Friday, 21 November 2008

George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four & Animal Farm

"All pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others" ~ Animal Farm (1945).

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June, 1903 – 21 January, 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell whose work is marked by a profound consciousness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language and a belief in democratic socialism. He is also the author of two of my favourite books, Nineteen Eighty Four (1949) and Animal Farm (1945), which of course, are also about totalitarian in general. To recap, I got to "know" Nineteen Eighty Four from the movie adaptation starring John Hurt and the late Sir Richard Burton, back in the late 80s, when RTM wasn't so restrictive in its choice of programmes and movies. Co-incidentally, I stumbled upon Animal Farm whilst searching for Nineteen Eighty Four in the local bookstore. Whilst Animal Farm dealt with the corruptions of individuals if absolute powers were to be "given" and "rest" in the hands of the few, and ultimately about why Marxism would not work in practise, Nineteen Eighty Four is about what the world and society would be like, in theory, if it was totally under the control of such extreme socio politcal ideology, seen from the eye of the protoganist, William Smith. More importantly, these books asked to rethink about individualism vs group think (this famous words come from Nineteen Eighty Four), absolute conformity, and the danger of human greed, corruption in moral principles.

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