Modern Classics Summarized: 1984

Modern Classics Summarized: 1984

You know, I don’t think I ever really got dystopias. Actually, I think this dystopias
might just be too familiar to a kid. The people in charge have weird arbitrary rules
about what kind of things you can draw or say, they insist that you treat them with respect, even though the only thing they have over you is age and authority, they don’t tend to be as objective or fair as one would like, and, to top it all off, you live with the knowledge that if you step out of line, one of your
fellow kids might tattle on you. A dystopia is written with the overwhelming
attitude that the characters are largely powerless, but a kid already knows what that’s like. It’s only when you become an adult and get
used to having some kind of power
that a dystopia really starts to sink in. After getting used to having autonomy,
a story where autonomy is impossible stop sounding like so much fun, and it becomes less ‘sticking it to your mean school principal’ and more ‘getting your kneecaps
confiscated by the secret police’. I’d say out of all the modern dystopias, the one
with the least potential for fun is probably 1984. Now, 1984 was written in 1949 by George Orwell,
and it was pretty much 100% social commentary
on Orwell’s criticisms of both Hitler and Stalin, who, despite being in opposite ends of the political spectrum, struck him as frighteningly similar. As a result, the antagonist of the story, the Party in control,
manages to be completely unidentifiable party wise, and could fall on either extreme of the
spectrum. Un-personing, the Thought Police
and the Party interrogation methods are all thinly veiled re-skins of Stalinist Russia, but Newspeak, doublethink & the Ministry of Truth
have shades of Nazi Germany in their influences. It’s kind of an apolitical fusion
of both totalitarian regimes. Our POV character, Winston, is basically
a conduit by which Orwell can discuss
his thoughts on the political climate. The book is essentially a series of events
interspersed with inner monologue essays as Winston tries to reconcile his thoughts
on the Party and the nature of reality. Now our story begins with our hero Winston writing down his thoughts on life in his personal illegal diary, hidden from the camera in his room. Winston is just your average Joe government worker. He’s got a job he hates, a coworker he’s got a crush on, and a crushingly dystopic government hovering over him that has him and everyone else under the constant monolithic surveillance of the godlike Big Brother. Truth is whatever the Party claims it to be,
and the only entertainment to be found is in the regular public executions of prisoners and
war and citizens that dared step a toe out of line. Mondays, am I right? So Winston is
an employee at the Ministry of Truth, the innocently-named government agency in charge
of dispensing truths to the eager citizens at large. But of course, the normal truth is nowhere near
accurate enough for the illustrious Party. So instead of relying on the facts of reality
to conform to the narrative they need, the Party instead makes liberal use of, shall we say… ‘alternative facts,’ in order to keep their
citizens quote/unquote “informed”. That way, if the Party benefits from the citizens
believing that 2+2=5 for a day, the Party can say it
with confidence and their citizens will happily oblige. Or at least they’ll be smiling. So the citizens are routinely subjected to
this thing called the Two Minutes Of Hate, wherein Goldstein, the Party traitor supposedly
bent on bringing Oceania to its knees, spews a whole mess of propaganda about the Party
and how it’s wrong and evil and tyrannical and junk. Interestingly, we’re directed by the author
to observe the fact that a persistent
fear brought on by the two minute hate is that, even though the propaganda is obviously lies, someone less level-headed might be taken in by it. This obviously promotes a feeling of persistent
paranoia, that the people around you might
have been brainwashed by the opposition. But it also ends up promoting the tactic
of sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears and not listening to the opposition’s arguments,
in case they end up making too much sense. Because if your enemies make sense to you, that
must mean they’ve successfully brainwashed you. As the hate continues, listening citizens get more
and more freaked out, shouting and screaming
over the broadcast to drown out the voice in order to avoid listening to the words that might subvert them from loyal citizens into spies
and rebels if they let the message sink in. The message here is pretty clear; listening to people you disagree with is
ill-advised by the Party, because, what’ll
happen if you start agreeing with them? Better to pretend like nobody else
could have a valid perspective. After all, there’s only one truth, and
it’s whatever the Party says it is. It’s worth noting that even though it looks like Orwell
is prompting the idea that fair and reasoned debate
is the only real way to oppose the Party, that because one side is shouted down the solution must be to listen to what they’re saying, he’s actually kind of subverting that idea.
Because, see, there is no reason debate
because the Party is everything and the opposition is an illusion. The Party
produces the illusion of alternative perspectives to convince their citizens that those
perspectives have been fairly defeated. When in actuality, all they’re doing is propping up straw
men and tearing them down as a show of strength. But the thing, is even though there is no real
opposition in the form of Goldstein’s party, the Party does occasionally face real, internal opposition from citizens that have failed to be properly assimilated. And in those cases, we see the failure of
quote-unquote “reasoned debate,” because
our citizens are usually in the right. They’re usually having a crisis of faith brought on by the collision between real truth
and what the Party claims truth to be. And they only lose because
the Party gets to redefine truth, and essentially break the citizen’s mind until they agree. What may look like reasoned debate
is actually un-winnable from one end because the other is defining the nature of truth itself. It’s not always possible to defeat someone who’s demonstrably wrong, because
there will always be people who believe
them, no matter what they or you say. People are stubborn, and it’s not always
possible to change someone’s mind. It doesn’t make them right, it doesn’t make you wrong. Orwell talks more about this later. The bad news for our buddy Winston is that,
while he was having his flashback, apparently all his oppressed hatred of living in
the iconic dystopia boiled over, and he’s written ‘down with Big Brother’ in big letters all over his diary, which means he’s officially committed a thoughtcrime, and the thought police are pretty much inevitably gonna find him and do horrible, dystopian things to him. Whoopsy! Now one of the many joys of living in dystopic London
is that literally nobody can be trusted. Like, ever. Children are taught from a young age to recognize and report treasonous behavior, like wearing foreign shoes, or not being super chill all the time, and
the behavior extends into adulthood, where anything less than ideal citizenship is liable
to be reported by even one’s closest comrades. On top of that, almost all the citizens
are under near constant surveillance, where although it’s not guaranteed that they’re
being watched at all times, it is guaranteed
that they could be being watched at any time. It’s like your laptop webcam! Winston believes that this has led to a loss of unconditional love, as it’s now impossible to carry on any kind of close relationship with any degree of
privacy, and trust is a thing of the largely erased past. So as Winston does his
Party-mandated morning workout, he contemplates the fact that the
most terrifying thing about the Party is the nigh-universal gas lighting that it’s
been doing to its citizens for decades. See, the Party really likes claiming that certain
things happened and certain things didn’t,
and since nobody else keeps records, who do you trust; your own memories
or the grand and illustrious Party? After all, your memories are tiny. They only exist in the three pounds
of sponge that lives in your head. But the Party? Well, the Party’s huge;
the Party’s everything. So obviously they’re
more likely to be right than you are, right? How real are your memories? How real is your past? Someone’s personal existence seems
very small and unlikely when faced with the
universal insistence that it never happened. So the Party has turned this unending existential crisis into something of an art form, called ‘doublethink’. Doublethink is the art of simultaneously accepting
two fundamentally contradictory concepts. For example, the idea both that democracy is impossible, and that the Party is a bastion of democracy. You know, stuff like that. Doublethink
is a necessity for every loyal citizen, but poor Winston can’t seem to get the hang of it. He always hits a snag when he has to choose between his observed reality and the Party’s version of reality. So Winston goes to work and sets about doing his job, which includes such matters as rewriting various forecasts who have been retroactively accurate. For example, some government
promises need to be un-promised, and everyone’s favorite Big Brother needs
to have a recent speech retroactively
corrected in light of current events. See, the Party is, by definition, always right. So whenever they make a prediction that turns
out to be tragically misquoted in a way that
would make it seem like they were wrong, the ‘misprint’ needs to be retroactively corrected
and all evidence of the mistake destroyed. That way, the Party gets to still be always right
without having to actually do anything right. They also have a machine that makes pop music, because it wouldn’t be a dystopia without one. But the most complicated and rewarding part of Winston’s job is definitely unperson-ing people. See whenever the Party sees fit to disappear someone, they have to be completely unperson-ed, meaning no record of their existence can be anywhere. And depending on how illustrious that person was, this means that sometimes Winston has to
rewrite speeches from Big Brother himself, if he happened to have congratulated
the accomplishments of someone
who has now never existed. So Winston takes his lunch break with a coworker
Syme, who’s been tasked with compiling the
Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary, ‘newspeak’ being a paring down of the English
language that Big Brother hopes will be able to eliminate thoughtcrime entirely by removing the freedom of thought required to have illegal thoughts. Syme is pretty explicit about the nature of the whole thing, which leads Winston to conclude that he’s probably gonna get vaporized one of these days, not for disloyalty, but for being too honest with his loyalty. But Winston notices one of his coworkers,
a girl who works at the Fiction Department, giving him a kind of weird look, which he immediately interprets to mean that she somehow sensed his traitorous thoughts and is already planning on handing hime over to the Thought Police. This of course turns his mind to thoughts of
banging, an act tacitly discouraged by the Party,
except for the purposes of making smaller citizens. See, Winston is repressed as all get-out,
just like the rest of the Party citizens, and it’s really starting to get on his nerves
that he can’t just have a nice night with a woman he likes and who likes him back and
has more personality than a wooden mannequin. We also learn about the proles, that is, the
uneducated working class, or proletariat, which according to Winston, are controlled by the government by way of propaganda, bread and circuses, and the occasional Thought Policemen eliminating the ones that seem inclined to ask inconvenient questions. See, proles are allowed an unexpected
degree of freedom of action, in the same way that a cow is generally
allowed to graze wherever it wants. The proles are given certain freedoms to
keep them complacent, because that way they stay docile and harmless. The proles are
relied upon to keep the infrastructure running, to breed, and to provide occasional trysts with the horrendously repressed Party members. Because frankly, the Party couldn’t care less
what the proles do in their spare time
as long as they do it un-traitorously. Winston believes that the proles may be their only hope of revolution, since they make up 85% of the population and could easily overpower the Party if they rose up. But unfortunately, the Party has succeeded in
keeping them complacent and unwilling to rise up. Or, rather, they don’t even know that they should be
rising up, because their lives are actually pretty cushy and the few proles that have access to the news obviously only have access to the Party propaganda. Since the only truth they know is the one the
Party gives them, and they’re discouraged from exercising curiosity or questioning the Party, the proles live in comfortable, entertained
ignorance, while the 15% of the population that might possibly think they should rebel, are
so rigidly controlled as to make it impossible. Winston also contemplates the fact that
his problem with the world he lives in isn’t
that it’s cruel or dystopic or whatever; it’s that it’s boring. And it sounds dumb, but…hear him out. The Party projects an ideal of megastructures,
shining cities, a glorious and terrible future of beautiful people and even more beautiful conquest. But the practicalities of the Party are dingy office environments, bombed out apartment complexes, poor health, a constant melancholic
distaste for reality, and a longing for a
past that the Party claims never existed. Winston once again considers the malleable past
and what it means for him to seemingly be the only Party member who’s bothered by this. He wonders if he’s crazy, but he’s not so much worried about being crazy as he is about being wrong. But good news! Winston’s life isn’t totally bleak. In fact, he’s got faith in one particular coworker, a man named O’Brien, who Winston has a feeling
might possibly share his thoughts about the Party. He might even, he thinks, be a member of the fabled Brotherhood, the ny-mythical rebellion led by
Goldstein that no one’s sure really exists. Regardless of the veracity of the rebel movement, Winston somehow trusts O’Brien, as a kindred spirit in an ocean of unfeeling puppets. While contemplating truth and memory and gaslighting and all that jazz, Winston has a bit of a revelation, which I think
bears repeating in its entirety, because I really like. “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party
intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not
be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right!
They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and
the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change.
Stones are hard, water is wet, objects
unsupported fall toward the earth’s center. With the feeling that he was speaking to O’Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote: …Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.” So Winston decides to be a little rebellious and
goes for a walk, which, while not strictly illegal, is definitely frowned upon by the Party as a whole. Winston stumbles into the antique shop he bought
his precious diary from in the first place, and, in the fury of curiosity,
sidles in and takes a look around. The friendly proprietor gives him a rundown of various ancient artifacts, like a paperweight and some old prints, and the shop doesn’t have a telescreen, which
leaves Winston feeling uncharacteristically at ease, as he can’t be being observed by the Party
at this point. The shop and the upstairs
room feel oddly familiar and comforting; relics of the world he half remembers from his childhood, but never got a chance to appreciate. And the old proprietor himself, Mr. Charrington, is also
a walking goldmine, casually expositing old nursery
rhymes and notable but long since destroyed buildings. Winston leaves in a good mood,
which immediately dissolves into panic when he spots the very girl who he’d noticed at
lunch and assumed had been spying on him. Since this is no part of town for a Party member, obviously she must be following him and she
probably saw him go into the shop, too. So obviously Winston turns to thoughts of
murder, decides he really doesn’t feel up to it, and starts considering suicide instead. But he holds off, and this turns out to have been a good idea when four days later he runs into the girl again, and when he helps her up after
a fall, she slips him a love note. Turns out her name is Julia and she’s had
her eye on him and the prole neighborhood, because she shares his distaste for the Party and
his passion for some nice non-wooden banging. After about a week of desperate maneuvering to try and get the chance to have a conversation with
this girl without the Party getting suspicious, they managed to get somewhere private and
even kind of pretty and share some chocolate, listen to the birds, and then have
some genuinely nice anarchic sex. Interestingly, Winston learns that Julia’s done this
before with lots of men, and he finds that really hot, because the Party espouses purity and virginity
and stuff, and Julia expressing her bodily autonomy by being the polar opposite of a virgin is
super attractive to our rebellious hero. So they carry on a surreptitious romance
over the following months, wherein they manage to have a whole
conversation and also some sex while
holed up in a bombed-out bell tower. They discuss why the Party is so anti-sex, and
it turns out it’s entirely for practical reasons. First of all, the Party wants to keep
the population wound up like a spring so that they have boundless
energy to be spent on patriotism; and second, if the people had a way to
be really truly happy, why would they
care about catering to Big Brother? This is probably also why the chocolate is so bad. So Winston decides to be really rebellious
and surreptitiously rents the upstairs room in Mr. Charrington’s antique shop so that they can
have a comfy, nostalgic place, free of surveillance, where they can bang without having
to plan it for a whole month in advance. They have a lovely afternoon where Julia smuggles
out a mess of real, quality food, like bread and jam
and real sugar and even some coffee and tea. Julia also managed to get a hold of a
makeup kit and dolls herself up a little, continuing the trend of embracing her identity
as a woman as an act of rebellion against
a Party that owns her right to bodily autonomy. So the plot continues as the year advances
toward the holiday known as Hate Week, which is heralded by an increase in
nationalist propaganda, and also bombings; which riles the proles up in a very
pro-Party-hate-foreigners sort of way. Meanwhile, Julia & Winston enjoys some genuinely relaxing quality time together, squirreled
away in there hidden antique bedroom, while contemplating how super, SUPER dead they
are when they get caught. They also discussed their differing views on the Party and the people it governs. Julia thinks everyone secretly hates it and would rebel if
they could, but doesn’t believe there’s some secret
organized rebellion trying to sabotage it from within. Winston, meanwhile, believes complacency
runs rampant through some of the population, but there could be a secret cabal of rebels working
to take the Party down and save them all. Julia also doesn’t believe that a war is really happening. She suspects the Party is bombing its own people to keep them angry and on their toes, which is disturbingly plausible, even though it turns out to not be true. So later on, O’Brien stops Winston in the hall and casually gives him his address, promising to lend
him a copy of the latest Newspeak Dictionary. But Winston is pretty sure he’s actually gonna give him a copy of Goldstein’s guide to rebelling against the state. But before that, he has a dream about his mother
and realizes something else about the Party: they convince their citizens that how they feel
about stuff doesn’t matter. More specifically,
how they care about other people. They’re taught to dismiss things like human life. A building getting bombed is just another crater and
the people who died weren’t much of anything really. Compassion and empathy are completely
squashed, most obviously for outsiders, but
more impressively, even for other citizens. He contemplates that when they inevitably get caught, he’s gonna focus on not betraying Julia, as in he’s
not gonna let the Party make him stop loving her. He and Julia agree that no matter what the Party
makes them say, it can’t make them believe it. Let’s hope that works out for ’em. So Winston and Julia seek out O’Brien to
try and joined the rebellion. He grills them on
what they’d be willing to do for the rebellion, -everything but separate, as it turns out- then he tells them that he’ll send them a super secret rebellion handbook and sends them on their way. So Hate Week rolls around,
complicated somewhat by the fact that the Party is abruptly at war with someone different
than they were at the beginning of the week. Which means five years of propaganda needs to be rewritten very suddenly to accommodate the change. So poor Winston has been horrifically overworked
for the past five days, rewriting history, but he finally manages to get his work done and
crawls up to the antique bedroom to read a beginner’s guide to overthrowing an oppressive regime. The book is a pretty solid rundown of the real
history of the world, as well as a comprehensive study of why exactly the Party is at war all the freaking time. The answer is, as it always is,
cheap labor and free resources. But more importantly, we learn why this
dystopia happened, and you’re gonna love this: it’s because the vision of the future that was held
in the wake of WWI was that the future would be bright and luxurious, and every
citizen would be educated. And that is what inspired the Party
to make such a grody, dystopic world. If the people become educated, they’re gonna
realize they don’t need the bourgeoisie. A hierarchical society can only be maintained by keeping the majority of the population both poor and ignorant. Poverty wasn’t enough, and just
strangling the economy wasn’t working. so they started the wars, because nothing keeps a population more poor and more ignorant than the
routine devastation of their entire world. War destroyed supply, and therefore creates
demand, and when your citizens are overworked
to the point of insanity just to break even, they don’t have time to do inconvenient things, like
learn or think. War is a socially acceptable method of wasting absurd quantities of material & resource in a way that also directs the dissatisfaction of
your citizens outward, at some evil, foreign party,
so they never question why the war is happening and who started it for what reason. They just
embrace the certainty that their government
is protecting them from the greater evil. They embrace the far off victory with
a religious zeal, and in the meantime, will accept any sacrifice to see it
through, even thought the Party has a vested interest in keeping the war going
forever in order to maintain their status quo. Also, the book notes, the Party has removed
the concept of science and empirical
evidence from the English language, in order to better facilitate keeping the working
population ignorant and unquestioning. It also turns out that all three of the world’s super-countries, Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia, all follow basically the same dystopia how-to
guide with marginally different names, and their social structures are all identical.
The beginner’s guide to eating the rich also
outlines the structure behind the Party and how it conspires to keep everyone
simultaneously complacent and full of
zealous rage at the enemies of the state. Ferociously angry and loyal, but not too put out of
their way, and therefore unlikely to take action beyond government mandated hating-the-foreigners sessions. And of course, doublethink is in place
to make sure that even when faced
with stuff that makes literally no sense, our enterprising citizens can still put their total faith
in the Party without too much cognitive dissonance. Unfortunately, he’s barely done through this part
of the book when they discover that the quaint
picture hanging on the wall has been, in fact, hiding a telescreen the whole time. So basically they’ve been under constant
surveillance since the first day they came up here, and the Party absolutely heard the whole
thing about the tough guy dismantling the
government and also probably all the sex. Whoops. So it turns out the charming old shop owner Mr. Charrington was a member of the Thought Police all along, and Winston and Julia gets super arrested. Winston gets dunked in a cell to wait for like EVER, while in the meantime, along with a string of other prisoners, two of his coworkers get dumped in with him, one
for failing to remove the word ‘God’ from a poem, the other for saying treasonous things in his sleep.
The days wear on, and Winston observes that whenever a prisoner is told that they’ll be taken to Room 101, they always freak the hell out. While he’s pondering this, O’Brien comes in, whereupon it becomes clear that O’Brien himself is also a member of the Thought Police, because Winston’s day wasn’t bad enough already. So they take Winston and O’Brien tortures
the crap out of him for a while to get the
standard confessions out of him, and then tortures him some more in order to
cure his faulty memory that makes him
remember events the Party says never happened. O’Brien systematically and calmly dismantled
every memory he has that doesn’t line up with acceptable reality, and poor Winston once
again revisits the age-old existential crisis of “did that happen or did I imagine it?” O’Brien explains that it’s an error to believe that reality is anything close to objective. After all, the only access you
have to reality is through your own perceptions,
and can’t your perceptions be wrong? Really, it’s Winston’s fault for failing to
properly manage his perceptions of reality, so as to make him think that the things he saw had to be real. By the way if you were wondering what inspired the four lights scene from Star Trek: Next Generation,
it’s this exact scene, where O’Brien tortures Winston until he agrees, and really believes,
that he’s holding up five fingers instead of four. O’Brien explains to Winston that, even though they’re super gonna kill him, they’re gonna fix him first. So they do something weird to his brain, and for
about thirty seconds, he’s actually complacent, the way the Party wants him to be. He sees five fingers, he remembers that he made up his
perceptions of reality, all that good stuff. He snaps out of it, but he wants to go back, because it felt right. It felt like he was
finally sane by the standards of society. So that fun situation continues for a while and we learn that the beginner’s guide to joining the rebellion was actually written in part by O’Brien, in order to entrap wannabe rebels and then cure them of their crazy. O’Brien goes back to the idea that reality is only
what exists in the perception of humanity, and therefore by controlling perception, the Party
controls reality. Winston is pretty insistent that reality is real, and something will make the Party fall, but his
arguments get worn down, and eventually, he breaks. They plop him down into a cell, let him
actually eat and exercise, and he gradually
becomes more of a human being, while doing his best to re-educate himself in the tenets of
the Party. He practices doublethink and crimestop, the act of not letting your brain even think
traitorous thoughts, and gets decently good
at it. He’s even comfortable for a change. He’s doing super well. But then he has a moment where he cracks and calls out for Julia,
showing that there’s still work to do. And this is when he gets sent to Room 101. Now, Room 101 is specifically designed to be
the worst nightmare of whoever’s being sent there. In Winston’s case, he’s got this terrible fear of rats. See, the idea is that, by using Room 101, the Party breaks down the last part of the subject’s mind, the one component that still holds out in the face
of all the other stuff, and, using that, makes the
subject love Big Brother rather than hate him, completing their assimilation into the Party.
So they rig up this mask thing with a long cage
in front of it, put Winston’s face in the mask, and put a bunch of rats on the other end. If O’Brien presses a button, the rats eat Winston’s face. Winston panics, panics a little bit more, then
screams at them to do this to Julia, not to him. And with that, he is a free man; a free, good citizen
who’s definitely gonna get shot one of these days, but in the meantime is absolutely free to hang out in a corner cafe & read the paper and solve the chess puzzles. He previously ran into Julia, who also looked
rather the worse for wear. And it’s really clear
that they can’t love each other anymore. After all, they both betrayed each other in Room 101, and they both meant it 100%. Winston is every once in a while troubled by intrusive false memories, but overall, he’s a fine citizen. He’s successfully conquered himself and come to terms with the reality in which he lives. Feel-good novel of the century. *sings Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’*

100 thoughts on “Modern Classics Summarized: 1984

  1. Your explanation of that whole "guide to overthrowing the government" made my life so much better. I had a ton of projects to do over an AP novel (i foolishly chose 1984 because I'd started it twice but never finished it and I had to speed through it before Christmas break was over and while I wasn't marching down in Florida), and i never understood it. Too much politicing for my head

  2. You should not be doing this, you should be husseling pussy on broadway. This is 'truth', anchored and modifyed at your convenience. There are 30-40 Summarazings of orwell, and this one stands out in the aspect of perpetrating him as a lunatic writing something in random. This is in the face of the law -CLEARLY illegal.

  3. Isn't Doublethink essentially the Mandela Effect, where you feel like something is how you remember or perceive, but everyone else is telling you you're wrong. What would you trust more: your memory or the majority?

  4. holey moley these dystopia writes of the past made some depressing shit,much have been quite a stress vent for them.

  5. well, now if anyone asks what my country is like, I can just say 1984, it's uncanny how many similarities we share

  6. I had to read this monster in high school, I could only make it halfway before I just couldn't. I don't know who thought making teenagers read this was a good idea, but I hope they got set on fire at some point.

  7. To me the most horrifying dialogue in the entire book was:
    "Does big brother exist in the way I exist?"
    "You do not exist."

  8. Technically speaking both communist russia and the big baddies in germany during ww2 are both left leaning. its in the name, national SOCIALIST party of germany…

  9. A couple years later of this summary and being a U.S. citizen, it's even more feel good of the century.

  10. as said in game of thrones: if you cut out a mans tongue, you dont prove him wrong. you prove youre afraid of what he has to say.
    anonymity is the sole guardian of free speech, cherish it and protect it at all costs.

  11. When Winston's work place crush was mentioned, my brain forgot Julia existed for a minute and was like "yea Winston was definitely gay for O'Brian"

  12. So Fox News, the Republican party, and the far left really want to live in 1984, but can't because the internet as it is literally won't let them get away with the shenanigans they need to be able to do so, or at least not for any significant amount of time

  13. I read the book a couple of months ago, and to be honest I found it well written and interesting. However, I grew up with controlling parents, one nice, one angry, and a narcissistic sibling. So the whole thing just reminded me of my childhood, and young adult life. You could understand that at multiple times I was ready to chuck it into a fire.

  14. This makes me sad. I've never read it and learning about this NOW… oh, I'm so sad about the world right now.

  15. its funny and terrifying that people take the book as a screed against socialism when Orewell was a socialist.

  16. Since you speak of correct understanding of "1984", do undestand, at last, that that distopia has little to do with Nazi Germany and even less with the Soviet Union. You should look nearer to you both in space and in time to find Orwellian societies.

  17. Published in 1949, written in 1948, hence called 1984, the 48 reversed suggesting an imminent future. Gotta say, I'm finding your uploads very entertaining, third in a row and I'm not stopping here. You can thank David Cross (the comedian) for this. I was watching a clip of the 10 most offensive jokes and noted the similarity between one of his jokes and a speech given by Aaron in Titus Andronicus regarding desecrating graves and bodies. So from there went to a clip of Aaron's speech from the same film you used (what a performance, from everyone in that film actually). Next day you're on my recommended list. And I'm loving your work.

  18. Jesus f***, I had read that book years ago but only upon this retelling did it take on a more sinister tone. Thanks, I… think?

  19. Constant war, overworking, nationalism, misattribution of problems, alienation, an omnipresent surveillance state, lies as policy, and a hierarchical power structure distorting reality in order to maintain power? Glad none of that happened…

  20. I just started reading 1984… Holy s*** it is good. Scary, but good
    Can you review Animal farm next? That'd be cool

  21. Finally… the truth is revealed. Though its’ light is dim in this troubling era of subjectivism im glad it shines upon us lucky few 10:43

  22. It's sad to think that modern media is basically enforcing a 1984ish rule in today's day and age. Copyright claims on fair use works, mob hostility towards people who dare disagree, and above it all this puppeteering to get people to think that if someone disagrees with you, you can't find common ground.

  23. I always find that there is too much focus on selfish individualism in the old distopias, i.e. my sex and my freedom. The distorted nationalism of 1984 is an impossible example of a beaten psychology. There is something resilient in all of mankind, something that weeds us in times of trial. That could be suppressed in a fictional world but it would be like squeezing water. Although the saddest part is that there would probably be no revolution for 1984, simply dissatisfaction until the system finally breaks. For it will break. One day a bomb will land on the last wall and the few brave enough will emerge into the light.

  24. The "Recuperate with Kittens" break should be done more often. Especially if you're reading 40k Lore.

  25. I’ve been reading the book and I came to a realization that Big Brother is really similar to the North Korean government.

  26. Apparently, Orwell considered Stalinism to be right wing. I can't find the exact quote of his, but he backed the statement up with something to do with the authoritarian aspects.

  27. Just pointing out that both Stalin and Hitler had Socialism predominately in the name of their political entities.

    NAZI= National Socialist German Workers' Party
    USSR = United Socialist Soviet Republics
    So how does that make them on opposite ends of the political spectrum?
    Just asking…

  28. Note that 1984 features a conflict between functionally identical States very similar to the Nazi-Soviet conflict. These States betray their allies when convenient, also reminiscent of that conflict.

  29. I read the book because of a certain Artic Monkeys song.

    I was thoroughly disappointed by the lack of dancing robots.

  30. “Nowhere to go up up” – reality has concentration camps and people trying to reproductive doublethink.

    Me: oh… oh god

  31. Biggest problem with 1984 is that some people see it as an instruction manual instead of a warning.

    Haveing rewatched this recently I've been stuck thinking about Fahrenheit 451. Similar subject matter but for some reason a book I enjoyed reading more, maybe because it has a semi happy ending. It also has a scary amount of pertinence to today and the amount of time people spend watching screens.

  32. The party is the Democratic party in 1984 if we were take take do United States and put it into Orwell's 1984 the party is the Democrats because the ministry of Love Of course musically KK and the social justice Warriors so that's just a little something for you to chew on when you're reading the book 1984 by George Orwell

  33. You missed out the best part of the book….what makes this book so sad is not that big brother is going to shoot him in the head but that he'll do it himself….kinda like the men from early on in the book….but the best part of the book is the portion of the book where the reader realizes that this all happened in the past….

  34. Actually Nazism is National Socialism. Although they were not the same Nazism and Socialism were not compare different either.

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