I am pretty sure I read this book in my youth. But that was so long go, certainly before 1984. So, I thought it was about time to re-read it.
Has Orwell's negative Utopia arrived, did he predict well? Yes and no. “Big Brother” IS watching us. Even as I type this, I know that anybody who would like to, will be able to read this. But is “Big Brother” really interested in my musings about the books I read. I doubt it. A few of my friends read it and that is no different to me making a couple of photocopies and distributing it.
However, I think “Big Brother” are all of us. We have seen how useful the internet was last year when all those people protested against the regime in their countries. Without the internet, without mobile phones, facebook, etc., there would not have been this massive change as there was.
So, for better or worse, Orwell's phantasies have come true but it is used in a completely different way. The telescreen could be compared to facebook, only, we can decide what we put in there and what not and we can also decide who we let in to read what we are writing and who not. Huge difference.
My favourite quote of the book: “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.”
I love maps and I love to know where the people I'm reading about are, so I was looking for a map of Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia and found one here.
Another great Orwell book “Animal Farm”.