6.15.2009

1984

After planning to do so for a long time, I finally got around to reading George Orwell’s 1984. I must say, I was disappointed.

I realize it was written in the late 1940s and that this was a scary time, but Orwell seems more than a little bit pessimistic.

On second thought, considering the clothing trends, popular music and hairstyles of choice of the 1980s, maybe Orwell’s prediction was somewhat rosy by comparison.

2 comments:

David M Manes 6/16/09, 8:54 AM  

Disappointed!!! I love that book!

Luke 6/16/09, 10:44 AM  

David,

It’s easy, in hindsight, for me to look back and say that Orwell’s fears were overblown. I realize that the 1940s was a fearful and uncertain time.

My real criticisms of the book are two-fold:

(1) Orwell’s depiction of society in the year 1984 was so extreme that it was ludicrous. I felt like some of his valid concerns (totalitarian ideology from the right or left ending up in the same place, government control of all aspects of life, regarding truth as an entirely internal and subjective experience) were somewhat lost against that backdrop.

(2) I didn’t think the story itself was that enjoyable to read, especially compared to say, Animal Farm, which I really enjoyed.

Certainly 1984 has value as a cautionary tale; I just didn’t enjoy reading it much.

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