So the 15 book meme is running rampant (bloggers blog about books? who knew?), and I’m noticing something interesting. The majority of the male bloggers who have posted their lists are including Orwell’s 1984. None of the female bloggers have that I’ve seen.
Personally, I hated it. I understood the points about privacy and conformity. Yes, yes, big warning labels. Got it.
What I didn’t believe, what I did not and would not buy was the way it portrayed human rebellion as a fragile thing. It is not. It’s one of the most durable qualities we have. Don’t believe me? Find a book of Soviet jokes. Read Anne Frank’s diary and see the life they made despite the Nazi’s wanting them dead. Read about Mildred and Richard Loving.
Rebellion is fundamental to humanity. A government may kill or suppress it in an individual, but they can’t suppress all of it. No government, not even one with cameras everywhere, has the resources. And I hated Orwell for trying to tell me it could be done.
But now I find myself wondering whether these messages about rebellion and conformity are generally read differently by groups with different relationships to the ruling class. Did other women reject 1984 for its hopelessness? Did other poor people find what it had to say about suppression to be trite?
Or am I still the only person who hated that book? What say you, blogosphere?