Orwell, 1984, and the Watchtower

by RichieRich 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • RichieRich

    So my english class just got handed (yesterday) 1984, by George Orwell.

    Its a book I've been wanting to read for a long time, but haven't been able to (I read non stop for english class).

    So I was really excited when I got the book. From what I've heard about it, it seemed like it would be really pertinent for people in the Watchtower.

    All I can say is wow.

    I see a direct line between myself and the main character, Winston Smith (come to think of it, isn't there a poster on here by that name?)

    Basically, he sneaks behind "Big Brother" in acts of deviance (writing in a diary, committing various thought crimes) and evades the law, but still has to continue to do his job, which helps spread lies.

    There are direct coorelations between this book, and anyone experiencing cognitive dissonance in the congregation.

    Any thoughts?

  • luna2

    I remember being blown away by the book many, many years ago when I read it. I need to read it again as most of the story is very fuzzy in my mind now. I do remember the stuff about Big Brother and how completely they controlled every aspect of people's lives. Very much like the WTS mindset. They would love to have that much power over people....all for their own good, of course.

    There was another thread on the board about what a country run by JWs would be like. I think it would be a mirror of the govenrment presented in 1984.

  • carla

    Would a current jw (not apostate type) be able to read 1984 and see the similarities? Would they even notice?

    You'll love the book Richie!

  • Abaddon

    Eric Blair (Orwell's real name) is fab.

    Anyone coming from a high control group (religious, pseudoreligious or political) will see massive parrallels with both 1984 and Animal Farm.

    The second I found out bound volume had been altered from the original text of magazines I thought of the scene in MiniTru where he (Winston Smith), as part of his job, "changes history" by altering a newspaper item.

    HOWEVER, I hate to admit it all passed me by as a teenage dubbie when I read them. It's not as though I didn't have doubts, but they were all science based, not based around literary roads to Damascus.

    I've not read the book by Botting, Heather & Gary Botting. The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. Toronto: University of Toronto Press (1984), but thought you might like the reference.

  • Crumpet

    I read this as it was amongst my dad's books when I was 13 or 14. Sadly it didnt flash any light bulbs for me at the time that I recall. I was just too brainwashed and also my sole purpose in reading so many books at that age was to find the sex bits - keep the aspidistra flying was more rewarding in that respect! But you Richie are far more aware and mature than I was at your age.

  • rebel8

    I was a freshman in high school when I read that book in 1983. A lot of other JW teens at the time saw the obvious similarities btwn the WTS and the book, and all of us have now left the org. It was very significant to us at the time. Like taking the blinders off and realizing we had been brainwashed.

  • freydi

    1984 and Big Mother

    by Randall Watters http://freeminds.org/psych/1984.htm

    No one thought much of the book when it was first published in 1949, nor, in fact, did it stir much attention for a number of years thereafter. In the last two decades, however, the book 1984 by George Orwell has drawn a much greater reading audience. Orwell portrays a Society brainwashed by political ideologies to the point where they are intolerant of any other mindset. Ironically, though the chances are slim today that any political organization could ever have such absolute control over people's lives, religious cults have taken up the slack. For an absolute ideological system to really work, all of the subjects of such a system must not only believe in it, but be enthusiastic about it. Even in Communist Russia, which once almost paralleled Orwell's world, it is impossible to win all the people over to their ideology. Yet true thought control has been achieved in religious circles in a way that would make politicians envious............................more

  • Elsewhere
    Would a current jw (not apostate type) be able to read 1984 and see the similarities? Would they even notice?

    Saddly I did not see the similarites until after I left the bOrg. This is the kind of book that one does not understand until one has "been there".

  • blondie
  • Chia

    Whoa. I'm going to have to read this book again. I too read this book in high school (although I cannot recall whether I was assigned to read it or simply picked it up on my own) but did not see the similarities to the BOrg at the time. I'll have to read it again.

Share this