Silvana’s review of 1984 > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Your highly literate and perceptive review and the fact that you live in Indonesia moves me to make the following comment about what has indeed come to pass in the land and place where Orwell sited the action of his masterpiece of dystopian (the word you were looking for exists) fiction.
London in 2008 has many of the features forecast in the book: - video police surveillance cameras recording the citizens' movements are everywhere; the proletarian underclass is completely debased with no knowledge of its own history or vision of its own future; this class is permanently infantilised by welfare dependency which removes its motivation for thought and action; the government propagates lies about its motives and actions; official beaurocracy attempts to track and record actions of the citizens far beyond what is necessary for normal govenment; a popular TV programme 'Big Brother' replicates the experience of being constantly watched using as its title and inspiration the theme of "1984"; I could go on. To get the full horror of the current situation in England read Theodore Dalrymple. I recently attended a meeting in room 101 of Birkbeck College, close to the London University Senate House where the film of "1984" with Richard Burton as Winston was made (in 1984) and there were no rat cages, just a group of very oppressive health service beaurocrats manadating how I do my work. "1984" is a warning about trends in centralised government that is as important today as it was when it was first written.


message 2: by Silvana (new)

Silvana Thank you for your comment.

I always think with the development of ICT nowadays, the dystopian world in 1984 is not impossible, if not highly probable.

The government always lies and do horrible things in the name of "democracy and transparency", but the one thing that kinda made me shiver when reading your above statement is that (and i quote) "the proletarian underclass is completely debased with no knowledge of its own history or vision of its own future". OMG, that's exactly what happens in my country. We absorb anything like a sponge without thinking about the consequences. Maybe because the economy is not too great, we're a developing country, people got to think about how find a cup of rice first rather than thinking about history or vision. Do you think so? Developing countries will have more difficulties compared with developed countries/welfare states to defend their own individuality as a nation?

Who's Theodore Dalrymple? I could google him, but I guess it'll be better your version first.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Theodore Dalrymple is the nom de plume of a psychyaitrist and prison doctor (real name Anthony Daniels- he has 'come out' now that he has retired) who writes brilliant essays on the state of the underclass in Britain based on his experiences as a slum doctor. Some of his essays are literary criticism of the highest order, always taking lessons from the past to illuminate present ills. These essays have been collected in three books: 'Life at the bottom'; 'Our culture what's left of it' and most recently 'Not with a bang but a whimper'. The only rational response to these Jeremiads is to emigrate from Britain, which is what he and hordes of my compatriots (350,000 a year) have done and are doing. All his books, including full length ones on drugs and modern medicine are available in print on Amazon.co.uk. You will read some of my reviews of them there under the pseudonym 'post enlightenment rationalist'.

About developing countries you might look up his essay 'what is poverty' in 'Life at the Bottom' for a view on how welfare dependency takes away dignity in a way that needing to work for a cup of rice never does.

As your great country (I mean that) develops, it should avoid the trap of setting up an unrestricted welfare state, which is the door to more misery than I can describe in a few sentences. Of course influences will come in from abroad and that can be good; but if you preserve your core culture as the Japanese and French do you will create your own unique blend of the the new and old which you can be proud of in the community of nations.



message 4: by Laikhuram (last edited Sep 07, 2009 02:18PM) (new)

Laikhuram I think you're spot on when you said 1984 is an antithesis of Utopia. You're also right when you say Hitler, Mao, Stalin and others set up those totalitarian regimes, that they were tyrannical despotists. There is no insult or crime more worse than an attempt to control somebody's conscience, and mind. I was looking for something further than that in that analysis of yours actually. As I was reading your review. I was hoping that you'd come to the point . But you never did.

The point being, WE, including you, today, are living in an age when our conscience are insulted every moment of our being. And the idea that those regimes of the past- Stalin and Mao- were Room 101 and that it doesn't exist in today's society couldn't be more wrong. In fact today, it is much worse than the tyrannies and fallacies of the then Stalinist or Maoist regimes. If we really exam our lives deeply today, right from the moment we wake up till the very next day we wake up again, i.e., 24 hours a day, we are being manipulated systematically. Everything we think is good for us and the world are almost running in contrast to Nature. The amount of manipulation and diversion, what the Church did in its history amounts to just a jingle of what's happening now. This time, it's through less use of force and more of psychology. Look at how the Iraq War or the Vietnam War was sold to the American public to get their support. Look at the latest thing you bought and how advertisements about it made you believe you actually needed it. Look at how you feel you should look like after seeing those "models" on various ads on TVs, newspapers and magazines. Look at all the news and entertainment that are broadcasted everywhere. It's complete mayhem. The truth has been blocked. They cover up everything thats true. Remember Enron before its collapse. How people used to believe how majestic a company Enron was? And then the truth came it. But again, Enron was was just an instance, a small error in the chain of rackets. A small leak in a huge huge vessel.

Now, the bigger question, WHO's controlling the media and what for? Who's using it as a tool to bend our thoughts and action (and emotions). Who's using it, I have a slight idea, but what for, I am still not very sure. Who then? It's the bloody corporations, my friend. Yes, they are the culprits. We just need to have a basic common sense inorder to realise this. The corporations (IBM, GE, Monsanto, DuPont, Standard Oil, Shell, American Express, Citibank, Ford, General Motors, AIG, Exxon Mobile, Philip Morris, Chevron, etc., etc.) by using their tools- "democratic" governments" and media- are having a ball. It's not a coincidence that today people around the world are reading less and less unless its some kind of ghost story or a romance book or a murder mystery. Tell me, how many of your friends actually discuss Orwell or Thoreau or Dostoevsky or Paine or Chomsky or Tolstoy, and those many others, today? Youths are made to believe that if they can make it to a career in a firm in a Wall Street they are the brightest of intellectuals, when in fact, they are just robots and machines these corporations use. In the long run they are syndicates. Others are not left behind too. They are made to believe that they can head for the Wall Street or something similar if they follow and compete with these group of robot thugs and robbers.

We live in a shell today and we don't even know it. No, we don't even try to know it. I guess those who lived under Stalin were much luckier than WE. At least they had the caption of knowing who they were up against.

NOTE:

Do you know that:
a) The three richest people have assets that exceed the combined GDP of 48 least developed countries.
b) The 15 richest have assets that exceed the GDP of Sub Saharan Africa
c) The assets of 84 richest exceed the GDP of China.



message 5: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Laikhuram wrote: "I think you're spot on when you said 1984 is an antithesis of Utopia. You're also right when you say Hitler, Mao, Stalin and others set up those totalitarian regimes, that they were tyrannical desp..."
He didn't "come to the point" because he wasn't getting into political polemics in a modern context in his review of a classic novel.

He let you do that, though.

Sigh.


message 6: by Silvana (new)

Silvana I just have to smile. Thanks Gott for clarifying. I didn't mind critics, but at the same time I treat my reviews as my way of self-expression. If I don't feel like making a serious, fact-laden, research-based one, then I'd just write a casual one.
PS: I'm a woman :-D


message 7: by Vegas (new)

Vegas I <3 ur rvw. Awsm wrttn.

Lol I wish I could write like they did in the book... Translation is

I really liked your review. It was awesomely written.


message 8: by Silvana (new)

Silvana Vegas wrote: "I <3 ur rvw. Awsm wrttn.

Lol I wish I could write like they did in the book... Translation is

I really liked your review. It was awesomely written."

thank you, glad you like it. don't hesitate to read other Orwell's works! He's a literature god.


message 9: by Anonymousity (new)

Anonymousity Thank you for giving credit to this novel :) it's my favorites by far, but it seems that people just read it in high school and don't THINK about it. A travesty, really. This book opened up my mind to so many things.

I'm always on the hunt for new dystopian novels; do you know of any good ones? I try to steer clear of dystopian romances, with the exception of a few such as Feed, but I have read many, including:

A brave new world
We
Hunger Games trilogy
Fahrenheit 451
The Giver

And others... They're on my books list. Ciao! :)


message 10: by Silvana (new)

Silvana Anonymousity wrote: "Thank you for giving credit to this novel :) it's my favorites by far, but it seems that people just read it in high school and don't THINK about it. A travesty, really. This book opened up my mind..."

hi there, thanks for the comment.

dystopian novels, I haven't read many of them. I did read a brave new world (awesome) & fahrenheit 451 (good). I am planning to read The Handmaid's Tale, people say it's a great dystopian novel


message 11: by Moon (new)

Moon if you liked this, check out
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/76171
it's where orwell says he got the story from. but zamyatin is more poetic. you'll probably love it. its like 1984 that you can taste and smell too.


message 12: by Silvana (new)

Silvana Moon wrote: "if you liked this, check out
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/76171
it's where orwell says he got the story from. but zamyatin is more poetic. you'll probably love it. its like 1984 that you can ..."


Hi Moon,

Thanks for stopping by and the recommendation. I have included the book in my wish list ;)


message 13: by Alejandro (new)

Alejandro I agree completely. When someone recently asked me what the scariest book I had ever read was, expecting me to mention Lovecraft, Stephen King or someone similar, I surprised them mentioning this. You see... vampires, zombies, flesh-eating demons don't exist. The stuff that happens in this book is happening right now(to some degree), and the world depicted here may become a reality at any time, if we let it.


message 14: by Kate (new)

Kate I want to read this book. But I'm in grade 7 should I bother. Or am I too young?


message 15: by Silvana (new)

Silvana Kate wrote: "I want to read this book. But I'm in grade 7 should I bother. Or am I too young?"

Hmm I don't think there's anything wrong if you want to read this book now :) It is one of the most recommended classics of all time.

However, I suggest you re-read it by the time you reach your 20s, because I believe it would give you another perspective.

Happy reading!


message 16: by Elen (new)

Elen Neuve George Orwell comletely ripped off his 1984 from Yevgeny Zamyatin 's We (published in 1921)
Yevgeny Zamyatin 's We novel is much better. I recommend it to everyone who liked 1984
Zamyatin E.Мы


message 17: by Silvana (new)

Silvana Lala wrote: "George Orwell comletely ripped off his 1984 from Yevgeny Zamyatin 's We (published in 1921)
Yevgeny Zamyatin 's We novel is much better. I recommend it to everyone who liked 1984
[author:Zamyatin..."


Interesting, Lala, thanks for the information. Is it possible to get an online copy? I suppose the copyright has expired?


message 18: by Beverleynan (new)

Beverleynan Rfrddddssed


message 19: by John (new)

John I read in an introduction to some edition of 1984, it may have been Penguin Classics but not sure, where the person writing the intro ( some professor or other) offered the opinion that 1984 has quite a few flaws if considered as a work of literary art. Perhaps because Orwell may have deliberately compromised layers of subtlety in order to get his point across. He was getting seriously ill, and wanted to make some kind of ultra-serious 'gloves-off' statement about the dangers of totalitarianism that would be understood by a great many people. He didn't want the fundamental message (no pun intended!) to be buried under layers of 'arty' ambiguity. Well that's MY belief. Orwell once described himself deprecatingly as a sort of 'pamphleteer', hated the way many public figures used language manipulatively and strived for conciseness and clarity in his own work.


message 20: by Silvana (new)

Silvana John wrote: "I read in an introduction to some edition of 1984, it may have been Penguin Classics but not sure, where the person writing the intro ( some professor or other) offered the opinion that 1984 has qu..."

Good info, John, many thanks!

WHat other works of Orwell that have become your favorite?


message 21: by Virgil09 (new)

Virgil09 I like the book but am afraid of it's realities


message 22: by Silvana (new)

Silvana Virgil09 wrote: "I like the book but am afraid of it's realities"

who doesn't :D


message 23: by Juveria (new)

Juveria I love your review. It's very enlightening and explanatory with out revealing too much information. I just started to read it and was a bit confused in terms of the novels geographical setting.


message 24: by Silvana (new)

Silvana Thanks, glad to help :)


message 25: by Steven (new)

Steven Gabaldon Great review! Mind if i use a part of your review in my advertising essay? :D


message 26: by Silvana (new)

Silvana Thanks, sure


message 27: by Baiyun (new)

Baiyun a great book,i think


message 28: by Aiden (new)

Aiden Good review.


message 29: by Silvana (new)

Silvana Thank you :)


message 30: by Andy (new)

Andy I think that the book has more to it than the slogans and it’s more about how Winston is trapped in that world and can’t escape and the government is controlling the world and someday the world might be the way that the book puts the government.


message 31: by Silvana (new)

Silvana Yes, that's very possible indeed.


message 32: by Mina (new)

Mina Felton I loved your review. I just stated the book last night and I must admit that it has given me a very dark and eerie feeling while reading it. I wonder if this feeling will last throughout the entire novel.
Your review made me excited to keep reading! Thanks!


message 33: by Silvana (new)

Silvana My pleasure! It is indeed one of the best books ever. Treasure each moment.


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