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George Orwell’s, 1984

September 13, 2010

Unless you were born and have lived your whole life under a rock, you know the general premise of George Orwell’s novel, 1984. I know the plot and I’ve never read it. I also understand such terms and concepts as Orwellian, Big Brother, Newspeak, and doublethink. Supposedly, back in the day, 1984 was banned and at times legally challenged on the grounds of being “intellectually dangerous to the public.” There is something quite paradoxical about that challenge.

Nevertheless, to correct my deficiency of not reading it, I ordered the audio book from the library and started listening on Friday morning’s commute. After another thirty minutes of it today I’ve decided to return it to the library. From watching the show Cops all summer, I have learned that everything and I mean everything including totally and complete submission is too often called resisting arrest by the police. Thus, to continue listening to 1984 is to contribute to a mental cruelty that I don’t deserve.

8 Comments
  1. Laura P. permalink
    September 14, 2010 1:11 am

    Of course listening to it is mental cruelty. It was written by a man, and as such, it privileges a masculine conception of what freedom should be.

    • Pseudoadrienne permalink
      September 15, 2010 10:26 am

      Ayn Rand’s fawning over the “ideal, objectivist man” is another example of the male concept of freedom. Of course she makes damn sure a “heroine” suffers under this ideal (ie: rape, misogyny, etc).

    • September 15, 2010 5:35 pm

      Winston Smith is a rapist, too, isn’t he? Then he sends rats to eat his girlfriend’s face.

    • Pseudoadrienne permalink
      September 15, 2010 11:31 pm

      Oh yeah…because he decided that *his* freedom took precedence over hers. Again, many would have us believe that male freedom can’t thrive without female suffering and subjugation.

    • September 16, 2010 8:50 am

      Holy crap, I’d totally forgotten about that bit.
      I can’t believe we had to read this as a bunch of a 15 year old girls =/

  2. September 14, 2010 7:24 am

    You know, I’d spent my whole life thinking I was the only person who felt this way about Orwell’s work. I’m so glad I’m not. It’s such a drag reading it – had to do it in high school, you didn’t miss out on anything.

  3. joankelly6000 permalink
    September 14, 2010 10:53 pm

    This isn’t the same thing (you were not not-smart-enough for 1984), but this post reminded me of when I went back to school, and a professor I liked was teaching a course about somethingsomething Dostoevsky, and I was like, oh, I hear he is interesting so I will take a course where I finally read something he’s written, and a few brain-hurting weeks into it I was like oh, I don’t care about the F grade and the hundreds of wasted dollars of this course (it was too late to get a withdraw or drop), I am the fuck OUT of here!

  4. la redactora permalink
    September 16, 2010 4:33 pm

    “Thus, to continue listening to 1984 is to contribute to a mental cruelty that I don’t deserve. ”

    Because it is too similar to reality?

    I agree with the rest of the commenters here, too, about wanting to hurt a desk or two because of an author’s no doubt unconscious didactic misogyny. We get it, women are evil evil castrating whatevers. Did you REALLY need to go on about for three hundred pages? I guess so.

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