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Old March 18th, 2014, 08:42 AM   #31

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangekyou View Post
Well this has been necro'd from long ago.



Yes, arguably two of the greatest books in English literature, let alone the dystopian genre. I also like Fahrenheit 451 and The Time Machine.

Yes. I like the Time Machine too. I haven't read Farenheit 451, it's on my to-be-read list.
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Old March 18th, 2014, 09:58 AM   #32

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I have the Time Machine ( purchased about two years ago ) with me and my earlier copy ( when I first read it when I was 16 ) actually belonged to my father, who had to read it in his college days as additional reading ! I had heard about Fahrenheit 451 and have read a few pages on the Amazon site.
But, I consider both novels gloomy and certainly the Time Machine with its description of a ruined planet inhabited by sub-humans depressed me greatly ! I wondered then and wonder now, if this is humanity's future ?
Strictly speaking, I avoid such novels ! Who wants to get depressed at a cost ?
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Old March 18th, 2014, 10:46 AM   #33

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HG Wells, The Time Machine
CHECK IT OUT!
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Old March 18th, 2014, 11:21 AM   #34

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I'm happy to see a thread made on these two fantastic book.
First off I'd like to say that in my eyes Orwell is the better writer while Huxley is the superior philosopher. The Book 1984 is not only a work that makes one think, it's also a novel that drags the reader into the book that stays until the last page. While reading it I have not experienced a single moment where my attention became diverted or the information too dry.
On the other hand, a point that the people on this forum will probably see too, Orwell was no sociologist. I have often caught myself thinking for long periods of time on just how stable the superstate of Oceania really is and I noticed that it was far from impossible too be destabilized or overthrown. For one thing that Orwell fails to take into account is the power of nature. This might seem irrelevant but we shouldn't forget that nature can be a hugely politically disturbing force. What would happen if a tsunami would strike Australia disabling all spying and outside contact? Or a plague would break out killing a large part of the population (something that's not unimaginable considering the living conditions in the novel). The Orwellian society would temporarily collapse. But this short collapse might well be enough considering how Orwell himself suggests that deep down many people oppose the party (I believe it was Mr. Parson who repeatedly said ''death to big brogher'' in his dreams).
Another point of criticism is the notion that the proles would never rise up. Orwell mentions this by how too intelligent or trouble making proles are taken out by the thought police and suggests that without this leadership resistance will not occur.
This was a popular thought at the time for which an example can be found in the Paris commune where after the commune the nobles or intelligent men were killed assuming that these must have been leading the commune.
I for one do not believe this. I believe that when pushed too far people will reach a certain limit where such leadership is not needed and certain urges take over.

One last point of criticism comes from the thought that the society of Oceania is living on the ruins of the old world. People live in the so called victory mansions which are slowly falling apart and the only real new buildings that are mentioned are the ministries of peace, love and plenty.
What happens when this way of living is no longer sustainable? New houses would have too be build, the sewers would have to be replaced (present day sewers last about 20 years, I reckon that in the days of 1984 this would be even more often) and dams would have to be maintained. So change would have to occur sooner or later. The Oceanic society is slowly going downward and can not be maintained indefinitely.

Huxley on the other hand offers us a practically bulletproof society. People love things the way they are, they are driven by their lusts and ever lasting desire for Soma.
When the savage tries to change this he is violently attacked by people who don't want anything to change and are perfectly happy the way things are.
Were natural disasters to happen in this society people would want to return to normality as soon as possible.

On the other hand I did find Brave New World and his book Island too a bit dry every now and then. I get the impression that Huxley merely uses his characters to present the reader with his visions and thoughts instead and gives this more priority than the story part of his books.

What I above all like about both these books is the dark undertone of them.
Brave New World leads us to believe that life is not complete without the downsides of it.
There is no beauty without drama, no real joy without tragedy and no ambition when there is satisfaction.

The story of 1984 is equally fascinating, one is introduced to a totalitarian state where at first resistance seems unlikely. Then slowly the reader is given some hope, artefacts and knowledges of the old world are shown proving that they have not yet been completely lost. It is shown that love is still possible and as a climax we are introduced to a type of organized resistance which confirms the idea that there is still some hope for the people of Oceania. In the end though the book crushes all these dreams. Control is shown to be even more absolute than previously expected, the party is able to destroy the resistance of the main character Winston and when in the end it shows that the party is perfectly able to take complete control of even him breaking him down completely until he ends up loving what he hated before.
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Old March 18th, 2014, 11:57 AM   #35
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Glad you mentioned Huxley's Island, which provides a kind antidote to the darkness to Brave New World and Orwell's 1984. Certainly with Huxley the books are about conflicting ideas with the characters just personifying different views.
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Old March 18th, 2014, 07:55 PM   #36

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I don't know much about Brave New World.
About 1984, I still have chills when thinking or talking about it... It's very frightening if you think that there was a critic to Stalinism, but the history still can be seem as a critic to today's crescent surveillance system.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 03:26 AM   #37

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen Hecate View Post
Yes. I like the Time Machine too. I haven't read Farenheit 451, it's on my to-be-read list.
451 is great, really worth reading. I'm a big fan of Bradbury, and he pulls off a real winner. Though, compared to the two in question, it's a very underrated novel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvsakhadeo View Post
I have the Time Machine ( purchased about two years ago ) with me and my earlier copy ( when I first read it when I was 16 ) actually belonged to my father, who had to read it in his college days as additional reading ! I had heard about Fahrenheit 451 and have read a few pages on the Amazon site.
But, I consider both novels gloomy and certainly the Time Machine with its description of a ruined planet inhabited by sub-humans depressed me greatly ! I wondered then and wonder now, if this is humanity's future ?
Strictly speaking, I avoid such novels ! Who wants to get depressed at a cost ?
Dystopian novels are meant to be be gloomy and grim
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Old March 19th, 2014, 05:45 AM   #38
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I think after reading any of these novels the The Croquet Player player is a must to bring back to a proper state of mind. They are interesting reads BNW, 1984, The Time Machine, and also Animal Farm.
However The Time Machine seems unrealistic.
BNW is basically Plato's aristocracy made possible by technology.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 07:42 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangekyou View Post
451 is great, really worth reading. I'm a big fan of Bradbury, and he pulls off a real winner. Though, compared to the two in question, it's a very underrated novel.



Dystopian novels are meant to be be gloomy and grim
What I found interesting about 1984 was how the ruling party kept control by using language, control of information, produced hate toward the other 2 continents to burn off energy, surveillance and how the party kept tight control of consumer goods keeping them scarce.
Orwell probably used Post War England as a model where the economy was still suffering, rationing continued, no job development for years. Whereas in the U.S. the opposite occurred where the consumer economy took off. Maybe the consumer culture is a way that the U.S. government controls its citizens? Let them have as much as possible so they focus on their next purchases seen as needs rather then on good government?
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Old March 19th, 2014, 10:15 AM   #40
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I don't believe the government uses consumption to control the people. Though there are governments who are suspected of using internet companies to spy on their citizens.
However consumerism is a produce of government: Consumerism Is Keynesianism : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education .
One might say that by soothing and keeping people happy the government is controling them. Things like the welfare state were designed to make people more governable. But in the end this is what governments do. It is impossible to have a government without having some form of control. Otherwise there would be no government and it would be anarchy.

There is a different issue which is, what do people do when they have the freedom to do what they like? And that may involve allienating themselves in consumption and seeking pleasure. Which would be very close to the superficial and pleasure seeking attitude described in the Brave New World.

Last edited by Yōḥānān; March 19th, 2014 at 12:11 PM.
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