LELE - Author in his time
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Orwell: An Author in His Time

Orwell: An Author in His Time | LELE - Author in his time | Scoop.it
Yasmeen Diana's insight:

George Orwell's novel 1984 was written as a type of warning for the western world about the risk of communism and by association the risk of a totalitarian regime ruling our societies. Winston Smith, the protagonist of the story, works for the Ministry of Truth in order to alter history as the government sees fit. This job entails not only changing certain dates or faking signatures of official documents, but erasing any historical evidence of somebody even existing or even creating a person who does not truly exist (for propaganda). This type of dictatorial rule can remind us of the way Stalin governed Soviet Russia. He, too, was absolutely ruthless when it came to anybody opposing his abundance of power in any way, whether it be a political opponent or somebody with influence over the people he sought to control. In order to cover up his many acts of violence and murder, he would "change history" by literally destroying and deleting any proof of their existence. Here, we can see pictures doctored by Soviet government. 

The two top pictures show Stalin addressing the Soviet troops in May 1920. In the first picture, we can see Trotsky, a political opponent Stalin had exiled and executed, entirely removed from the photo.

In the bottom image, Stalin is walking with the water commissar, Nikolai Yezhov, however he seems to be edited out of it after he had fallen from power (and been executed).

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Movie: Brazil (1985)

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Brazil is a movie that was released in 1985. It is loosely adapted on Orwell's 1984. Although gruesomely graphic at some times, it is described as a "fantasy/ satire on bureaucratic society" as well as a "dystopian satire". This movie shows the life of a man living in a society ruled by a controlling government, but the adaptation is not faithful to the book in terms of characters portrayed and specific plot lines. This movie was also produced with a comedic goal, it does indeed have a very slapstick aspect to it, in opposition to the more grim and hopeless tone of the novel.

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Apple Macintosh Commercial (1984)

Yasmeen Diana's insight:

The novel 1984 does not only discuss the political aspect of living in such a nation. Indeed, the social aspect of that type of world is described in great detail in order to give the reader insight of the awful lives of those trapped in a regime such as "Big Brother's". The people are trained to become robots, submissive to the higher powers. They cannot do anything without being closely watched, they cannot say anything without being reported (even by their own family), they cannot even think anything that isn't explicitly permitted. 

This type of submissive and robotic behavior can be observed in the Apple Macintosh commercial that aired during the 1984 Superbowl. The people are slaves to the dullness around them as well as themselves, living in a world of complete ignorance, until the Apple Macintosh frees them from their mental and physical prison.

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Movie: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

Yasmeen Diana's insight:

The movie Nineteen Eighty-Four, released in 1984, is a much more loyal adaptation of George Orwell's novel. The movie, like the book, follows the life of George Winston, a man living in Oceania under the dictatorship of a mysterious "Big Brother". The audience can feel Winston's hopeless challenges as he seeks to ride above a society trapped under the robotic and inhumane standards of an invisible and possibly fictitious leader.

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