every Starbucks should have a polar bear (scoradh) wrote,
every Starbucks should have a polar bear

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Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

Hold your stones, I know I should have read this earlier in life. I just ... never got around to it. I do have an important point to make, though:

It must have been SO. DEPRESSING. to be George Orwell.

I found this book fascinating. It's probably common knowledge that it's about a dystopian future set in totalitarian London, where everyone is constantly watched for any signs of disloyalty to 'Big Brother'. Which lead me to ask: Who watches the watchers? And also, why did they wait seven years to pick up Winston? Aside from the lol!obvious narrative imperative, I mean.

It's really interesting to deconstruct this from the point of view of a twenty-first centurian, who doesn't WATCH Big Brother - god forbid - but is one of the small percentage of television viewers who knows the origin of the name. I was trying in my faily way to explain to Helen that I think our generation (and maybe all generations - Oscar Wilde did say 'The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about' a whole century or more ago) LOVES being watched. Celebrities publishing boring tell-alls of their boring lives. People posting vids of themselves singing or tying a ponytail on youtube. The voraciousness with which we consume memes here on lj that no one else really cares about, except for how interesting OUR version will undoubtedly be. We all want to be watched. Being watched validates our existence. Obviously I would not care for the usurpation of society by the crazy, but I kind of feel sorry for Orwell that he could never visualise a future wherein being watched might be a good thing.

Previously, on Book Glomp 2010:
The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories, Anton Chekhov
I'll take you there, Joyce Carol Oates
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
The School for Husbands, Moliere
On Green Dolphin Street, Sebastian Faulks
The Famished Road, Ben Okri
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Tags: book glomp 2010

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