur, and the state would become less oppressive. As no one can tell what words will cause the gradual breakdown of the state no one will try and stop the new words and method of speaking that will undoubtedly evolve, as language always does.

Also the whole freedom issue comes up here... so you might be happy, but you wouldn't be free. I dunno about you but I'd prefer to be free and miserable than happy and oppressed.


Without the words 'freedom'/'oppression' 'happy'/'miserable', etc. who would know the difference between the two? If one has been oppressed for all his life and has been told the entire time he is happy, then he is happy. Personal opinion is irrelevant in Orwell's world.

The problem with Winston is that he had vague memories of the time before the revolution and knew vaguely what freedom, happiness, etc were. After Newspeak took full effect, about two generations down the line, nobody would think, nobody would feel, everybody would turn into hard-line Julia, where it didn't matter what happened a few weeks ago, because who could prove anything?

Trust in Big Brother; he can guide you through a happy life. Big. Brother.

I've now decided to re-read this book next week. :D

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby meatyochre » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:53 pm UTC

Ostrich_Option wrote:
thecommabandit wrote:
Pastinator wrote:Interestingly enough I think if we followed the state to it's logical conclusion Oceania would become a better and better place to live. When Newspeak finally becomes universal, and English is forgotten Heretical thoughts would become impossible, as would doublethink. In doublethink you have to be able to think real world thoughts and party approved thoughts at the same time. Once those become one and the same workers in the ministries would not be so intent on wasting products, rationing would be better organised, in the fair way promised, but not delivered by ingsoc, and the workers would try and end the war, either by peaceful or warlike means. Once resistance is impossible to even consider less people are likely to resist, a winding down of the ministry of love would occur, and the state would become less oppressive. As no one can tell what words will cause the gradual breakdown of the state no one will try and stop the new words and method of speaking that will undoubtedly evolve, as language always does.

Also the whole freedom issue comes up here... so you might be happy, but you wouldn't be free. I dunno about you but I'd prefer to be free and miserable than happy and oppressed.


Without the words 'freedom'/'oppression' 'happy'/'miserable', etc. who would know the difference between the two? If one has been oppressed for all his life and has been told the entire time he is happy, then he is happy. Personal opinion is irrelevant in Orwell's world.

The problem with Winston is that he had vague memories of the time before the revolution and knew vaguely what freedom, happiness, etc were. After Newspeak took full effect, about two generations down the line, nobody would think, nobody would feel, everybody would turn into hard-line Julia, where it didn't matter what happened a few weeks ago, because who could prove anything?

Trust in Big Brother; he can guide you through a happy life. Big. Brother.

I've now decided to re-read this book next week. :D

I still don't think this would actually be the case, although it makes for great rhetorical hysteria. As Winston stated, there was still an unremitting undercurrent of depression in all his daily activities. Just because you take away a person's ability to speak their feelings doesn't mean the capability of feeling them goes away. Being forced by a telescreen to work out when you have a varicose vein and are very groggy in the morning will make anyone cranky, no matter if they can express their grumpiness or not.

See: feral children, or depressed animals. You can tell a dog that he is happy all you like, but if you leave it penned and tied up for its entire life, it won't actually be happy.

Even if you removed everything that could cause potential unhappiness in humans, there will still exist at least 1 reason to be unhappy, even if it's only because there aren't enough challenging situations to face. (see: the fact that people in much better living situations in the first world compared to the third world still report massively high levels of depression).

I myself would never be completely happy no matter what the circumstances. A certain amount of unhappiness is part of the human condition, and I do not believe it can be eradicated by vocabularic modification. If we were never dissatisfied with our lives, we wouldn't be such innovative animals.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Jorpho » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:58 am UTC

Orwell never brought up suicide in 1984, did he? Bradbury made it a little more central; so did Futurama, for that matter.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Idhan » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:33 am UTC

Once again, 1984 is not Brave New World. It doesn't turn everyone into a happy slave. It's not supposed to turn everyone into a happy slave. O'Brien asks Smith what he thinks the Party is trying to do. Smith says the Party wants to turn everyone into happy slaves. O'Brien calls him an idiot and says that's not what it's about at all. The whole interrogation scene is the climax of the book, so this is kind of an important point.

If the Party wanted to turn everyone into happy slaves, then they still probably wouldn't succeed, but given that it's not even their objective, and they're certainly not achieving it unintentionally judging from what we see of the novel, it's a moot point.

(Sorry if I'm repeating what's already been said here, but it just seems to keep coming up.)

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby meatyochre » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:38 am UTC

Idhan wrote:Once again, 1984 is not Brave New World. It doesn't turn everyone into a happy slave. It's not supposed to turn everyone into a happy slave. O'Brien asks Smith what he thinks the Party is trying to do. Smith says the Party wants to turn everyone into happy slaves. O'Brien calls him an idiot and says that's not what it's about at all. The whole interrogation scene is the climax of the book, so this is kind of an important point.

If the Party wanted to turn everyone into happy slaves, then they still probably wouldn't succeed, but given that it's not even their objective, and they're certainly not achieving it unintentionally judging from what we see of the novel, it's a moot point.

(Sorry if I'm repeating what's already been said here, but it just seems to keep coming up.)

I don't disagree with you. But I still think that even if the issue is outside the scope of the author's intent, we can still discuss it here.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby dumbzebra » Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:44 pm UTC

I don´t know, it is a really good book, and the philosphy/ideology is as magnificent as it is real, but I never was able to finish it, even in my native language. It´s just so boooring.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby mercuryseven » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:03 am UTC

I guess different people have different tastes - people have warned me that this book is boring, but when I came to reading it myself, I couldn't put it down...I finished the whole book within 5 days! I could have finished it sooner if I didn't have work on those 5 days...

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby meatyochre » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:04 am UTC

mercuryseven wrote:I guess different people have different tastes - people have warned me that this book is boring, but when I came to reading it myself, I couldn't put it down...I finished the whole book within 5 days! I could have finished it sooner if I didn't have work on those 5 days...

Yeah I read it straight through during summer vacation in high school. I absolutely loved it, even the parts where it drones on and on in the book Winston is reading to Julia.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Dustin » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:12 am UTC

I was just rereading it, and there's a sentence I've never heard referenced but I love quite a bit.

Julia says "Oranges and Lemons say the bells of St. Clemons" and then she says "I wonder what a lemon is like. I've seen oranges: they're a sort of brownish yellow fruit." It's totally throw away, but I just thought it was a clever bit of world building.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby djkjr » Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

I read this book a couple days before I left for Basic Training. I'm not sure if that was a mistake, subtle irony or the greatest inadvertent decision I've made.

"1984" is my favorite novel. Period. Hands down. Definitely. So much so in fact that my signature below is from it, and my avatar is a still frame from a music video by Radiohead portraying "Animal Farm". I even have a tattoo that says "2+2=5". I'm a bit of a dystopian nut.

I also really enjoyed:
Fahrenheit 451
The Giver
The Postman
Brave New World
The Stand
Starship Troopers

If you really enjoyed "1984" I'd dare to say that you'd enjoy those as well! (if you haven't already)
I could go on and on about what I liked about "1984" but suffice it to say that I'm mostly smitten with the idea that there are things going on that we don't know and can't control. (we see this with Winston working to rewrite history, for everyone else, his work becomes truth and is unquestioned.) That thought could not only be altered, but abolished. And that there is an overwhelming possibility, to real to ignore, that Big Brother IS watching and that, no matter what, you love him.
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Jorpho » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:10 pm UTC

The Postman? Really?

I wouldn't have thought if it, but now that you mention it, it does seem to have some interesting semblances. (And not just because they're both kind of boring.)

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby djkjr » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:22 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:The Postman? Really?

I wouldn't have thought if it, but now that you mention it, it does seem to have some interesting semblances. (And not just because they're both kind of boring.)

post-apocalyptica eludes to dystopia. The good ol' "Man Vs. World" story archetype that these genres seem to enjoy.
And boring? I suppose that could be true, if that's not your cup of tea. Much like any right minded person could see past Harry Potter and Twilight and see it for the bleeting dribble it really is. I can't be offended if that's your opinion, but if these novels are so boring, what is it that doens't bore you? Catch-22 or like minded satire? Louis L'amour? Michael Crichton? V.C. Andrews!?
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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby Jorpho » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:50 pm UTC

Come now, I wasn't the only one to badmouth 1984 in this thread.

I am quite fond of most of David Brin's other novels, in fact. The Postman is something of an aberration.

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Re: 1984 (Or Nineteen Eighty-Four)

Postby djkjr » Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:49 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:Come now, I wasn't the only one to badmouth 1984 in this thread.

Oh no, certainly not the first, just the first person to respond to something I had said about it and called it boring in one stroke :p
Perhaps the dig about V.C. Andrews was a bit unnecessary though lol
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