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    1. #1
      Member Kaniaz's Avatar
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      Nineteen Eighty-Four

      Has anybody read this book? I finished reading it about a week ago and I really enjoyed it, absolutely fantastic novel. Very scary in a non-gore sort of way, actually. In short, it's about the goverment (called Big Brother, I suppose) controls the world. People are led to believe that Big Brother is looking out for them, but is in fact watching every move that they make. If you haven't read it, you must go read it now. Now, I said!

    2. #2
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      I read that book nearly a decade ago, but I still remember it pretty well. The moral of the story was, "LEARN HISTORY." The main way "Big Brother" maintained control was to cut people off from anything that had happened before their lifetime, and alter the language and culture so that people couldn't think very clearly about what they did remember. A lot of people say that Orwell anticipated the role of television with his thingamabobbers in every house.

      If you liked 1984, check out Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. These books are largely a refutation of utopia, pointing out what would actually happen if we tried to "end history" and create a society that neither relies on the past nor changes in the future.
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



    3. #3
      Member Amethyst Star's Avatar
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      I read both of those books together my senior year in high school. I actually liked them more in class than I would have had I read them on my own (because I had a good teacher). They probably wouldn't be something I'd read unless I had to, but 1984 was very intreiguing (sp?), not only in that it emphasises the need to learn from the past and the dangers of a highly supreme government and media, but also conveys a very real message about how the mind works and how easily people can be manipulated. Didn't like the ending, tho, but that's just me. Brave New World also focused on what could happen to a society if it were run almost entirely on emotions and pleasure rather than rational thought, and also how easily ppl can be manipulated.

      -Amé

      "If there was one thing the lucid dreaming ninja writer could not stand, it was used car salesmen."

    4. #4
      Member Kaniaz's Avatar
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      Yeah, it was that kind of ending that made you feel really sorry and all sour inside. That book was great though, gripped me from the first 2 paragraphs with the telescreen.

    5. #5
      Member Scruffy's Avatar
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      I read that book last summer, and found it very interesting. Personally, I think everyone should read that book, because it really shows us just how careful we have to be. It left me feeling sort of paranoid, and I still feel so, to some extent. It really made me wonder just how much our government might be doing, partly because I already see a bit too much control on their part. Certainly a thought-provoking read, though, and well worth the time for anyone.

      I don't altogether agree with a few of the ideas presented in the book, however. For example, Orwell says that the proles are too concerned with day-to-day life to do anything, and that is has been so throughout history. Knowing a few lower-class people, I can say that this is not altogether true.
      Well life is short, so love the one ya' got, 'cause you might get run over or you might get shot.

      ~Sublime

    6. #6
      What a delicious beating! Lomebririon's Avatar
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      I read that book, it was pretty good. when I first read it, I didn't appreciate the ending, but after it I read a book inspired by it called "Finding Elliot" or "Discovering Elliot" or something like that. Damn I wish I could remember the title!

      Well, it was about a kid who goes to a new school, but completely reinvents himself so he won't become a target for bullies like at his last school. When he starts, he isn't bullied and everything is going well, but he discovers that there is a group of students who control things like who fights who and whatnot.

      Well, in the book it talks about 1984. It examines the ending in another way.
      ------- Possible Spoilers: Turn away if you're going to read the book ------
      It talks about how Winston rebelled against the system and how he tried to live free, but was eventually captured and broken by those who control everything. When we read the end, we look at it like they tortured and abused him and his lover until they followed the order of things. We see a man who tried to live being defeated by big brother. But, if you look into the basic meaning of the writing, we see something else. Winston had actually won out over big brother. His will was so strong, he wanted freedom so badly that they could not change him. They had to pretty much destroy him and who he was to make him conform to their ways.
      The best times of your life should not be when you're still so young, or else you'll live a life always dreaming of the past.


    7. #7
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      Another great story that draws on 1984 is "Repent Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman by Harlan Ellison.

      Originally posted by Harlan Ellison
      Where did he get jelly beans?

      That's another good question. More than likely it will never be answered to your complete satisfaction. But then, how many questions ever are?
      That was the epigraph to my BFA thesis
      If you have a sense of caring for others, you will manifest a kind of inner strength in spite of your own difficulties and problems. With this strength, your own problems will seem less significant and bothersome to you. By going beyond your own problems and taking care of others, you gain inner strength, self-confidence, courage, and a greater sense of calm.Dalai Lama



    8. #8
      Member donbowyerson's Avatar
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      The books 1984 and Brave New World are both extremely good novels that show ways technology can negatively impact society. The visions of Orwell and Huxley are interestingly different, however. There is considerable room for debate regarding which author came closer to predicting the state of affairs today.

      Personally, I believe elements of Huxley's vision come much closer to what's happening in the "free" societies of the west. I also believe that some form of his vision will ultimately "win out" all over the world (over Orwell's communistic view). Communism isn't quite dead yet, and heavy handed regimes may still win the day. However, a highly socialized capitalistic democracy, where everybody thinks they're free, is a far more efficient way to keep the masses under control.

      Huxley's vision is quaintly expressed in terms that indicate the era it was written (published 1932). References to Henry Ford and condom belts seem a bit silly to us today, as well as terms like "feelies" (as opposed to the "talkies" of the time). But while "feelies" haven't materialized as of yet, our compulsion to buy things and enjoy sensuous pleasures is at an all-time high. And the idea of staying young right up until the day we die - well, that's here already. Is human cloning far behind? As for conditioning the children, well, that's another story...

      Both books should be read - and compared to each other. I'm still betting on Huxley's idea of what our "free" society will become - in many ways already has.
      The Bowyer's Son

    9. #9
      Member Belisarius's Avatar
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      I read the first half of 1984, but couldn't go on(It got very depressing and I already knew that the state was evil).

      I think it showed what many people thought would happen, another WWII with better technology. In WWII government powers everywhere asserted control over as much as they could(including in the US). The Three empires were probably meant to symbolize China, USandUK, and the USSR.

      I think the book illustrates more than anything the danger of war and the State. War is the health of the state, and indeed it is during wars and crises that governments have gained most of their powers and indeed almost all have arisen out of war.

      Overall I think Orwell vastly overestimated the economic abilities of such a State, I doubt it could survive even a few years and still exert such total control over its citizenry. Afterall, the Soviet Union had extreme problems without constant total war and exertion of such strict control.

      I think the worst it could get is an extremely socialized and yet still capitalist(in as few places as possible) democratic nation. Under this system the rich would remain rich because they still pull the strings, and the poor would remain(as they are now) in ignorance as they are led around by their shepherds.

      I would take issue with people saying the poor do care about politics, they only care when people in power offer them money and benefits(almost always with strings attached to keep the rich and powerful in power) in exchange for votes.

    10. #10
      Member sephiroth clock's Avatar
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      I read 1984 and enjoyed it greatly. But I would love for someone to clarify the ending for me. I still don't understand why he "loved" big brother. Did he give in and live the ways of the party or what?
      Oohhumm

    11. #11
      Member Scruffy's Avatar
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      The ending of 1984 is basically the effect of extensive mind conditioning on Winston. Basically, the Party has trained him to think like they want him to, and part of that is loving big brother. Remember the part where he was being told to see 5 fingers instead of four? It's something like that, where he is conditioned to think something until he absolutely believes it.

      I believe is is possible for the poor to care about politics. It may not be many of them, but some do. And for the few that I know, it has nothing to do with offers of money/power from people. And they've realized, as Thoreau said, that the vote is just a way to make the people feel like they have power. Anyway, it all comes down to this: if you can make people see things the right way, they will fight for almost anything.
      Well life is short, so love the one ya' got, 'cause you might get run over or you might get shot.

      ~Sublime

    12. #12
      Member Amethyst Star's Avatar
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      Also, I don't know the exact term, but there's a mental phenomenon where when someone is captured and tortured, there's the possibility that the captive will come to care for their captor(s). The captors do start the pain, but they are also the ones who can take it away. I'm not sure how it all works, but another interesting example is in the fantasy book "Wizard's First Rule" by Terry Goodkind. The descriptions are pretty lengthy and sometimes hard to read, but it makes a good point.

      -Amé

      "If there was one thing the lucid dreaming ninja writer could not stand, it was used car salesmen."

    13. #13
      What a delicious beating! Lomebririon's Avatar
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      That's Stockholm Syndrome.
      The best times of your life should not be when you're still so young, or else you'll live a life always dreaming of the past.


    14. #14
      Member Joseph_Stalin's Avatar
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      *spoilers, of course*



      Yes, but even though Winston was broken down to a critical point, I do not think many of his actions and feelings were entirely engraved onto him. Remember, he writes "2+2=" and stops. This can be interpreted as "it's whatever they tell me it is" or "the answer is what I choose it to be", and a few others. The part about loving big brother might also indicate that Winston is what he is because of this system. He still fights in a way, but basically gives up. Ironically, Big Brother's existance as a whole gave him freedom, simply by taking it away (remember O' Brien's, "Reverse the slogan. 'Slavery is freedom'..."). Much to do with the "one and different, many and the same" mental breakdown he had, of not existing/existing, being sane/unsane, etc, etc.

      "In the end, the lord shalth return in full regulation Soviet Uniform, hailing Lenin as thy true messiah." -Siberian Revealations

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