Presentation on theme: "1,984 Other Books “…Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh…” Ecclesiastes, ch 12 v 12."— Presentation transcript:
1,984 Other Books “…Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh…” Ecclesiastes, ch 12 v 12
Some literary contexts for ‘1984’ The ‘meanings’ we take from texts come from many sources…. Who we are… When we are… Where we are…. …And what else we’ve read. “intertextual meaning”
What this is: Some other books that shape the literary traditions ‘1984’ has a place within… Some books that reflect ideas, anxieties, issues, debates and questions that were in the air when Orwell was writing… Some books that pretty much directly influenced George Orwell…. Some books where a little knowledge can help generate questions or new ways of thinking about ‘1984’
Sir Thomas More (1478 – 1535)
Utopia by Sir Thomas More (1516) Utopia – derivation: ou (οὐ), "not", and topos (τόπος), "place", with the suffix -iā (-ία) Meaning: “no place” Εὐτοπία [Eutopiā], meaning “good place,” contains the prefix εὐ- [eu-], "good", with which the οὐ of Utopia has come to be confused in the French and English pronunciation
So, the “good place” is really “no place”… “Wherfore not Utopie, but rather rightely my name is Eutopie, a place of felicitie…”
From “Utopia” “They have but few laws, and such is their constitution that they need not many. They very much condemn other nations whose laws, together with the commentaries on them, swell up to so many volumes; for they think it an unreasonable thing to oblige men to obey a body of laws that are both of such a bulk, and so dark as not to be read and understood by every one of the subjects.”
Sound familiar? The thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty five years in a forced-labour camp.
From “1984” There was no law, not even an unwritten law, against frequenting the Chestnut Tree Café, yet the place was somehow ill-omened.
From “1984” In more primitive ages, when a just and peaceful society was in fact not possible, it had been fairly easy to believe in it. The idea of an earthly paradise in which men should live together in a state of brotherhood, without laws and without brute labour, had haunted the human imagination for thousands of years.
“Are all Utopias really Dystopias?” More was writing about an imaginary place The clue is in the name – a place both “good” and “non-existent” A work which presents a utopian vision may be reflecting back what the real world lacks So, a dystopian novel shows you how things could become so much worse… And a utopian novel shows you how bad things already are by showing you what you haven’t got… It’s a short step from ‘what you hope to get’ to ‘what you fear you’ll end up with’. More was writing about an imaginary place The clue is in the name – a place both “good” and “non-existent” A work which presents a utopian vision may be reflecting back what the real world lacks So, a dystopian novel shows you how things could become so much worse… And a utopian novel shows you how bad things already are by showing you what you haven’t got… It’s a short step from ‘what you hope to get’ to ‘what you fear you’ll end up with’.
So, are there any really Utopian novels? “Looking Backward ” by Edward Bellamy (1888) Third biggest-selling novel in America in the late 1880s Inspired creation of hundreds of “Bellamy Clubs” Now virtually forgotten!
From “Looking Backward 2000 – 1887” As for the comparatively small class of violent crimes against persons, unconnected with any idea of gain, they were almost wholly confined, even in your day, to the ignorant and bestial; and in these days, when education and good manners are not the monopoly of a few, but universal, such atrocities are scarcely ever heard of.
From “1984” If he is a person naturally orthodox (in Newspeak a goodthinker), he will in all circumstances know, without taking thought, what is the true belief or the desirable emotion. But in any case an elaborate mental training, undergone in childhood and grouping itself round the Newspeak words crimestop. blackwhite, and doublethink, makes him unwilling and unable to think too deeply on any subject whatever.
From “1984” The mind should develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, instinctive. Crimestop, they called it in Newspeak.
‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Jonathan Swift (1726) The angriest book in the English language? The absurdity and comic by-play gradually gives way to a sustained and unsentimental critique of the author’s world A book of both “utopias” and “dystopias” revealing each to be different ways of making the same point… The angriest book in the English language? The absurdity and comic by-play gradually gives way to a sustained and unsentimental critique of the author’s world A book of both “utopias” and “dystopias” revealing each to be different ways of making the same point…
From ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ I was received very kindly by the warden, and went for many days to the academy. Every room has in it one or more projectors; and I believe I could not be in fewer than five hundred rooms. The first man I saw was of a meagre aspect, with sooty hands and face, his hair and beard long, ragged, and singed in several places. His clothes, shirt, and skin, were all of the same colour. He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers. He told me, he did not doubt, that, in eight years more, he should be able to supply the governor’s gardens with sunshine, at a reasonable rate: but he complained that his stock was low, and entreated me “to give him something as an encouragement to ingenuity, especially since this had been a very dear season for cucumbers.”
From ‘1984’ Occasionally, perhaps twice a week, he went to a dusty, forgotten-looking office in the Ministry of Truth and did a little work, or what was called work. He had been appointed to a sub-committee of a sub-committee which had sprouted from one of the innumerable committees dealing with minor difficulties that arose in the compilation of the Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak Dictionary. They were engaged in producing something called an Interim Report, but what it was that they were reporting on he had never definitely found out. It was something to do with the question of whether commas should be placed inside brackets, or outside.
‘The Managerial Revolution’ by James Burnham (1940)
From “Second Thoughts on James Burnham” by George Orwell (1946) Capitalism is disappearing, but Socialism is not replacing it. What is now arising is a new kind of planned, centralised society which will be neither capitalist nor, in any accepted sense of the word, democratic. The rulers of this new society will be the people who effectively control the means of production: that is, business executives, technicians, bureaucrats and soldiers, lumped together by Burnham, under the name of "managers". These people will eliminate the old capitalist class, crush the working class, and so organise society that all power and economic privilege remain in their own hands. Private property rights will be abolished, but common ownership will not be established. The new "managerial" societies will not consist of a patchwork of small, independent states, but of great super-states grouped round the main industrial centres in Europe, Asia, and America. These super-states will fight among themselves for possession of the remaining uncaptured portions of the earth, but will probably be unable to conquer one another completely. Internally, each society will be hierarchical, with an aristocracy of talent at the top and a mass of semi-slaves at the bottom.
“The Trial” by Franz Kafka (written 1915, published 1925) Dramatises the paranoia, fear and alienation of modern urban existence Focus on surveillance and bureaucracy Isolated, unheroic protagonist – the “little man” of the 20 th century
From “The Trial” One must lie low, no matter how much it went against the grain, and try to understand that this great organization remained, so to speak, in a state of delicate balance, and that if someone took it upon himself to alter the dispositions of things around him, he ran the risk of losing his footing and falling to destruction, while the organization would simply right itself by some compensating reaction in another part of its machinery – since everything interlocked – and remain unchanged, unless, indeed, which was very probable, it became still more rigid, more vigilant, severer, and more ruthless.
Charlie Chaplin in “Modern Times” (1936)
From “1984” Julia was twenty-six years old. She lived in a hostel with thirty other girls (‘ Always in the stink of women! How I hate women!’ she said parenthetically), and she worked, as he had guessed, on the novel-writing machines in the Fiction Department. She enjoyed her work, which consisted chiefly in running and servicing a powerful but tricky electric motor. She was ‘not clever’, but was fond of using her hands and felt at home with machinery. She could describe the whole process of composing a novel, from the general directive issued by the Planning Committee down to the final touching-up by the Rewrite Squad. But she was not interested in the finished product. She ‘didn’t much care for reading,’ she said. Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.
From “1984” For the purposes of everyday life it was no doubt necessary, or sometimes necessary, to reflect before speaking, but a Party member called upon to make a political or ethical judgment should be able to spray forth the correct opinions as automatically as a machine-gun spraying forth bullets. His training fitted him to do this, the language gave him an almost foolproof instrument, and the texture of the words, with their harsh sound and a certain wilful ugliness which was in accord with the spirit of Ingsoc, assisted the process still further.[ From the Appendix – “The Principles of Newspeak”]
W. H. Auden : "The Unknown Citizen" (To JS/07/M/378) This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State) He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be One against whom there was no official complaint, And all the reports on his conduct agree That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint For in everything he did he served the Greater Community. Except for the War till the day he retired He worked in a factory and never got fired, But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc. Yet he wasn't a scab 1 or odd in his views, For his Union reports that he paid his dues, (Our report on his Union shows it was sound) And our Social Psychology workers found That he was popular with his mates and liked to drink. The Press are convinced that he bought a Paper every day And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way. Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured And his Health-card shows he was once in a hospital but left it cured, Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan 2 And had everything necessary to the Modern Man, A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire 3. Our researchers into Public Opinion are content That he held the proper opinions for the time of year; When there was peace he was for peace when there was war he went. He was married and and added five children to the population, Which our Eugenist 4 says was the right number for a parent of his generation, And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education. Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd: Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard. First published: Scab - a traitor, especially one who fails to support fellow workers within a Union. 2. Installment Plan - a scheme whereby consumer items may be purchased on credit and paid for over time, usually at high interest. Has connotations of being trapped within a cycle of being encouraged to desire, view as necessary and own unaffordable items. 3. Frigidaire - a refrigerator. Fridges were almost an iconic consumer choice in the early 20th century - perhaps like mobile phones today and like cars since their invention; a modern "wonder" which proves you have status and are successful. The "frigid" part of the word suggests a sterile life. 4. Eugenist - A suggestion that, in the imagined larger society behind this poem, the science of "eugenics" has become accepted.
From “The Trial” “But I’m not guilty,” said K. “There’s been a mistake. How is it even possible for someone to be guilty? We’re all human beings here, one like the other.” “That is true” said the priest “but that is how the guilty speak.” “But I’m not guilty,” said K. “There’s been a mistake. How is it even possible for someone to be guilty? We’re all human beings here, one like the other.” “That is true” said the priest “but that is how the guilty speak.”
From “1984” ‘Are you guilty?’ said Winston. ‘Of course I’m guilty!’ cried Parsons with a servile glance at the telescreen. ‘You don’t think the Party would arrest an innocent man, do you?’ His froglike face grew calmer, and even took on a slightly sanctimonious expression. ‘Thoughtcrime is a dreadful thing, old man,’ he said sententiously. ‘It’s insidious. It can get hold of you without your even knowing it. Do you know how it got hold of me? In my sleep! Yes, that’s a fact. There I was, working away, trying to do my bit– never knew I had any bad stuff in my mind at all. And then I started talking in my sleep. Do you know what they heard me saying?’ He sank his voice, like someone who is obliged for medical reasons to utter an obscenity. ‘“ Down with Big Brother!” Yes, I said that! Said it over and over again, it seems. Between you and me, old man, I’m glad they got me before it went any further.’
“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley (1932) A parody of Utopian novels by H G Wells such as “A Modern Utopia” (1905) and “Men Like Gods” (1923) Presents a future “World State” in which individual identity and interiority has largely vanished. More satirical and less ideologically engaged than Orwell.
From ‘Brave New World’ A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.
From ‘Brave New World’ “But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin.' 'In fact,' said Mustapha Mond, 'you're claiming the right to be unhappy.' 'All right then,' said the Savage defiantly, 'I'm claiming the right to be unhappy.' 'Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat; the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind.' There was a long silence. 'I claim them all,' said the Savage at last. Mustapha Mond shrugged his shoulders. 'You're welcome," he said.”
From ‘1984’ If he could have moved he would have stretched out a hand and laid it on O’Brien’s arm. He had never loved him so deeply as at this moment, and not merely because he had stopped the pain. The old feeling, that at bottom it did not matter whether O’Brien was a friend or an enemy, had come back. O’Brien was a person who could be talked to. Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood. O’Brien had tortured him to the edge of lunacy, and in a little while, it was certain, he would send him to his death. It made no difference. In some sense that went deeper than friendship, they were intimates: somewhere or other, although the actual words might never be spoken, there was a place where they could meet and talk.
“The Time Machine” by H G Wells (1895) One of the cornerstones of science-fiction… …But we should ask “what is the science of science fiction?” It need not be physics, chemistry, biology… It could be social science “The Time Machine” reflects Wells’ socialist/Utopian thought The Eloi and The Morlocks
From ‘The Time Machine’ He, I know - for the question had been discussed among us long before the Time Machine was made - thought but cheerlessly of the Advancement of Mankind, and saw in the growing pile of civilisation only a foolish heaping that must inevitably fall back upon and destroy its makers in the end.
From ‘The Time Machine’ So, in the end, above ground you must have the Haves, pursuing pleasure and comfort and beauty, and below ground the Have-nots, the Workers getting continually adapted to the conditions of their labour. Once they were there, they would no doubt have to pay rent, and not a little of it, for the ventilation of their caverns; and if they refused, they would starve or be suffocated for arrears. Such of them as were so constituted as to be miserable and rebellious would die; and, in the end, the balance being permanent, the survivors would become as well adapted to the conditions of underground life, and as happy in their way, as the Upper-world people were to theirs.
“We” by Yegeny Zamyatin (1921) “one of the literary curiosities of this book- burning age “ – Orwell, reviewing this book in 1946 Depicts a future world of the “United State” Characters have numbers not names Surveillance and social conditioning “Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World must be partly derived from it. Both books deal with the rebellion of the primitive human spirit against a rationalised, mechanised, painless world…” - Orwell
From ‘We’ “We comes from God, I from the Devil.”
MECHANISMS HAVE NO FANCY. Did you ever notice a pump cylinder with a wide, distant, sensuously dreaming smile upon its face while it was working? Did you ever hear cranes that were restless, tossing about and sighing at night during the hours designed for rest? NO! Yet on your faces (you may well blush with shame!) the Guardians have more and more frequently seen those smiles, and they have heard your sighs. And (you should hide your eyes for shame!) the historians of the United State have all tendered their resignations so as to be relieved from having to record such shameful occurrences. It is not your fault; you are ill. And the name of your illness is: FANCY. It is a worm that gnaws black wrinkles on one’s forehead. It is a fever that drives one to run further and further, even though “further” may begin where happiness ends. It is the last barricade on our road to happiness. Rejoice! This Barricade Has Been Blasted at Last! The Road Is Open! The latest discovery of our State science is that there is a center for fancy—a miserable little nervous knot in the lower region of the frontal lobe of the brain. A triple treatment of this knot with X-rays will cure you of fancy, Forever! You are perfect; you are mechanized; the road to one-hundred-per-cent happiness is open! Hasten then all of you, young and old, hasten to undergo the Great Operation! Hasten to the auditoriums where the Great Operation is being performed! Long live the Great Operation! Long live the United State! Long live the Well- Doer
From ‘1984’ In the old days the heretic walked to the stake still a heretic, proclaiming his heresy, exulting in it. Even the victim of the Russian purges could carry rebellion locked up in his skull as he walked down the passage waiting for the bullet. But we make the brain perfect before we blow it out. The command of the old despotisms was “Thou shalt not”. The command of the totalitarians was “Thou shalt”. Our command is “Thou art”. No one whom we bring to this place ever stands out against us. Everyone is washed clean.
“Darkness At Noon” by Arthur Koestler (1940) Does not name the USSR but seems to be set during Stalin’s purges. The totalitarian dictator in the novel is referred to as “Number One”. Follows the arrest, interrogation and execution of Rubashov, an ideologue who suffers the same ruthlessness he showed to others Huge influence on 1984 especially the Winston/O’Brien section
From ‘Darkness At Noon’ The cause of the Party’s defectiveness must be found. All our principles were right, but our results were wrong. This is a diseased century. We diagnosed the disease and its causes with microscopic exactness, but whenever we applied the healing knife anew sore appeared. Our will was hard and pure, we should have been loved by the people. But they hate us. Why are we so odious and detested? We brought you truth, and in our mouth it sounded a lie. We brought you freedom, and it looks in our hands like a whip. We brought you the living life, and where our voices is heard the trees wither and there is a rustling of dry leaves. We brought you the promise of the future, but our tongue stammered and barked…
From ‘1984’ We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always– do not forget this, Winston– always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face– for ever.’
“One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich” by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1962) First literary work made widely available in the Soviet Union to provide a detailed account (and condemnation) of the Stalinist labour camps (‘gulags’) Based on Solzhenitsyn’s own experiences “The Soviet Union was destroyed by information and this wave started from Solzhenitsyn’s ‘One Day’ “.- Vitaly Korotich
From ‘One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich’ A tub was brought in to melt snow for mortar. They heard somebody saying it was twelve o'clock already. "It's sure to be twelve," Shukhov announced. "The sun's over the top already." "If it is," the captain retorted, "it's one o'clock, not twelve." "How do you make that out?" Shukhov asked in surprise. "The old folk say the sun is highest at dinnertime." "Maybe it was in their day!" the captain snapped back. "Since then it's been decreed that the sun is highest at one o'clock." "Who decreed that?" "The Soviet government." The captain took off with the handbarrow, but Shukhov wasn't going to argue anyway. As if the sun would obey their decrees!” A tub was brought in to melt snow for mortar. They heard somebody saying it was twelve o'clock already. "It's sure to be twelve," Shukhov announced. "The sun's over the top already." "If it is," the captain retorted, "it's one o'clock, not twelve." "How do you make that out?" Shukhov asked in surprise. "The old folk say the sun is highest at dinnertime." "Maybe it was in their day!" the captain snapped back. "Since then it's been decreed that the sun is highest at one o'clock." "Who decreed that?" "The Soviet government." The captain took off with the handbarrow, but Shukhov wasn't going to argue anyway. As if the sun would obey their decrees!”
From ‘1984’ ‘Just now I held up the fingers of my hand to you. You saw five fingers. Do you remember that?’ ‘Yes.’ O’Brien held up the fingers of his left hand, with the thumb concealed. ‘There are five fingers there. Do you see five fingers?’ ‘Yes.’ And he did see them, for a fleeting instant, before the scenery of his mind changed. He saw five fingers, and there was no deformity. Then everything was normal again, and the old fear, the hatred, and the bewilderment came crowding back again. But there had been a moment– he did not know how long, thirty seconds, perhaps– of luminous certainty, when each new suggestion of O’Brien’s had filled up a patch of emptiness and become absolute truth, and when two. and two could have been three as easily as five, if that were what was needed.
“Coming Up For Air” by George Orwell (1939) Orwell’s last novel before World War 2 and one which anticipates that conflict. Although a more ironic work than 1984 there are strong similarities “George Bowling” Antithesis between pastoral nostalgia for a “lost England” and a harsh, unfeeling present
From ‘Coming Up For Air’ The idea really came to me the day I got my new false teeth. I remember the morning well. At about a quarter to eight I’d nipped out of bed and got into the bathroom just in time to shut the kids out. It was a beastly January morning, with a dirty yellowish-grey sky. Down below, out of the little square of bathroom window, I could see the ten yards by five of grass, with a privet hedge round it and a bare patch in the middle, that we call the back garden. There’s the same back garden, some privets, and same grass, behind every house in Ellesmere Road. Only difference– where there are no kids there’s no bare patch in the middle. I was trying to shave with a bluntish razor-blade while the water ran into the bath. My face looked back at me out of the mirror, and underneath, in a tumbler of water on the little shelf over the washbasin, the teeth that belonged in the face. It was the temporary set that Warner, my dentist, had given me to wear while the new ones were being made. I haven’t such a bad face, really. It’s one of those bricky-red faces that go with butter-coloured hair and pale-blue eyes. I’ve never gone grey or bald, thank God, and when I’ve got my teeth in I probably don’t look my age, which is forty-five.
From ‘1984’ He moved over to the window: smallish, frail figure, the meagreness of his body merely emphasized by the blue overalls which were the uniform of the Party. His hair was very fair, his face naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soap and blunt razor blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended.
From ‘Coming Up For Air’ It struck me that perhaps a lot of the people you see walking about are dead. We say that a man's dead when his heart stops and not before. It seems a bit arbitrary. After all, parts of your body don't stop working -hair goes on growing for years, for instance. Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea. Old Porteous is like that. Wonderfully learned, wonderfully good taste - but he's not capable of change. Just says the same things and thinks the same thoughts over and over again. There are a lot of people like that. Dead minds, stopped inside. Just keep moving backwards and forwards on the same little track, getting fainter all the time, like ghosts.
From ‘1984’ He was already dead, he reflected. It seemed to him that it was only now, when he had begun to be able to formulate his thoughts, that he had taken the decisive step. The consequences of every act are included in the act itself. He wrote: Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thought crime IS death. Now he had recognized himself as a dead man it became important to stay alive as long as possible.
From ‘1984’ She did not understand that there was no such thing as happiness, that the only victory lay in the far future, long after you were dead, that from the moment of declaring war on the Party it was better to think of yourself as a corpse. ‘We are the dead,’ he said.
What now? Find out more about one or two of these works which interest you. You could even read one of them. It’s allowed. Remember to ask how this text is not the same as 1984 – in its ideas, tones, style, structure…. Find out more about one or two of these works which interest you. You could even read one of them. It’s allowed. Remember to ask how this text is not the same as 1984 – in its ideas, tones, style, structure….