read / discuss / question

Links / Related: Epilogue / Cool: The Written Pixel

Login:    Password:      Don't have a username? Register!

Discussion > Science-Fiction > 1984


Eldritch (October 12th, 2002, 11:06 am)

I just finished 1984 some days ago, and I'm ready to discuss it... Maybe even make a "book report" for you guys(and girl)? Anyway, what do you think of it, do you even consider it Sci-fi, etc...? RANT!


Wanderer (October 12th, 2002, 11:34 am)

Well, the thought just shot through my head that it's somewhat questionable to call 1984 science fiction. I seem to recall it doesn't really has that much futuristic (or even non-futuristic) science stuff in it, and i must say i've read it more as a social dillema book too. But it has a good (provocating, disturbing?) description of a world that is not but could be, and therefore i guess it does fit somewhat under the label of science fiction.

For one thing i find it highly amusing - not to mention a clear display of stupidty - that TV-stations and production houses took the one of the things mr. Orwell warned against and turned it into an amusement show.

By the way, did anyone ever read other novells in the same style as 1984, books like "Mockingbird" (Walter Tevis), or "Brave New World" (Aldous Huxley)? One thing i noticed in those books is that all the worlds they are set in have much similarities. For instance the dormitories (or factories) the children are born and raised in, or how mankind lives a numbed existence, void of emotion. I don't know if it's coincidental, but i found it rather remarkable that all those books share so much similar elements, while telling whole different stories.

Go ahead!

Semirrahge (October 13th, 2002, 12:54 am)

1984 is considered to be Science Fiction, perhaps simply because its certainly not any other genre. Remember too that when it was written, the setting is 35 years in the future.

I'd love to read your review, Eldritch - go for it!

Wanderer: I've not read the books you mentioned. I've never heard of "Mockingbird", and while I HAVE heard of "Brave New World", I've never taken the time to find it.

I also find it interesting that you noticed the similarities without noticing the point behind it. These stories are warnings, of course, against Communist/Socialist regimes. "1984" in particular is a terrific predictor of the Socialist mindset, Doublespeak coming to mind more and more frequently whenever I think about politics.

For those of you living in America, it should go to emphasise the extreme importance of remaining politically active in an effort to mantain the freedoms stated in the Constitution. Even if you live in some other country, you should at least remain minimally active.

This book was the start of my interest in Communism, the study of which eventually evolved into studying World Government and Political Science by the time I was 13. This having now evolved into my intense interest of behavioral sciences - a difficult-to-describe mix of Economics, Political Science, Social Studies and Psychology - you can see how seminal it was in shaping my current educational drives. After all, I was only 11 or so when I first read it.

Anyhow, I think perhaps that it may also have fixed my interest on the bleaker side of sci-fi, such as Cyberpunk and general Post-Apocalyptical stories. Then again, maybe I already liked things like that and just never had the opportunity to read them. Howe'er it was, I've had a nearly morbid (Is it really?) fascination with dark and depressing stories of society or people at their worst.

I'm getting totally off track of my original subject, so I'll just drop it here.

Go ahead!

Eldritch (October 13th, 2002, 1:13 am)

Semi, you should re-read if you read it at 11, you'll find a whole new depth. It isn't necessarily an attack on Communist regimes, but more of a sign of what may come, even in the U.S. or any other capitalist country, where the system tends to attack Communism to strengthen capitalist points of view. I think bith systems have their pros and cons.

Now that you mention Brave New World, it should also come to mind the book We. The two books, along with Orwell's 1984 are considered to be what are known as the Negative Utopias, as opposed to the books Utopia,City of the Sun and Christianopolis(all centuries old), known as the Positive Utopias.

Ben (October 13th, 2002, 5:16 am)

Nitpicky point: Orwell was, surprisingly enough, an ardent socialist. He was totally opposed to communism as practiced by the USSR etc., however.

As far as the "Big Brother" TV show, I think the title is excusable since it originated in the UK -- it's not horrific if it's quirky british wit. :)

About the Socialism...

Eldritch (October 14th, 2002, 1:39 am)

Orwell was an ardent socialist, that I knew, but he opposed to totalitarian socialist regimes :D


cruise (October 14th, 2002, 8:11 pm)

I got half-way through 1984 and got bored :P

I guess I'll have to finish it sometime...

Admittedly it did cause "Prole" to enter my volcabulary as a very useful and oft used description :P


Eldritch (October 14th, 2002, 11:45 pm)

Yeah...Like most peple I know... Dumb idiots with all the potential but lacking the brains to seize power :D. BTW, when are we gonna get emoticons? I WANT FUNNY FACES!!!!


Semirrahge (October 15th, 2002, 1:43 am)

You HAVE emoticons, just like hackers of yore...





If you think emoticons involve space-hogging images, then you have another think coming, young 'un. =) Being a purist, and a somewhat old-timer, I say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

ASCII faces continue to work for IRC and USENet users, they work for the (admittedly) small group of chat users who turn theirs off (me and some friends), and they should work for wet-behind-the-ears whippersnappers like yourself.


cruise (October 15th, 2002, 5:33 pm)

Agreed :D

I turn them off too.

So stop ya whining :P

=|:-)= Uncle Sam! :D

Narainsbrain (October 16th, 2002, 7:41 am)

To get back to Nineteen Eighty-Four: I read it many years back - I guess I was about forteen or something. I'd like to read it again, but the only copy I know of is in my school (in the library), and I'm not anymore (passed out, now in college). Bah, those parentheses really spoil the effect.

Go ahead and write the review, Eldritch! I think you got a little more material in this thread too - well, the first few posts to it, at least. ;)

Here's my take on it: in a broad swipe, it's a description of a dystopian ('negative utopia') scenario involving totalitarian administration and no individual freedom. Orwell was probably trying to invent a world in which the ruling system would have the most absolute power possible. The story ends on a bleak note, highlighting Orwell's point that such a system, if it were to come about, would be inescapable.

Ironic that Orwell supported socialism, but it becomes the enemy ('IngSoc') in his book. Could it be that because he supported it, he saw more clearly the grim possibilities that would ensue from its corruption?

Ben (October 16th, 2002, 1:36 pm)

I think Orwell was most likely using 'IngSoc' as he used phrases like 'The Department of Peace' -- which is to say, the totalitarian government twisting the word away from (what Orwell saw as) its original meaning. It's hard to know exactly what was going through Orwell's mind, but having occaisionally flirted with democratic socialism myself, hopefully I can offer some insight, or at least some triangulation.

That too...

Narainsbrain (October 17th, 2002, 7:15 am)

Yeah, you're proabaly right. I read 1984 such a long time ago that most of it has slipped my mind, and I probably can't offer any insight at all.


Ben (October 17th, 2002, 5:51 pm)

Most of it has slipped my mind, too; I read it in fifth grade. :) I've just read a fair amount about it since then.

Some other books you may enjoy

TheMythod (January 20th, 2004, 7:04 pm)

Catch 22, This Perfect Day (written by Ira Levin, I liked this better than Brave New World), Dinotopia(just kiddin'), Hiram Key, THE BIG BOOK OF CONSPIRACIES!!!

Some other books you may enjoy

Eldritch (January 20th, 2005, 11:33 pm)

I've read Brave New World now about 4 times or so. I like it. The characters are pretty memorable. I feel some things are a bit exaggerated, but it's a great book. maybe cause I identify the characters with people I know. Besides, i had to read it again for English class. Had a test on it yesterday.


cruise (March 25th, 2006, 12:32 pm)

It's a small world, isn't it?

I mentioned in another thread I got married...well, my wife is Aldous Huxley's great-grand-niece (I think I just made that nomenclature up - her great-grandfather was Julian Huxley, Aldous's brother, if that makes it any clearer).

How cool is that? :D


Eldritch (April 15th, 2006, 6:40 pm)

Wootness. Congratulations Cruise.

Discussion > Science-Fiction > 1984

Register to post.