Further Reading

As discussed, utopian and dystopian visions constitute a large movement in political and fictional writings. More's Utopia is always a good place to start, as well as any mentioned in the above text. As a compendium of literature relevant to the theme of utopias and dystopias, The Faber Book of Utopias, edited by John Carey is wholeheartedly recommended.

Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is so close in its themes (though not its conclusions) to Nineteen Eighty-Four that it should always be considered as both an influence and a contrasting vision of the horrors of the future.

Further to these, Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon (1940) also explores the theoretical limits of totalitarianism, but with particular allusion to the Stalinist trials and executions. Orwell wrote in 1944 that 'for an Englishman to write Darkness at Noon would be as unlikely an accident as for a slave-trader to write Uncle Tom's Cabin.' See also James Burnham's Managerial Revolution for influences on the organisation of Orwell's Oceana.

For a discussion as to why 'Newspeak' wouldn't work, take a look at the chapter 'Mentalese' in Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct (1994).

Orwell's Collected Essays are always worth examining for the beginnings and expansions of the many ideas within Nineteen Eighty-Four, most notably: "Politics and the English Language"; "The Lion and the Unicorn"; "Wells, Hitler and the World State"; "Arthur Koestler"; "Writers and Leviathan"; and, as he is often compared to Swift, "Politics vs Literature: An Examination of 'Gulliver's Travels'".

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark  
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.