If you were give the opportunity to interview George Orwell himself, what two questions would you ask?
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Orwell offers in 1984 a satire of communism and fascism in which he creates a dystopia where the state controls its people through telescreens, propaganda, war, and torture. Given the worldwide War on Terror, and if Orwell were alive today, I would ask him:
"After the attacks of 9/11 and the London train bombings, is the world, particularly the English speaking countries of England and the U.S., moving more toward a mass police state like that in 1984?"
As one who saw language at the crossroads modern era, I would also ask him about the state of the English language today:
In your essay, "The Politics and the English Language," you criticize those who speak "ugly" and "inarticulate" English. Is modern technology (internet, mass media, pop music) only making the language uglier and more inarticulate?
If I were to interview George Orwell, the author of the novels 1984 and Animal Farm:A Fairy Story, I would ask him the following questions. 1)Which of his nine or more novels was his favorite, and is it annoying that only the two previously mentioned seem to get any real attention. I would also ask him 2)How relevant his imaginings with regard to 1984 and Animal Farm:A Fairy Story are today?
I'm a lot more skeptical than some about Orwell's work. I think that 1984 and Animal Farm keep getting assigned because the people who assign the books are living in the past. So I would ask:
- Since communism has fallen, why should anyone bother to read Animal Farm anymore.
- 1984 is 25 years in the past and none of the stuff you predicted has even remotely come true. Why do you think that is?
Hopefully, I would be more polite than that, but I would be especially interested in the second question because I would like to know what he thinks happened to make his vision of 1984 be so far off.
1. I would ask him what he thinks of all the political correctness in today's society--since he focuses so much on language in his essays and novels (especially 1984).
2. I would also ask him how in the world he could write a novel such as 1984 that is so eerily similar to much of what occurs today in North Korea.
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