Starting to read 1984 by Orwell

by TimothyT 22 Replies latest jw friends

  • Splash

    Zamyatin's 'We' was the inspiration for Orwells 1984.

    If you want to read them in sequence I suggest you start with the Russian. Some prefer his version.


  • Recovery

    Well I read the book in college and we discussed and did reports on numerous studies/examinations/modern day parallels and Jehovah's Witnesses never came up. I guess you can read The Hunger Games these days and somehow put a spin on it to relate to JWs. This obsession is getting borderline creepy you guys.

  • Splash

    Alternatively you can see something happening with your own eyes and deny it even though it's plainly going on around you.

    It's the longest river in Egypt apparently.

  • dorayakii

    1984is my most favourite book of all time. It means a lot to me and I have 4 copies (I always buy another one when a new cover comes out, yes, I'm crazy... DOWN WITH THE KINDLE!!!).

    Others have mentioned Animal Farm,Brave New World , Clockwork Orange,Fahrenheit 451 and We, which are brilliant books. I have put in BOLD, all the books which haven't been mentioned yet.

    I'd also like to add "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood (a modern classic), and "Erewhon" by Samuel Butler (a 19th century pseudo-utopian novel). "Candide" by Voltaire is a novel which for me illustrated the difficulties that a person faces when leaving the "spiritual paradise" of the Watchtower organisation.

    I also enjoyed the short stories "2BR02B" by Kurt Vonnegut, and "Flatland" by Edwin Abbott Abbott, the first of which is a short utopian/dystopian story about a future land where death has been eradicated and an unconventional solution to the earth's population problem is explored (made me think a lot about the logistics of the "New system"), and the second of which is a mathematical satire critiquing the Victorian class system and incidentally the Watchtower class system (the faithful slave class, the anointed class, the Jonadab class, the evil slave class etc...).

    It is sometimes difficult to separate what is utopian from dystopian evn though the two are diametrically opposed. That's what lends this kind of fiction to intrigue, debate, confusion and a feeling of being utterly blown away.

  • dorayakii

    I am also a HUGE fan of dystopian and post-apocalyptic film: Metropolis(1927 version), 12 Monkeys, Melancholia, Brazil, THX 1138, Alphaville, The Trial , One Point, Logan's Run, Gattaca are some of my favourites...

    ...and I even enjoy the less high-brow/less intellectual, more Hollywood action movies such as Equilibrium, The Matrix, Children of Men, V for Vendetta, Minority Report, I Robot, A.I., Pleasantville, Total Recall.

  • WinstonSmith

    Great choice TimothyT, you'll really enjoy it. How much did i enjoy it? Check out my username....

    Animal Farm is an even better comparison to what life as a JW is like. The parallels, especially when you know it was written about Communism and Stalin, are very interesting.

    I wrote a list of the comparisons I found most profound. You might enjoy having a read through:

  • JimmyPage

    I'm about 50 pages into the book myself, and wow can I relate to it! I'm glad I'm reading it now as I don't think I would have appreciated it as much ten years ago. But then again, maybe it would have helped open my eyes sooner, hard to say.

  • VM44

    The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses

    by Gary and Heather Botting

    In 1984 George Orwell described a future theocracy that demanded unity at all costs, and in which all independent thought would be eradicated. According to the authors of this book, such a theocracy now exists.

    They describe how, in an increasingly restrained 'New World Society', Jehovah?s Witnesses busily go about the business of warning the world that their God, Jehovah, will act soon to destroy all who oppose him and his organization. For them 1984 appears to be the current unofficial deadline for Armageddon, for they believe that God promised that the generation that saw the beginning of world distress (starting with World War I in 1914) would not pass away before the end came. A biblical generation is seventy years. 1914 + 70 = 1984. Convinced that the world Is due to end, they have given up their independence to the central theocracy.

    The Bottings, both Witnesses, can and do answer the questions everyone asks about this sect. They examine its history, the ways in which history itself has been interpreted in the light of bible prophecy, the basic beliefs or 'symbols' in which Witnesses are required to put their faith, and the dynamics of conversion and indoctrination. They also reveal why Jehovah's Witnesses turn away from their calling by the thousands and how the sect effects a 'mental-regulating' of youth as choice is taken away from children at a very young age. The sect is not only subject to forces of dissidence and disaffection from its membership, it has also been subject to a major rift within its headquarters. This event and what was done about it are also described.

    The authors conclude this serious, concerned, probing but readable study with an exploration of parallels between the contemporary Jehovah's Witness sect and the world described by George Orwell in 1984.

    About the Author

    Heather and Gary Botting live, with their four children, in Alberta where Heather is an anthropologist and Gary is a Professor of English at Red Deer College.

  • VM44
  • JimmyPage

    Interestingly enough my JW brother read "Animal Farm" in high school. He was also much more interested than I was in the science magazines that our non-JW grandfather used to send us as kids. Ironically, bro is still a JW and I am the atheist apostate who accepts evolution.

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