Thursday, February 08, 2018

Review: 1984

1984 1984 by George Orwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was a disappointing read for me
may be because the discourse formulated by Orwell is so much in circulation now, that it appeared at part as a tedious, stereotyped propaganda, the torture scenes are reminiscent of bad movies and the love story appears hastily concocted and rather implausible. at times Winston longing for the feudal luxury is annoying. (e.g., he was intense yearning for possessing something very expensive and completely useless such as the pricey paperweight)
the two bright spots are the concept of "the book" by Goldstein, theorising the politics, and the "newspeak" - customisation of English to control thought - a famous application of 'linguistic relativity hypothesis'. (even though the very term 'newspeak' contradicts one of the aims of the language, i.e., economy. should it not have been "unoldspeak", as every word contains it's antonym in newspeak?
having said all that, have to addac, the message of 1984, though somewhat dull now through incessant reproduction, is nonetheless relevant. the basic tool of authoritarian governing has remained the same -- intrusion and control of individual lives and thoughts.

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