Author Topic: Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World  (Read 1156 times)  

Offline Jonathan C. Gillespie

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Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World
« on: December 01, 2016, 09:43:22 am »
Having read both, I can now confirm I am all-in for Nineteen Eighty-Four. Reading Brave New World, I get a sense instantly that it is a solid book, and ahead of its time, but the dark, tragic beauty of our protag's struggle in 1984 struck me and stayed with me much more than the plights of the characters in Huxley's work. I've got a model of devastating fiction to idolize, and it's definitely Welles' work.


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    Offline archaeoroutes

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    Re: Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World
    « Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 01:50:27 pm »
    Now I'm definitely a Brave New World person. I really got Mond, how those who gave things up knowingly suffered more than those who didn't know.

    Offline Jonathan C. Gillespie

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    Re: Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World
    « Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 09:24:19 am »
    It's tough to say which is worse. Oceania denies you your life if you step out of line, but Mond's "utopia" controls your thoughts from cradle to grave.


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    Offline Joseph M. Erhardt

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    Re: Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World
    « Reply #3 on: December 06, 2016, 06:15:57 am »
    1984 made its points.  And perhaps I read it too young, but the dystopian "sell" in Brave New World didn't quite work for me. The choice its main character made didn't come across as believable.

    Joseph M. Erhardt

    Offline RightHoJeeves

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    Re: Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World
    « Reply #4 on: December 06, 2016, 07:31:03 pm »
    I think Brave New World is a more realistic dystopia, because people do allow themselves to be sucked up into material pursuits and pop culture, so they oppress themselves in a way.

    But I definitely think Nineteen Eighty-Four is a better book. God, it's great.

    James Lawson

    Offline lauramg_1406

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    Re: Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World
    « Reply #5 on: December 30, 2016, 05:53:11 am »
    Before I answer this, let me just put it out there that it's been YEARS since I read either book. I "had" to study dystopian literature for my A2 in English Literature (final year of high school for any non-Brits reading this). I say "had" because it wasn't really much of a chore! In the end, I wrote part of my coursework on the portrayal of women in 1984 and in Atwood's Handmaid's Tale, but I did read Brave New World before settling on a topic/the second book (if I remember correctly, 1984 was a compulsory text). So I know 1984 far better than Brave New World.

    I think both have their scary "this could really happen" moments, Brave New World possibly more than 1984 in the modern age (but I can see why Orwell wrote what he did, when he did). And I'd definitely come down on the side of 1984 being the better read, there was just a richness to the world building that appeals to me.

    Saying that, 1984 is bleak! Particularly at the end!

    Offline passerby

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    Re: Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World
    « Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 06:30:57 am »
       Both are masterpieces. However, I have read Nineteen Eighty Four only once, while I have read Brave New World many times. I don't re-read Nineteen Eighty Four, mainly because the torture scenes at the end are way too graphic for me.
       Regarding Brave New World , I agree with what RightHoJeeves said above:
       Quote: "I think Brave New World is a more realistic dystopia, because people do allow themselves to be sucked up into material pursuits and pop
       culture, so they oppress themselves in a way."

    Offline barryem

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    Re: Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World
    « Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 06:02:40 pm »
    I read both books decades ago, long before the term "dystopia" was coined, and when neither book was part of a group.  Both were entirely new concepts in literature. New directions.  But they started something so now they seem like part of a trend.

    I think it's important to remember that "1984" was never intended as a prediction of the future.  It was an allegory of the state of the world in 1948 when it was written.  Orwell's title was "1948" but the publisher made him change it because it would have been more controversial than they wanted to deal with.

    It's fascinating how that happens.  A lot of biblical scholars believe that's also true of "Revelations" in the new testament; that it was written as an allegory describing the state of the world at the time it was written. about 90AD.  Of course, as with "1984" there's plenty of disagreement about whether it's a prediction or an allegory.  In the case of "1984" there's not much question that it was an allegory but it's still hard to get a lot of people to take that idea seriously.

    I did re-read "Brave New World" about 10 years ago so it's a lot fresher in my mind and therefore it seems more interesting to me, but I realize that's not necessarily so.

    I've read other books by both authors, also 8 or 10 years ago as well as earlier and in my mind there's not much question that, as good a writer as Huxley was, Orwell far better.

    Barry

    Offline PeterKnyte

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    Re: Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World
    « Reply #8 on: January 03, 2017, 08:16:01 am »
    Both are great books in my own view, but Brave New World is one of my favourite books simply because I found the world and the plight of the characters so much easier to relate to. In 1984 I don't think I ever managed to get really immersed or to 'suspend my disbelief' in the story because it was so relentlessly bleak from the outset.

    Of course a few more years of having an office job and that might well change!

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    Offline Jonathan C. Gillespie

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    Re: Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World
    « Reply #9 on: January 04, 2017, 10:34:16 am »
    The only thing that ever challenged my suspension of disbelief was some of the tech being used, but I absolutely bought everything the characters experienced.


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    Offline Kal241

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    Re: Nineteen Eighty Four vs. Brave New World
    « Reply #10 on: January 13, 2017, 10:46:44 pm »
    Of the two, I'd pick Brave New World.

    I despise 1984, to the point where I refuse to italicize its title in this post. I found the protagonist flat, unlikable, and worst of all, he does nothing. Nothing! He walks from place to place, leaves his family for a stranger, decides to topple the regime, and falls flat on his face, and all of it is entirely his fault for not even trying to avert his fate. Somehow the author thought it would be more interesting to make every other character have more depth than the main. The only time he changes his perspective on anything is at the end, which also rubbed me the wrong way. I get the point it was trying to make about government control and dystopian themes in real life, but would it have been too much to give the leading man an important role in the story?

    Brave New World at least is something that left me feeling a sense that I'd read a good story.
    « Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 10:48:23 pm by Kal241 »

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