Wednesday, April 6

Big Brother is Watching You

Oh the happiness of me!  Not only have I been smiled at by a nearly creepily cheerful menagerie of teddies and toys on the end of my sister's bed, laughed at a hanging plant that literally looked like an octopus and given Dalloway the Labrador puppet-hugs to some forty different grade oners today, I have also reached my first goal for followers!  I officially have ten real life followers, and I am absolutely delighted.  I seriously need to do something celebratory. 

Anyway, I thank you all extremely for coming and listening.  It certainly is a bubbly feeling! And thankyou Kayla from The Many Colours of Happiness, who said that she thought Orwell's writing was wonderful.  Well, dear, I am completely and utterly devoted to that very opinon.  Here is a quote from George Orwell that I have stuck up on my wall -

A scrupulous writer in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1.  What am I trying to say?  2.  What words will express it?  3.  What image or idiom will make it clearer?  4.  Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

He sticks absolutely true to his guidelines, and to such an effect that I feel engrossed in an entirely new way as I read his book, 1984

(I think that the only other person who writes like this is Virginia Woolf, whom I adore and consider one of my most beautiful friends.  I know I'm wandering from the topic, but she also, presents every line like it in itself is a tour de force!  The images and idioms she uses are completely new and astonish me every time that she whips them out - words that work perfectly, but we would never expect.  She's another person that I would happily introduce you to.)

Anyway, this was the my favourite thing that I read today.


He took a twenty-five cent piece out of his pocket.  There, too, in tiny clear lettering, the same slogans were inscribed, and on the other face of the coin the head of Big Brother.  Even from the coin the eyes pursued you.  On coins, on stamps, on the covers of books, on banners, on posters and on the wrapping of a cigarette packet - everywhere.  Always the eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you.  Asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or in bed - no escape.  Nothing was you own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.

Part 1, Chapter 2, 1984, (published 1949).

Yes, this is where the phrase originated.  I know!  The world is a tangled web of textual references!

Well, I am blown away by Orwell so far.  I am excited by his book as few books have ever excited me.  I am literally buzzing inside, nearly frantically, for no real reason - just wanting to keep reading, but disturbed by the tragedy that is unfolding before me. It's ironic, really, but incredible.  Please, I bet that you will be the same.  Don't be afraid to start reading now.  We've only just begun! 


  1. Dear Book Florist,
    I'm finding 1984 disturbing but insightful. I was shocked by various descriptions of life -'solitude', 'uniformity' & 'Big Brother', parents being scared of their children, owning nothing except a space in one's head, hiding evidence of rebellion - feeling already like in death. What do you think he means by the 'age of double-think'?

  2. Dear Lyn, this is Orwell's own explaination of it! I think that this is actually from Chapter 2 itself.

    "To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself -- that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink."

    I agree with you completely. I feel very much the same way about it, and get on top of that disturbance a sort of frantic suspense, like I've reached the climax in an epic movie and have to pause it so someone can go to the bathroom! Suspense! So much suspense! And yet thrills, too.


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