Orwell’s 1984

Hi everybody! First of all you can read some more chapters from the novel 1984. PRINT THEM & BRING THEM TO CLASS.

To see how much you know of the novel try doing the QUIZ on 1984 you’ll discover some new things you don’t know since you haven’t read the book.

Here’s the trailer of 1984, the movie from Orwell’s novel. Is this the future we want?

Look also what I’ve found: stunning, mind-blowing! Apples’s commercial that introduced the Apple Macintosh Computer to the world by explicitly referring to Orwell’s novel. It was shown & broadcasted during the Superbowl in 1984. Apple is always one step beyond the others!

  1.  What do you think is the message of the advertisement?
  2. Is the ad effective also for those who don’t know the novel or does it need a certain amount of…education? LEAVE A COMMENT.

Last but not least for those who love the Eurythmics and Annie Lennox as much as I do, theirs is the soundtrack of the movie and the song SEXCRIME. Enjoy!

Lyrics:

Can I take this for granted/With your eyes over me?/In this place/This wintery home/I know there’s always someone in/Sexcrime/Sexcrime

Nineteen eighty four/And so I face the wall/Turn my back against it all/How I wish I’d been unborn/Wish I was unliving here/Sexcrime/Sexcrime

Nineteen eighty four/I’ll pull the bricks down/One by one/Leave a big hole in the wall/Just where you are looking in.

HOME ASSIGNMENT:

Choose also one of these two topics for a 2/3 m. speech. (You can use images if you like)

  1. Have you seen the tv show Big Brother? did you ike it? What aspects of Orwell’s 1984 do you think are present in this programme?
  2. Do you think television is used to control the ideas & behaviour of the public? Think of how advertising in particular influences our society & give examples fro your own experience.  (from Literary Landscapes, Black Cat)

I’m adding now an excerpt from the movie “Detachment  2011 American drama film about the high school education system directed by Tony Kaye,  the director of American History X. I think this scene is fantastic to show the importance of education & knowledge to avoid the dangers of a totalitarian society and regime like the one depicted by G.Orwell. It can also help you comment & reflect on the novel we’re reading in class and Apple’s advertisement. Enjoy

DOUBLE THINK 

26 thoughts on “Orwell’s 1984

  1. In this spot is clearly the comparison with the novel 1984 written by Orwell. In fact in the first part, like in the novel, people are being manipulating by someone. Apple use this to show that their Macintosh is better of the other computers, that it is different, it is out of the normal scheme that we see every day. In my opinion Apple want to compare Microsoft with an old thing that all people use because they have been “brainwashed” and they have been manipulated by it, and the new Macintosh is the way to became free, to be different from the others.
    So in my opinion Apple found the way to do a very beautiful and impressive spot using literature.
    However I think that if a person doesn’t know 1984, she could equally understand the meaning of the spot, but obviously if we compare what he understand with what understand a person that know 1984 the results are obvious: the person who had read 1984 will certainly make the comparison so the message will be more strong, and he will be also able to understand the ending.

  2. Firstly I want to say that I really like advertisements because I think they have great importance for the sell of an object. An advertisement is also very difficult to made since it has to be funny or nice to see but it has to give a message and to encourage buying this product instead of others.
    The Apple’s commercial gives a deep message: the girl, who is different from the others because she’s a woman and she has particular clothes and represents the new Macintosh. Like the girl the new Macintosh wants to be original and completely innovative from the resemblance of the computer predecessors.
    In fact there’s a wonderful metaphor between 1984 and the launch of Macintosh that wants to fight the Big Brother and to create a new way of thinking more open to the progress. To reaffirm this concept in the Apple’s message we find this sentence in the end :”… And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like “1984”” that is put to convince you that this new computer won’t live up to one’s expectations.
    But I think that to understand this advertisement , although is very impressive and persuasive, is necessary to have read the book 1984 or to know a bit of the plot of this book.
    I also watched the last video and I really liked the interpretation of both the teacher and the students and I liked the speech of the teacher when he said in the end of the video “ To defend, to preserve… our minds!”.

  3. Ops I’m so distracted that I posted my comment as a reply to Filippo’s one. Sorry for that

  4. The ad wants to show the difference that the Macintosh will make at its launch in 1984. They didn’t want it to be just a good product, they wanted to make something new, neat and outstanding. To make it clear without giving any actual info about the computer, they made the comparison with 1984.
    In my opinion it’s easy to get the message even if you know nothing about the book. Indeed, for us, the last line spoken would be enough to have the same idea an ignorant would have after watching the clip. The rebelling lady in shorts represents the will of freedom, while the huge revolution of the computer is represented by the awe of the people. Really important is the hammer that lady Freedom throws to destroy the regime.
    The Macintosh 128K was a bit of a revolution, cause it had more RAM than most computers and one of the first (not the first 😉 ) WIMP GUIs, instead of the very much more powerful but less attractive and user-friendly CLIs.

  5. Halo!
    That’s the worse vision of future imaginable! What kind of future is the one that makes you live in that way? Without liberty we aren’t even humans! Is down and out think that our sons could live in a place like that.

    The message of the ad is that the apple represent the revolution of the world, a new free society is going to born after them! Apple is the lady and the hummer is their brand new computer that will shake up pc’s rules.

    Well, the ad is absolutely incisive for everybody but I’m sure that if you have seen the film or if u have read the book is even more impressive, the director was undoubtedly bright!

  6. I have always found Apple’s commercial extremely cute, gives a clear message that highlight the innovation of the product. A clear example is the Macintosh ad, where Apple is represented by a women who’s dressed with colorful clothes and she’s moving thru a crowd of people wearing uniform who all watch hypnotized a big telescreen . This ad is full of metaphors , the colors of the women represent the differences of Apple from the other companies , the running movement make me think that Apple is making big steps in the technology-area, while the other companies are watching . And last but not least Apple wants to transmit the message that we have to experiment, to open our minds , to increase our creativity, we don’t have to be satisfied of averageness ,we have to get out from our routine start to be free, and with Macintosh we have a chance to do this. I think the message is clear for everybody, the action of breaking the screen with a hammer has a strong impact on the viewers, of course people who don’t know what’s the plot of “1984” can’t understand the last phrase :“And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be “1984””but in someway you can deduce it.

  7. I start saying that I think advertising in general has a purpose in common, that aim for man “weaknesses” and lifestyles, since he must convey the need to possess or avail of the object or service depicted.
    This spot of Apple, however, is a little unusual, because, as it is well known, It refers to 1984 a book of a certain depth.
    In the book, society is governed by a unitary and tyrannical party led by Big Brother, and the only form of thought is the doublethink, namely wants that the mind fits itself without resistances, and deletes everything that is against, so as to make citizens deprived of everything and subdued by something that actually is worth anything.
    This spot of 1984 takes fully these concepts, in my opinion essential, to leave a clear message, which according to me is that against “prevailing” uniformity (in the video all the same the people, to mean the citizens, but also the Apple competitors ) there is a different way of thinking and reaching the tools, where, however, “different” (the woman, that is represents the innovative Apple) doesn’t mean “excluded from the crowd”, but “elevated” above the others.
    In this “prevailing uniformity”, I think Apple has played a lot in the meaning that he indirectly wanted to say to the consumer that haven’t to be honor-bound to change, but there is a chance.
    Next to this message in my opinion there is another relative one , namely opening up the perspective, so the knowing, to ensure that we men aren’t conditioned, but we think with our own head.
    I think the message that this spot wants to give, at that time could be understood by all, because the film had just come out and there was more awareness of the book; today, however, if it were broadcasted a spot like that, probably wouldn’t be clear all the way to all people.
    Finally, I wanted to share this spot which is practically the same type of this from Apple, but it is of Motorola and it is quite recent 🙂

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8BPFODsob1I#at=18

  8. I start saying that I think advertising in general has a purpose in common, that aim for man “weaknesses” and lifestyles, since he must convey the need to possess or avail of the object or service depicted.
    This spot of Apple, however, is a little unusual, because, as it is well known, It refers to 1984 a book of a certain depth.
    In the book, society is governed by a unitary and tyrannical party led by Big Brother, and the only form of thought is the doublethink, namely wants that the mind fits itself without resistances, and deletes everything that is against, so as to make citizens deprived of everything and subdued by something that actually is worth anything.
    This spot of 1984 takes fully these concepts, in my opinion essential, to leave a clear message, which according to me is that against “prevailing” uniformity (in the video all the same the people, to mean the citizens, but also the Apple competitors ) there is a different way of thinking and reaching the tools, where, however, “different” (the woman, that is represents the innovative Apple) doesn’t mean “excluded from the crowd”, but “elevated” above the others.
    In this “prevailing uniformity”, I think Apple has played a lot in the meaning that he indirectly wanted to say to the consumer that haven’t to be honor-bound to change, but there is a chance.
    Next to this message in my opinion there is another relative one , namely opening up the perspective, so the knowing, to ensure that we men aren’t conditioned, but we think with our own head.
    I think the message that this spot wants to give, at that time could be understood by all, because the film had just come out and there was more awareness of the book; today, however, if it were broadcasted a spot like that, probably wouldn’t be clear all the way to all people.
    Finally, I wanted to share this spot which is practically the same type of this from Apple, but it is of Motorola and it is quite recent 🙂
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8BPFODsob1I#at=18

  9. The spot that Apple chose to present the new operating system “Macintosh” to the world was great.
    They showed a stereotyped population, without choice or freedom and then showed “a light”, a woman that dressed differently from all the other, runs against the big television, that represented the routine and the cause of uniformity of people and destroy it, giving the best prize to humanity… The free thinking.
    Macintosh in this video represents the safety. The spot have a big influence on the viewers that could immediately understand what it means and recognize them self on the mass of the advisement.
    The message of the video is that everyone is able to change his future and his life but if you want, you can change the world with Apple.
    The video is not difficult to understand and everybody can grasp the meaning also who have never read 1984 by Orwell. Surely people that didn’t read the book can’t find a clear connection between the video and the words on his end but I think that the majority of people could have a success if they try to interpret them even without reading the novel.

  10. 1984 it’s one of the worse vision of the future world immagined by a human, i think!.. a world where men are educated all in the same way from the birth, where differences can’t exist, where no one can have personal ideas.. where the word MY SELF must not exist!..
    it is an abolishment of all human instincts (LOVE cannot exist) advanced in time, arriving until cancelled the IDENTITY of people.
    A world of one hundred nuance of gray but none other color!..
    Stronger people with the bigger desire to live in where there are still remains of human feelings escape them in tre way:
    – Or pretend to agree with the “Party” and so putting all them energies in serving it, like it would be a religion.
    – Or resist to the extrime cruelty ( having the courage to recognais it for what it is!) searcing a little ray of sun, a corner of miserable heaven in where put all them self: in 1984 the protagonist Winston write secretly a diary who with he describe his feelings for what he see every day, trusting that one day someone can understand and share with him his perpetuous sufference.
    – The third and the terribile one is committing suicide.

    1984 it’s a distopic book that had to be red, like many more, because it open yuor eyes to other points of view, to a reality that we have to know avoiding to make it true!
    Because more we are informed and less we are gullible! From knowledge derive tollerance, culture, security and more over.. it is true, sometimes knowing can be hard and inconvenient for us, but in my opinion it’s worth it almost every time.

    The Apple commercial it’s too much exaggerate to sponsorize a new tecnologie (also if it is, like it probably was, a revolutionary one).
    I don’t like too much the comparison between the book’s most serious aspect (a deranged conformism) to the world in that year before the “apple revolution”!
    A commercial have to be effective, but the immage of million of people static with open mouth in my opinion it’s inappropriate.

  11. It is a great advertisement and I think that his message was that the new Apple’s computer where not as the computers in George Orwell’s book 1984. People that time could may think that in a few years computers will become too much poweful and an evil man will control the world thanks to them.
    The atmosphere in that advertisement was very grey without color and I think that Apple wanted to impersonate the girl who broke the big television. I think that Apple was trying to give us the idea that it was different from the other more colorful and innovative as the colorful logo at the end of the video.
    This is very effective because it is clear also to people that don’t know the book because the meaning is very simply to understand and I liked it also because was setted in a very strategical moment, during the Superbowl in 1984, the same year of the book and maybe in the yearly moment where the most part of the population where watching the television.

  12. Hi everybody!!
    In my opinion the ad of the Apple Macintosh Computer is a great one and it was an evident sign of the fantastic product Apple would have been! The message is that everyone who owns that computer will be able to change his/her life(and we all know that’s true, especially if we focus on the last ten years!)I really like how the message is conveyed :it seems as we have the innovation very close to us but we still have huge limits! I enjoy watching the hammer crashing on the big monitor as if the girls does a perfect athletic exhibition while she’s followed by the guards:)
    However, I’ve found interesting all the references to 1984 even if the role of technology is upside-down: in the novel it’s a toll of control and oppression, in the ad it’s a way of freedom(in fact what I’ve just said it’s justified by the final phrase!). Finally ,I think that the clip is clear in itself but if you want to really understand what is 1984 you have to read it!!

  13. First of all I would like to say that this is one of the most meaningful advertisement that I’ve never seen. I sad that because while all the other advertisements have the only purpose to persuade people to buy a certain product because is better than the others, Apple’s advertisement want to show us their product but at the same time the behaviour that we all must follow that’s the same that they’re following in their policy.
    This behaviour is the unconventionality and in the video is represented by the woman who runs while all the other are sitting, this woman also crash the screen which is watched by all the people in the room that are like enchanted.
    Using this message Apple told us that their business company is like the woman so they’re completely different from their competitors and they want to go against the grain, with this message they also want to tell us that we have to do the same that they’re doing.
    To make all this more meaningful they took example from Orwell’s “1984” and this was a great choice because it’s a very famous book and most of people could completely understand what’s the real message of the advertisement.
    I appreciate so much this video because it’s also simple to understand to all the person, even who didn’t read “1984” could understand the meaning of it.

  14. In my opinion this spot is amazing because of the big and impressive metaphor it ‘s made of and his surprise ending. Its high point is the suspance, it makes viewers watch it with anxiety, interest and attention, “it keeps them glued to the TV”. The metaphor of 1984 is very strong and significant: the Big Brother on the screen represents multinationals and brands that tend to conform the world; the grey men that look at the screen are like the conformist world, they are all same and don’t think with their own mind, are as if they are in a bubble, isolated and lost (just look at their faces when the screen gets crashed); the woman is the same Apple. She seems mad, but actually she is simply out of the schemes, revolutionary and active, as Apple wants to appear. The famous company wants to introduce an innovation, that could shake the world, wake it. I think that the last sentence might means that the year 1984 won’t be monotonous, controlled and grey as it is in the novel, but it will be colorful because of discoveries and innovations, and computers and technology won’t be an enemy as the “telescreen” in “1984”, but a useful objet to humans. Finally in my opinion if someone doesn’t have read the novel might be more difficult to him to understand the complete message, but the curiosity and the main message to “think different” will always pass.

  15. Apple guys really made a cutting edge commercial. As always. Actually I would say that Apple® is has the best advertising and marketing in the world. They’re exactly as you said, always a step beyond the others. They have always been making simple, clean, linear but awsome commercials. Those spots really make you want to run to the nearest shop and buy whatever that commercial was talking about. That Macintosh one set in ‘1984’ really was convincing. Short, easy, and incisive. The message is clear, even if you hadn’t watched the movie or read the book: Mac is going to be a revolution in your life if you own one. “You will see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’ ” (actually this sentence is the only part that can’t be understood by someone who doesn’t know ‘1984’, but anyway it’s a famous novel, at least nearly everyone knows the story…) stands for “With Mac there will be no more boredom, no more ordinariness, will make your life funny and extraordinary!” and the subtitle is: “What are you waiting for?? Go and buy it!” ;). Easy, but out of the box.

  16. In my opinion Apple with this advertisement wants to tell us that Macintosh is a span upper than all the personal computers. I think Apple choose ’1984′ because here nobody have an own idea. All people have the same thought and nobody try to think in some other way. The people are as the normal computers and the Macintosh is present like something that think in the best and the modern way. Macintosh has the courage to thinking in an another way and in the spot is embodied by the girl. This girl is dressed with some ‘revolutionary’ clothes because she’s diverse from all, as Macintosh. With this mentality I think that Apple created his success. Steve Jobs in all creatures that he created tried to see the technology is a different way like others. He wanted to be always at the top in all sectors. Whit Iphone, Ipad, Ipod, and all the Mac he changed the world and the technology. All the technology companies like Sony or Samsung were ever behind the Apple and Steve Jobs. I think that for realise us we have to be ourself in every moment. We don’t have to think like the mass, each one has some inclinations and he have to cultivate them.
    To understand the spot I think that it’s important to know something about the book ’1984′ because it isn’t clear all the context

  17. In my opinion Apple with this advertisement wants to tell us that Macintosh is a span upper than all the personal computers. I think Apple choose ‘1984’ because here nobody have an own idea. All people have the same thought and nobody try to think in some other way. The people are as the normal computers and the Macintosh is present like something that think in the best and the modern way. Macintosh has the courage to thinking in an another way and in the spot is embodied by the girl. This girl is dressed with some ‘revolutionary’ clothes because she’s diverse from all, as Macintosh. With this mentality I think that Apple created his success. Steve Jobs in all creatures that he created tried to see the technology is a different way like others. He wanted to be always at the top in all sectors. Whit Iphone, Ipad, Ipod, and all the Mac he changed the world and the technology. All the technology companies like Sony or Samsung were ever behind the Apple and Steve Jobs. I think that for realise us we have to be ourself in every moment. We don’t have to think like the mass, each one has some inclinations and he have to cultivate them.
    To understand the spot I think that it’s important to know something about the book ‘1984’ because it isn’t clear all the context.

  18. Probably this kind of advertisement nowadays would no be taken seriously, for example my first tought watching the video was ” look! what is doing this crazy woman with orange shorts?” and than you see a lot of gray people with mouth open like amoebas, well I think it’s a bit funny and you don’t think about a computer advertisement…
    But if you take a moment for thinking the scene could have a sense : the women could be considered like Apple while all other peolpe are we and we are rapresented like gray people because we have no motivation because we were put to sleep by the society around us and we all become equal.
    But fortunately there is who thinks outside the box like Apple with its innovative ideas ( the girl) that will wake us from sleep breaking rules!
    So the message is that this new Macintosh is the computer who will revolutionize the world for its to be different from all the others!
    But I must say that I don’t think that you can grasp this nuance whitout a bit of culture, but maybe in that time the film ‘1984’ was more known and so people understand better the meaning! 🙂

  19. Firstly I would say that this ad is more meaningful and less superficial that the apple ad’s spread nowadays.this advertising is very clever and not easy to understand at the first watching. the role of the woman in the video is primary: she represent the Macintosh. She is the only person that is colored; this means that Apple bring happiness and innovation. The scream of the woman when she throw the hammer is a sign of freedom from something that is oppressive and limited. So in this ad Macintosh is an operating system innovative and also out of schemes the is able to get free all the population from the other operating system that makes the people sterilized without any kind of life and fantasy. Even if you haven’t read 1984 you can understand the message because the setting of the video is done very well and you can understand the sad situation of the people.

  20. I love advertising where the images or the ambience are taken from films. I think that this time Apple have chosen the right film. In those years computers were all equal, but Apple knew that with Macintosh could change the technology. So they chose to take inspiration from “1984” a movie where people can’t do anything without permission and they are always controlled. With Macintosh you were free to do what you want without controls and they wanted to say that this computer was different from the others. But I admit that if I wasn’t in class on last Friday i would have found difficult to understand the advertising, because before Friday I knew the book only for the name. I think that the last sentence is difficult to understand if you haven’t read the book.

  21. In “1984” the society is an utopia where everyone is controlled and subordinate of the Big Brother and no one can change the reality of that time. In this spot the environment is the same of “1984”: we can see a lot of people who are wearing the same gray clothe and they are listening the speech of the Big Brother. But a girl, who wear different clothes by the other people, trow against the Big dictator a big hammer and she, with this action, interrupt the dictatorship. The message is that the new Macintosh (the girl) revolutionizes the world of computers (all the other people), with his new properties and ideas (new clothes different by the others) ready for change the rules and ways of his world. Nowadays all the new model of media or software behave like the Macintosh in this spot and they will continue to do this with the spend of time.
    I think that everyone can obtain the message of the spot of the Apple also if they don’t know the plot of “1984” of Orwell, because the video show all the minimal characteristics for understand, in a few minutes, how is organized the utopian society of “1984” but maybe they can’t understand the final message “And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like “1984””.

  22. In my opinion this advertising by Apple for Macintosh Computer leaves its mark! Because is out of the ordinary. It’s brilliant it would be like everyone to take a computer like this. Makes you think immediately that if you buy this computer you will The different, like the woman in the video. It gives you a boundless sense of freedom though it is convincing you to buy a computer of new generation.
    I think that Apple use the “1984” movie for convince the population to inquire on the present and the best thing is with the new Macintosh. This is exactly what you should be doing always the human because if you not inquire you can be subjugated and if you are ignorant anyone can cheat you.

  23. I think that advertising would say that Apple with its new product will revolutionize the industry. All people (with Macintosh) can be always updated and informed, so the advertising plays on the fact that people can be free to decide and not be manipulated as in Orwell’s book. Then I think that the girl who breaks the monitor represents Apple (originality, innovation and courage) while people sat represent or normal people or other companies in the same industry that are inactive compared to the excessive power of Apple.
    Last, I think that to understand quickly the advertising is important to read the book because even me, knowing the plot, it took a while to understand the advertising :). Ok, I’m not a genius but not even the last of the human chain;)

  24. hello 🙂
    I think the message of the campaign is that the Macintosh is a new revolutionary thing and out of those that are the schemes of society and technology of the time. This will revolutionize the whole world of technology being something unconventional. In fact, the girl is “diversity” and ‘”unconventionality” using clothes of white and red color attracting the attention and standing out from the greyness of others and making the decision to “break” the mold, like Smith in 1984.
    I think that does not serve a culture to understand the real message because it is already expressed in the video sequence and the punchline to better understand those who know what it is 1984. (but I have been influenced by the fact that we talked about it at school , so it is very difficult to judge)

  25. 1984 talks about a dystopian world, where nobody can have his own ideas; in this spot, with the comparison with Orwell’s novel, Apple wanted to show that the Macintosh was different from the other computers, it was like thinking outside the box and going against Big Brother, that in the real world is represented by our sameness: we think to be free when actually we are manipulated in every possible way. The curios fact is that, since Apple chose the TV as communication route, the meaning of the message seems contradictory, because it is still an advertisement and it is still trying to sell a product. But nowadays it is almost impossible to give a message without using a means that influences other people: TV, Internet, newspapers, everything is trying to make us change our mind. Whoever started this phenomenon, also created a perfect way to avoid its end, because if we try to find a solution, we end up creating the same phenomenon.
    I watched the video trying not to think about 1984, as if I hadn’t read it before, and I had the impression of being able to catch the general message: you clearly see a dystopian world, with all men wearing the same clothes and doing the same actions. Maybe you can’t understand the final sentence, but you are surely touched by the message, because unfortunately the story of 1984 is already inside our world. Everybody knows it and so everybody can identify with it.

    • Not much to say that someone else hasn’t already said, but here’s my opinion: I admire anyone that gives another coiche or at least tries to do that, ’cause more coiches probably mean more freedom; and free choiches are even better! The spot tries to aware the people of Microsoft monopoly, and sponsoring their different product. It’s understandable by all, however someone may catch a deeper meaning With the knowledge of 1984

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