WHY is 1984 a prophetic novel?

With my presentation in class, you entered a new world, a totalitarian state as foreseen by George Orwell’s 1984. “Don’t speak, don’t show your emotions! Big Brother is watching you! The following video is a very effective supplement for studying 1984, with footage taken from the movie by M.Radford.

The next video is a quick and easy 1984 synopsis, analysis, and discussion of the main characters and themes in the novel.

The man who wrote this prophetic novel was George Orwell. Watch this video to integrate the biography you have studied in your text-book.

As, in these days, the term “Orwellian” is rather abused, I found very interesting and knowledgeable the following video by TedEd. After watching it can you now define what the correct meaning of the word ORWELLIAN is? WRITE IT DOWN IN YOUR NOTEBOOK.

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

I now cannot help embedding the stunning, mind-blowing Apple’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, don’t you think? 😉

What do you think is the message of the advertisement?

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.

One of the best novels I’ve read in the last years is without any doubts, The Circle by Dave Eggars. (2013)If you like this genre you must read it, I highly recommend it. (The New York Times’ review).We’ll watch it together 🙂

Last but not least for those who love music, the Eurythmics and Annie Lennox have created 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.

I want to end this post by adding an excerpt from the movie “Detachment  (2011), an 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 remind us of 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.

“Assimilate ubiquitously. DOUBLETHINK. 
To deliberately believe in lies, while knowing they’re false.
Examples of this in everyday life: “Oh, I need to be pretty to be happy. I need surgery to be pretty. I need to be thin, famous, fashionable.” Our young men today are being told that women are whores, bitches, things to be screwed, beaten, shit on, and shamed. This is a marketing holocaust. Twenty-fours hours a day for the rest of our lives, the powers that be are hard at work dumbing us to death.
So to defend ourselves, and fight against assimilating this dullness into our thought processes, we must learn to read. To stimulate our own imagination, to cultivate our own consciousness, our own belief systems. We all need skills to defend, to preserve, our own minds.”

WE ALL NEED THIS, TO DEFEND AND PRESERVE OUR OWN MIND!!”

Dystopia & 1984

DYSTOPIA ( Oxford Dictionary) An imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic.

TASK 1. Watch the TedEd video HOW TO RECOGNIZE A DYSTOPIA and answer its questions. The genre of dystopia – the ‘not good place’– has captured the imaginations of artists and audiences alike for centuries. But why do we bother with all this pessimism? Alex Gendler explains how dystopias act as cautionary tales – not about some particular government or technology, but the very idea that humanity can be molded into an ideal shape.https://ed.ted.com/on/0QIQs57E

I want to start this new literary journey quoting from an article by the New york Times, Orwell’s “1984” and Trump’s America: Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.” If you read the article now, you’ll find most of its references and deep sense pretty obscure. Well, that’s understandable because or if you haven’t read the novel. Still, that’s the reason why it’s now a must to become familiar with this milestone of literature. At the end of this module, when you read the article, you’ll become aware of its hidden meanings and the importance and  role literature plays in our daily life. I call it CRITICAL THINKING, the only antidote to tyranny.

See you in class next Tuesday to enter the new dimension.