Animal Farm (George Orwell)

Written between November 1943 and February 1944, but not published straightaway, because of the USSR’s status as an ally in the Second World War. Orwell was a socialist writer, so the fact that he chose to do such a savage critique of the Soviet Union may come as a bit of a surprise to the present-day reader. One might have expected him to choose the far right, rather than the far left. But he personally felt that Soviet Russia had itself become a brutal dictatorship, and that its original ideals had become perverted. I personally don’t believe any of the original Bolshevik leaders who overthrew the Tsar had any ‘ideals’ other than a brutal, bloody dictatorship that would impoverish the majority of its citizens. And so it proved! Socialism can only work in a racially homogenous nation with no ethnic Trojan horses. (Scandinavia in the 1960s probably came closest to the Socialist ideal) [Read more…]

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1984 (United Kingdom 1984)

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” There are plenty of evil forces in the world attempting to do just that. George Orwell’s 1984 is one of the most celebrated novels of the 20th Century . We have words like ” Orwellian ” that have come in to everyday modern usage. There’s at least two television shows, Big Brother and Room 101 who take their concepts from 1984. It seems logical that if someone was going to make a film adaptation of the novel then 1984 would be the perfect year to release it. It was even filmed between April and June, the period of the year the novel had been written. Unfortunately Michael Radford’s interpretation clashes between the good and the bad. [Read more…]

Nineteen Eighty Four (George Orwell)

1984-14This is the definitive novel of the 20th century. The impact of this book has been immense. Think of all the Orwellian catchphrases that are now embedded into the English language: Thought Police, Double Think, News Speak, Thought Crime, Room 101, Big Brother Is Watching You. Unperson. Two Minute Hate. Not many books can boast this. No wonder the author has been turned into a secular saint. [Read more…]

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