So yeah, talked a little bit about all of these novels. I would write up something comparing the three, but I’d go on for over 1,000 words to do the subject justice, and in Internet length that’s like the 2009 Tax Code. So here’s a seat-of-the-pants interpretation of the trio:
The citizens are reduced to stupid…
Brave New World: Infants
The society is held together mainly by…
Role of science and technology?
BNW: Paramount: progress=”happiness”
Anthem: Villified: it encourages independent thought.
1984: Useful, but only as a means of control and war
Role of religion?
BNW: If you count the Ford worship, it’s everywhere; otherwise unheard of.
Anthem: With a communal morass like this, who needs it?
1984: It will get you killed.
Role of sex?
BNW: Populace oversexed as a means of pacification
Anthem: Strictly for procreation, otherwise banned: it’s a “Transgression of Preference”
1984: Also strictly for procreation; Party members are repressed to increase nationalistic furor.
Best hope for bringing down regime:
BNW: God and fine art
Anthem: Why bother? Just go live somewhere else.
1984: The proles
BNW: In a messed up way
Anthem: At times
1984: If you’re messed up
BNW: Creepy as hell
Anthem: Would be if it could be taken more seriously
1984: Scary as hell
Heroism of story’s main protagonist (1-10):
How regime deals with dissenters:
BNW: We’re sending you to an island, you weirdo.
Anthem: We’re making you a laborer and flogging you when you act up, you insolent.
1984: We’re kidnapping you, torturing you, brainwashing you, toying with you, and then murdering you, you worthless dust mite.
Most frightening society: 1984
Toughest society to change: Brave New World
Most relevant to present day: Brave New World
Best novel: 1984
I do suppose not everyone’s list will match this exactly… so leave a comment with a breakdown or two of yours that differ from mine, if you like. And if there are any of these books you’ve yet to read, I say go for it: none are terribly long and chances are, one of these classics is going to become very important to you.