Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic literary novel in the genres of political fiction and dystopian science fiction. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5, and memory hole, have entered into common usage since its publication in 1949. Nineteen Eighty-Four also popularised the adjective Orwellian, which connotes things such as official deception, secret surveillance, brazenly misleading terminology, and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state, as described by the author. In 2005, the novel was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. It was awarded a place on both lists of the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels, reaching #13 on the editors’ list and #6 on the readers’ list. In 2003, the novel was listed at #8 on The Big Read survey done by the BBC.
What happens when ill-treated farm animals gang up to throw out their lazy, corrupt and power-drunk rulers? Animal Farm is born.
As humans get ousted from Manor Farm and animals take control, their utopian fantasy of running a farm on the basis of equality soon begins to crumble before their eyes. The rebellion of the animals, led by the two pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, gives way to corrupt practices that lead to unthinkable consequences.
A resounding fable on totalitarianism and power-gone-corrupt, Animal Farm is an allegorical novella that took the publishing world by storm when it was first published and hasn’t stopped doing so ever since. The ultimate satire on fascism, Animal Farm finds relevance even in present-day world. A must-read!
Burmese Days is a novel by English writer George Orwell. It was first published in the United Kingdom in 1934. It is a tale from the waning days of British colonialism, when Burma was ruled from Delhi as a part of British India – “a portrait of the dark side of the British Raj.” At its centre is John Flory, “the lone and lacking individual trapped within a bigger system that is undermining the better side of human nature.” Orwell’s first novel, it describes “corruption and imperial bigotry” in a society where, “after all, natives were natives—interesting, no doubt, but finally…an inferior people”.