1984 by GEORGE ORWELL(book review)

February 2, 2011 § 11 Comments





Terrifying, Horrific, Brutal and almost real!

Winston Smith is a rebel- but then to even think about doing anything against the party is a crime- thoughtcrime. Yet, he dares to step out of line and even starts a diary! He meets a girl- Julia and they fall in love- again something which would get them killed or worse. In the end they do get caught and are put through horrifying torture. The purpose as O’Brien says is not to merely kill the rebels, but to make them accept and love the party and Big Brother before they are finally shot.

The idea of Big Brother(the iconic leader) is based on Joseph Stalin. But unlike the latter, we do not know if he is a living person. Yet, Big Brother is everywhere, he listens to everything to you say, he watches everything you do(somewhat like God?). The world is constantly at war and though the statistics say otherwise, people’s ration are decreased almost every week. There are four ministries which rule Oceania(the world has three super powers- Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia), i.e. Ministry of Love, Ministry of Peace, Ministry of Truth and Ministry of Plenty, which deal with controlling people though constant monitoring and torture, war,  falsification and propaganda and controlling rations respectively.

You can feel a sense of despair through out the book, not only is it palpable, it starts affecting you. the arguments and ideas are driven through with pain and anguish- what if the world turns out to be like this? Or are we really heading to a world like this? Maybe not, hopefully.

The book flows much like a saw does through wood, slicing and making you question the motives of the world you live in. While it may seem the author is nihilistic- there is enough of salt in there to see what he sees. If in the last 60 or so years(since the book was written), the world hasn’t moved one bit of the knife-edge in terms of falling into a world of hatred and war, then surely there is something we need to think about.

Even in an age of democracy- you can’t but help draw parallels to the present day situation. The picture is no way pretty. In the end you are left with a damning silence, wondering what is reality. The characters are almost alive, in fact you believe they are real. You live every second of the book and know through out what awaits you. It doesn’t matter, what you know, all that matters is what ‘they’ think you have to know. 2+2=5.

A must read book, but be prepared to answer questions which you never thought you would ask yourself. There is no happy ending- there is nothing that makes you smile anywhere in the book. Big Brother is watching you.




December 21, 2009 § 5 Comments

Googling- hagen means noble boy. Well the nobel boys(and girls) of the world, sat down to discuss and (try)  agree upon some common measures. Well it didn’t take a genius to predict the inevitable-nothing positive has come out of it.

Sure, globalization means that we the people of the world, with our wonderful rights to speech, voiced our despair; But no one heard us. Maybe, as the Delhi CM said, when asked about the Commonwealth games, let us pray.

The Accord by the way is this(click on the link to read it). And the flaws just present themselves to you, unless of course,  you don’t happen to understand English. This clearly shows that no one gives a damn. I had mentioned in the podcast, that a solution is going to be tough to arrive at and also discussed some of the problems- well pity our leaders, seem to crying over spilt milk and more bothered about other things- this shows we still cannot see ourselves as humans first.

I am not going to write a huge post, about this, mainly because those who read my blog are clever enough to understand things anyway, but I agree to most of what he has to say.

Recently, I went for a debate, where the topic was ” Climate change a conspiracy against the developing world” and well it seems true now. I had talked about in my podcast- pledging money etc, shows us that the “West” is still after control over the others.

The US portrays itself as a champion of modern “free” values, but it is the main culprit(or so it seems). If you are so wise, why don’t you just set some examples? We have enough hypocrites here and we know how you people work, so if you give a damn about “global warming”(  when your cities are covered in two feet of ice), then you better start doing some work.

Transfer of technology and establishing a fund sounds great, but where is the technology? And USD 100 billion? You mean, that the developing world needs only that much to change, when your companies need more to bail themselves out?

Shifting the burden on the developing world is fine, but the main aim here is to try to provide a square meal a day to our entire population, providing gainful employment(how about cleaning the environment?) etc. If you indeed have the technology, why aren’t you already using it?

I have already mentioned(in my podcast) that this is not about saving Earth, but this is about saving humanity. But the treats are apparently not visible to many. Whether the scientific results are true or not is a question, this is a critical issue. Yesterday we fought over our resources, today we fight over who religion and sects , tomorrow we will be fighting over our waste.

And rationing the amount of energy a person can use is absurdity. Unfortunately we(who have the technology and the rest) use (and emit) more than those who are living in refugee camps and fighting for survival. Maybe as a specie, we will survive through this. But it is not about that, we are talking about living-as “the most intelligent race”, we deserve better(?). Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of humanism among our leaders.

The way forward- come up with “green technology” for the primary industries first- no drying(and polluted) rivers is not going to help reduce the amount of water in the ocean. If nuclear is the way forward, then well better start using to produce energy, before Uncle Sam decides he can’t answer questions and throws one at us, to shut us up and as for the nuclear waste, well I am sure the deserts make a very good dumping yard(hope you get the sarcasm).

Maybe manufacturing goods which last long( just try your international brands here, to make a washing machine work for more than a year, you need waste about  Rs.5000, make calls, threaten to sue etc) and follow some basic norms. Improving public  transportation facilities will help( seeing people hanging from foot boards isn’t let’s say isn’t going to make me take a bus!) and also reducing traffic jams will help. Planting more trees in urban areas, will help lower the temperature(caused due to concrete and metal) and reduce the need for ACs.

I did feel that dividing industries among countries(to avoid duplication of resources), might be a solution, but then it has many flaws. One thing is for sure- time to see ourselves as humans first and the rest.

Well to end this post ,let me quote  Shelley

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

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