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1984 vs Brave New World
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Which is the better dystopian book?
1984
50%
 50%  [ 3 ]
Brave New World
50%
 50%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 6

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Cockroach Boy



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:40 pm    Post subject: 1984 vs Brave New World Reply with quote

Expressed the opinion on another thread that Huxley's vision of the future in Brave New World is one I find more relevant to the 21st cenrury than Orwell's in 1984 and I was curious to see which of the two books people prefer.

Both of them cast a long shadow over dystopian SF and B7 pay's homage to both of them at different times.
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Steve Rogerson



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never read Brave New World, but I intend to one day. I have it somewhere.
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AnnaGrant



Joined: 21 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read 1984 first, when I was about 13, then read Brave New World afterwards. Have subsquently re read 1984 several times, but not BNW. 1984 must have made much more of an impression on me, and I can't remember much about BNW now. Perhaps I should rectify it with a re read.

Love 1984, particularly the 1980s film version. The soundtrack by Eurythmics is fantastic, best track Julia.
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Cockroach Boy



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AnnaGrant wrote:

Love 1984, particularly the 1980s film version. The soundtrack by Eurythmics is fantastic, best track Julia.


Yeah it's a fab soundtrack, though apparently not the one the director wanted.
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AnnaGrant



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just treat it as a normal album standing apart from the film, but inspired by the book. Memories of listening to it in my room in a low-rent shared student house in my third year of Poly.
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Janov Seldon



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AnnaGrant wrote:

Read 1984 first, when I was about 13, then read Love 1984, particularly the 1980s film version. The soundtrack by Eurythmics is fantastic, best track Julia.



The film's ok but it's got no atmosphere and some of the casting is ropey - Rab C Nesbitt as Mr Parsons?!! It's not a patch on the BBC one from 1954, adapted by Nigel Kneale and produced and directed by Rudolph Cartier. It's not so literal but paradoxically seems closer to the book. Monochrome suits the world Orwell was portraying far better than colour.

As for Brave New World, I've yet to read it. I need a new copy of 1984 first!
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Cockroach Boy



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Janov Seldon wrote:

.

As for Brave New World, I've yet to read it. I need a new copy of 1984 first!


I think you'd like it.
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saba



Joined: 23 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an interesting poll question.I read both at school. And read BNW in the last year or two, so I voted for it.

The idea of soma has stayed with me since I first read it - I thought soma was TV when I read it as a teenager. The idea of drugging a populace into contentment has obvious B7 overtones. And I see the Alpha/Delta class system in B7 as akin to that in BNW - each being glad that they are what they are (I'm a Delta. I'm glad I'm a Delta and not an Alpha because....)

I think the brutality of the Federation resonates far more with 1984, in particular the approach to brainwashing and the very brutal reasons for it. I must read it again - when I'm feeling cheerful!
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Cockroach Boy



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's interesting how B7 synthesis the the themes and styles of the two visions to create something quite unique. IMO, The term Orwellian really doesn't work as a general description for B7 as the series aesthetics and style, especially in the Boucher scripts, aren't down-at-heel enough for Orwell's broken down, frightened, ascetic world but Huxley-Orwellian sums it up quite neatly. It's easy to imagine Freedom City and the like as the next stage of Huxley's pleasure-culture.

There are comedic elements to BNW wheras any humour in 1984 is as piych black as it gets, so again I think in this area B7 shows the influence of both as the tone of the humour tends to veer quite a bit throughout (though god alone knows what they thought they were doing with the ending to Breakdown)

It's interesting to wonder whether, had B7continued, it would have picked up on Cyberpunk and Blade Runner. The Kaldor City CD's feel to me like they are running with those influences (even if that does leave them a little dated themselves!)
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saba



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose the idea of one individual versus the system is explored in all three. In BNW, Savage tries to act - but doesn't know how to see it through successfully. But he is incapable of becoming part of something that is so fundamentally antithetical to who he is. I can't remember enough about Winston - but ultimately he is brainwashed into accepting the system. Blake overcomes his brainwashing and by a combination of force of character and luck manages to go down fighting.
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SHARPBLUE



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Id chuck V-for Vendetta into the mix too!
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Cockroach Boy



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things that I love about BNW is that both technological and primative societies are critiqued and found wanting. It's probably a reflection of the times when artistic movements where picking up on the hard lines of technology but you also had people like DH Lawrence wanting to go back to a savage lifestyle.

If you want to see how godawful the reality of life as characters like Jarvik and the Hommicks aspire too would be, the reservation scenes in BNW are as good an illustration as any (though they are themselves possibly a reaction against Lawrence's ideas in The Plumed Serpent). Simillarly, the hedonistic city fore-shadows (geddit? ) the lack of feeling of the addicts in Space City.
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Janov Seldon



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Managed to locate a second hand copy of BNW plus Huxley's follow up BNW Revisited. Plus a few other SF novels - Ray Bradbury's The Silver Locusts and The Counterfeit Man by Alan Nourse (it was adapted as an episode of 'Out of the Unknown'), plus the complete collection of John Buchan's Hannay novels. Been wanting that for a while.
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AnnaGrant



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got a copy of BNW from the library and am reading it at the moment...well, not at exactly this moment!

Will post my thoughts on it when finished.

From my initial 13 year old's reading of it I can only remember one word, which is pneumatic!
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Futsie
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read 1984 again a few months ago, but haven't read Brave New World since school in the 80s, and can barely remember it...

What I do remember tho makes me think of Noam Chomsky's ideas about how the ruling classes can exert control... I heard a lecture of his where he drew a contrast between totalitarian regimes where control can be exercised by force: arresting, detaining, punishing or even executing dissenters... or something more like the model of control we have in the "democratic" West where the people have too many rights to be treated like that, so instead control is exerted by trying to steer the will and desires of the populace in the direction the rulers want. "Manufacturing Consent" was the phrase (and the title of a book he co-authored) and I believe it refers to the mainstream mass media circus that influences the news and information people get to see, and how it even defines the limits within which they think... All to the end of getting them to make the "choices" that the rulers WANT them to make...

1984 has examples of both physical control and mental control, and I remember thinking that BNW was more towards the mental control end of the spectrum and was perhaps more like a consumer society in that people are distracted with superficial comforts rather than being heavily brainwashed with state propaganda...? Might have that last bit wrong, but anyway, those are all different faces of control and are present in the two books to varying extents as I recall...

I'll have to get hold of a copy of Brave New World and read it again, but until then and based on dim memories of BNW, I'll hazard a guess that I'll end up thinking that the two books together show two sides of the same coin of how people can be controlled... so maybe they compliment each other and neither is best...?
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