Thoughts on books and other assorted topics.
See also: http://goppf.wikidot.com/swstart
My name: Brian Martin
George Orwell's dystopian warning about the dangers of a police state, thought-control, and the forced abrogation of individuality is a glorious satire, chock full of details and terminology that can be profitably applied to any number of situations. And as science fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four still stands as a thoughtful, mature work that deserves its place on all those lists of the best books in the genre. Well-written, observant, and with a diabolic internal logic it tells the story of Winston Smith, a man trapped in the iron grip of a society that controls every aspect of his dreary existence through indoctrination, surveillance, torture, and fear. His minor rebellions lead him into the arms of Julia, a younger woman with whom he shares a hatred of the system, and eventually into contact with a man representing the rumored underground of resistance fighters. But what the book is really about is the society itself, its principles, how it operates, and what it does to its people. So effective is it in describing this world that words like Big Brother, doublethink, and unperson became part of our vocabulary. Perhaps more tellingly, however, is the fact that no matter how or in what context you say “Big Brother,” it still never comes off quite as menacingly as “Hitler.” It’s one of those spot-on observations that make this novel so compelling.