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Author Topic: Atwood on Orwell
audra trower williams
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posted 10 July 2003 02:28 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
There is no love interest in Animal Farm, but there is in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Winston finds a soulmate in Julia; outwardly a devoted Party fanatic, secretly a girl who enjoys sex and makeup and other spots of decadence. But the two lovers are discovered, and Winston is tortured for thought-crime - inner disloyalty to the regime.

He feels that if he can only remain faithful in his heart to Julia, his soul will be saved - a romantic concept, though one we are likely to endorse. But like all absolutist governments and religions, the Party demands that every personal loyalty be sacrificed to it, and replaced with an absolute loyalty to Big Brother.

Confronted with his worst fear in the dreaded Room 101, where a nasty device involving a cage-full of starving rats can be fitted to the eyes, Winston breaks: "Don't do it to me," he pleads, "do it to Julia." (This sentence has become shorthand in our household for the avoidance of onerous duties. Poor Julia - how hard we would make her life if she actually existed. She'd have to be on a lot of panel discussions, for instance.)


the rest.


From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Smith
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posted 10 July 2003 02:51 PM      Profile for Smith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I grew up with George Orwell. I was born in 1939, and Animal Farm was published in 1945. Thus, I was able to read it at the age of nine. It was lying around the house, and I mistook it for a book about talking animals, sort of like Wind in the Willows.

Ha! I did exactly the same thing when I was eight!

It was terribly sad (my father warned me about that when he saw me reading it), though I was left at the end wondering how pigs and humans could look identical...


From: Muddy York | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 10 July 2003 07:32 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The saddest fact about Animal Farm is that the rights to the book were bought up by the CIA, which produced a cartoon full-length feature movie
of the book. However, it was not ideologically correct, and so they changed it to conform to their propagandistic needs.

I saw it in about 1956 when it was released in North America; they didn't publicize the fact of CIA involvement, though. I believe that came out much later.

"Animal Farm" was not the only C.I.A. production, however:

quote:
Thanks to Saunders's research we now know that Orwell's 1984 was made into a live-action feature with funds from the CIA. Work on the British production began in 1954, and, as with the animated Animal Farm, the ending was changed.

http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0%2C4120%2C908925%2C00.html


Somehow, I doubt that Orwell would have wanted his work to become propaganda for the state.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 10 July 2003 07:34 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How does the Animal Farm film differ from the book?
From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 10 July 2003 07:48 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Says in the article that the film has only the pigs becoming corrupt and in general omits heavy mention of human involvement or interference.

I've wanted to see the 1950s 1984, but I doubt I'll have much luck finding it.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 10 July 2003 07:53 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Elwy Yost used to show Animal Farm all the time on "Magic Shadows".
From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 10 July 2003 08:04 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
How does the Animal Farm film differ from the book?

As I recall, there is a suggestion that the animals will eventually overthrow the dictatorship, whereas Orwell thought "totalitarianism" was here for good.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Holy Holy Holy
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posted 10 July 2003 09:55 PM      Profile for Holy Holy Holy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jeff house:
Somehow, I doubt that Orwell would have wanted his work to become propaganda for the state.

Well, Orwell actually WAS a state propagandist working for the BBC during World War 2 and his passionate (and deserved) suspicion of Stalin-era communism inspired him to draw up a list of suspected communists which he submitted to his government.

Orwell has left an impressive body of work and more than a little food for the brain - but one can't help but wonder where he would have emerged on the spectrum had he lived through the 1950s.

[ 10 July 2003: Message edited by: Holy Spook ]


From: Holy | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 10 July 2003 10:30 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I doubt the Orwell of 1948 or 1949 would have wanted his work to be used the way it was. Yes, he worked for the BBC during the war but let's not forget he was a committed anti-fascist and he would have seen his role with the BBC as being an anti-fascist broadcaster.

As for how Orwell would have evolved if he'd lived longer? Hard to say. He was sympathetic to Trotskyism and other forms of anti-Stalinist socialism but he was never a Trotskyist and had at the end of his life a rather pessimistic view of the future. Many Americans with a background like his became left wing "anti-communist" McCarthyites and eventually ended up as neo-conservatives.

Orwell was not really an intellectual leftist the way many of the ex-Communists who became neo-cons were, ie his leftism wasn't a mere intellectual exercise. Reading "the Road to Wigan Pier" and other of his non-fiction you can see that he was an anti-capitalist to his bones. I suspect he would have remained a Labour Party supporter, perhaps siding with the Labour party right wing on international affairs and tending more to the left on economic affairs.


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 11 July 2003 12:00 AM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Well, Orwell actually WAS a state propagandist working for the BBC during World War 2 and his passionate (and deserved) suspicion of Stalin-era communism inspired him to draw up a list of suspected communists which he submitted to his government.


You are right. I was aware Orwell broadcast for the BBC against the Nazis in World War II, and I suppose that qualifies as "state propaganda". On the other hand, I have read some of the transcripts in a collection, and he was fairly critical of the state of Britain, claiming that after the war, the gross inequalities would be eradicated, and so on.

I think also that being an open commentator on the BBC is different, and better, than having your work purchased, changed, and distributed worldwide by what amounts to the secret security police.

The second instance seems inexcusable to me. I treat it as an anomaly though.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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