Monday, August 25, 2014

A Chilling Dystopia

1984
By George Orwell

Soothsayers of lore attempted to predict the future and largely failed. Perhaps, the cause of their failure was the fact that they were too myopic about it, choosing to see the world literally. In 1984 then, Orwell stayed clear of this mistake and took a much larger view, indeed similar to the approach to dictatorship that The Party takes in this classic political work.

What surprised me were the parallels between this and Ayn Rand's We, The Living and the story of life in the Soviet Union. Indeed, by advantage of fiction, 1984 goes even beyond Communism and establishes a peculiar sort of dictatorship - one that seeks to control the mind and render reality mute. The style of writing is engaging although a little old-fashioned, which is understandable. But the author establishes the characters meticulously, taking care to highlight important aspects of them while also outlining the dystopia they live in. Clearly, this novel is well-written and well thought out.

As I often say for Atlas Shrugged, 1984 is the eternal story of our times. 

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