I have finally finished listening to my latest unabridged book on CD – George Orwell’s 1984. It was not a “fun” book, but definitely gave me a lot to think about it. I’d read it the first time in my early 20’s. Both the world and my own individual perspective have shifted a lot since those days, so I thought it would be worth giving it another go to see what I think of it now.
My two favorite concepts from this book are “double think” and “double plus good quack speech.” I see lots of evidence of both of those in our current social arrangements.
I’m glad I hung in there all the way to the end of the book, even though at several points I wanted to bail out simply because the environment and characters being portrayed felt too dismal to spend time with. Even though it was an uncomfortable read at times (especially the torture scenes), there were several concepts in the book that were more than a little intriguing to consider.
The first time I read it many years ago I found the whole premise of the story to be absurd. I thought it was ludicrous to create a world where governmental officials would dish out preposterous lies totally counter to documented evidence and expect people to simply believe them.
Um…hmmm…… yeah, right. I’d say at this point that doesn’t feel so ludicrous.
I read a quote recently that said: “Intelligence is knowing you can only believe half of what you hear. Wisdom is knowing which half to believe.” (Anonymous)
That anonymous guy sure comes up with a lot of very cool phraseology.