Originally posted by Mega X.exe
The only two novels that ever seem to be noted after the decade of Orwell are Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and
Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. First, Fahrenheit exists only as a gateway drug to the world of dystopian fiction; sorry, but no hardcore fan regards it as much more than a brief synopsis of a vaguely menacing dystopia that gives a slight taste of the malificence that eminates from books like 1984. As for Clockwork...well, I don't consider it dystopian. Is it a broken society, yet. But consider who the technical protagonist is in Alex and consider his habits. Everything about the novel is camped up to the extreme to be almost laughably evil, and the author is more focused on the negative lights of society rather than the fact that it's not shown to be necessarily broken so much as cruel. Is the torture scene relevant to the genre? Of course, but one aspect does not a dystopia make, neither do hooligans, for God's sake we have everything from Star Trek bandits to Jeffrey Dahmer in our world, and we call this a dystopia? Of course Alex and his friends are horrible, but there's thousands of people like that out there; Clockwork really isn't all it advertises.
Certainly Clockwork's world seems to have a much higher number of psychopaths than our world. At the very least, they seem to operate much more openly. The world is filled with bars that sell milk laced with various narcotics, gang rape--while certainly a threat in our world--seems to be an omnipresent threat in Clockwork. The government and authorities are all authoritarian brutes, more focused on power and control than actual governing. Why the conditioning process alone! If this world isn't quite a dystopia, it's certainly on the cusp.
Ultimately however, what distinguishes Clockwork from, say 1984 and Animal Farm, is that at it's core, Clockwork really isn't about the society. To me, anyway, it felt that the core theme was about whether it's possible to be a good person if it's forced.
This is pretty much the point I was trying to make. The world is screwed up, but like you said; it was more about the individual rather than the collective.
4. Animal Farm- I personally enjoy this more than its' often daunting big brother (pun intended), but I can't rank it higher just because of the historical perspective. The novel was a way of doing something different while using the standard setting, just putting it in a different context. Orwell's prose isn't as verbose and mind-numbingly repetitive at this point, so I appreciate it more than 1984 personally as a write, but 1984 just slaughtered the feel of the genre despite the verbal diahrea it had (we'll get to that later).
In the interest of mutual respect, and the truth of subjectivity, I will refrain from attempting to maul you for this statement.
While I respect that you respect my opinion, I don't really see where my assertion is necessarily wrong. 1984 absolutely grinds all the party's slogans and propaganda into a reader, which conducts the style, but doesn't necessarily mean it's enjoyable.
2. 1984- Popularity does not a winner make. Take a look at the actual length of the book and how much of it is just Orwell's repetition motif played ad nauseum. Call it personal bias, but I actually regard this as a bigger pain than Shakespeare to read just because of how thick and dull the environment is. Orwell's writing is not so much descriptive as haunting. His phrasings are meant to scare rather than define dystopia. Some would argue that the repetition is to create interaction with the dystopia, which works to an extent, but how many times do we need the damn slogan...?
1. Brave New World- End of story, Huxley flat-out polished the genre to a shine that couldn't be matched for over a decade, and he was the first legitimate contribution to the genre since Wells, London, and Parry. Plus, it offered philosophical explanations for the dystopian societies and gave the honest belief that people believed they had hope even when they had abosolutely none. And on top of that, the Savage is the best protagonist in the history of the genre PERIOD. No one else struggled against opression like he did. Sorry Alex, you had it coming, but the Savage showed everyone just what it meant to be human.
Edited by Black Dranzer.exe on April 5, 2010 at 22:29:55.
It's worth a mention, I think, that these two books demonstrate Dystopias in two entirely different directions. Both of them beautifully depressing.
Also, I don't know what you're smoking but Shakespeare is amazing. Hamlet is one of the most well-crafted works in all of literature. Full-stop.
I never said Shakespeare was by any means a bad writer. I mentioned that alot of his stuff is a pain in the ass to read for how verbose it is, but that's also just how things were at the time. Culturally, his impact is absolutely incomprehensible, but in the modern era of "idk, my bff Jill", phrases such as "Would you like to quarrel?" fall upon ears that don't understand the meaning of the word. It's like when you tell your parents about something in pop culture these days, we'll use that godawful wreck Jersey Shore for example.
"Duuuude, she's totally rocking the Snooki-hair!"
Well, no parent, at least I hope none, would know that Snooki-hair refers to up-do so outrageous it makes Fabio cry himself to sleep. It's the same way with Shakespeare and the lack of cultural understanding of his time and what the context and connotations of the words. We tend to derive that he's like Dickens and couldn't say Hello in under 5 words while in reality, it's the same excuse your parents make every time your grandpa refers to an African-American as "One of Them", specifically, it was a different time then. Hell, I actually bothered to research some of the english trends of the time to understand what the hell is going on when we read Romeo and Juliet, and there's still a good bit I don't understand, but that's just the curse of most who set foot in Shakespeare's domain.