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I just finished listening to the audio version of George Orwell's dystopian book, 1984...  While I first read this in seventh grade (MANY years ago), I was fascinated by how many more things I caught this time.

1. It looks to me that Winston was safe until he was corrupted by Julia - which harkens back memories of the Garden of Eden story where Eve convinces Adam to eat an apple from the Tree of Knowledge.  (Remember that Winston's first secual episode with Julia is in the fields where Winston is reminded of a Golden Dream - very much like Eden). 

So, even in the atheist future described by Orwell, the State subsumes the position of religion in a sense to maintain its power.  Sexual knowledge is the real act of rebellion against the State, as it create bonds with someone other than the state and is enjoyable.

The Chestnut tree bar (with the appropriate music piped in) where the dissidents go repeatedly in the book to confess their betrayals (at least Winston, Aranson et al. went there) seem to be a back handed reference to the tree of knowledge.

2. On a personal note, having lived in London for a programming assignment  I recognized that Victory Square was Trafalgar Square!  The picture museum was the Oceania version of the National Portrait Gallery... Lord Nelson was replaced with Big Brother... And it was still crowded with people.  I wish someone had pointed this out to me when I first read this...

I don't know if any of you are re-reading the classics, but I would be interested to know if you got any new insights like these...

Jonathan

Tools   Print   Email   Del.icio.us   Digg   reddit Posted on Saturday, October 27, 2007 3:34 PM Critique , Personal , Religion | Back to top


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