Katherine Kelly's Reviews > 1984

1984 by George Orwell
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Nov 15, 10

bookshelves: classics
Read in October, 2010

This is such a classic, and so often referred to in other works, that I felt like I must have read it but couldn't remember the specifics of the plot so I decided to re-read it. It made a profound impact on me - I can't believe a book written so long ago could have such application for the world we live in now:

- Newspeak: Reminds me of how we've started adjusting our language based on texting and tweeting...of course it's not backed by the political reasoning in the book but still an interesting parallel.

- Big brother: We may not have big brother per se but through social media we as a society are almost starting to act together as a sort of big brother. Think about people getting fired for Facebook/Twitter update. Or the "Flesh Search" trend in China (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/mag...) where people use the internet to find, and punish, people for morality crimes that the community has deemed "illegal"

There are more of course but those two stand out to me. If you haven't read this book since high school I recommend picking it up again and reading it in the context of our daily news (for example, in the book they defend the "war is peace" line by explaining how beneficial war is to keeping society running...then consider our ongoing war with dubious beginnings and see how your perspective shifts) I think you'll get a lot of insight out of it.
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