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1984- Book vs Movie

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Aisha Khalid

on 23 July 2015

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Transcript of 1984- Book vs Movie

Excerpt from the novel :"Suddenly the foul musty odour of the brutes struck his nostrils. There was a violent convulsion of nausea inside him and he almost lost consciousness. Everything had gone black. For an instant he was insane, a screaming animal...He was still strapped in the chair but he had fallen through the floor, through the walls of the building, through the earth, through the oceans, through the atmosphere, into outer space, into the gulfs between the stars- always away, away, away from the rats... But through the darkness that enveloped him he heard another metallic click, and knew the cage door had clicked shut and not open."(Orwell 361-362)

One of the most important messages, the removal of words to creat "Newspeak" is hardly explained.
Execution and Clarity
The Movie and the Book
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

Meaning (Themes Symbols and Concepts)
The movie shows Winston playing chess, but the symbolism and irony (Big brother is evil and had in fact won but Winston now believes that Big Brother is good) is only explained in the novel.

"Winston looked up at the portrait of Big Brother. White always mates, he thought with a sort of cloudy mystycism. Always, without exception it is so arranged. In no chess problem since the beginning of the world has black ever won. Did it not symbolize the eternal, unvarying triumph of Good over Evil? The huge face gazed back at him. White always mates. (Orwell 365)
It's no surprise that such a great novel as 1984 has a movie adaptation; ironically, made in 1984. Commended by many critics and supporting an impressive 7.2/10 rating on
, this film can be said to be a successful movie.
Nonetheless, it does not compare to the book.
The scrupulously written four hundred pages
of 1984 exceed any two hour movie adaptation.

The book's execution is superior to that of the
movie's,it illustrates the many thought-provoking
themes, ideas and concepts with more
competence, and it is more engaging.


-Winston Smith, the protaganist, works for the Ministry of Truth, rewriting records (i.e.newspapers) to turn them to favour the party
-Telescreens, hidden microphones, the thought police, and
neighbors, children, coworkers monitor each other
-Winston buys a journal to write in
-Has an affair with another party member Julia
-Meets O'brien to join the "brotherhood"
-Julia and Winston are caught
-Winston is tortured until he completely believes in
Big Brother
and it's ideals
The movie rushes through the plot so that unless someone has previously read the novel it is hard to fully understand

-Winston's job of rewriting the past as an outer-party member at the ministry is never properly explained

-The novel makes it very clear that at the beginning Oceania is at war with
and allied to
, whereas in the movie it is not. Hence, when in the movie the party speaker claims that Oceania is at war with
someone who has not read the book would not notice.
The novel's description is superior because it gives a better insight into how Winston is feeling and uses description to vividly show emotion as well as appeal to other senses, something which the movie can not demonstrate
Many simple themes such as the danger of technology surveillance, psychological manipulation, and totalitarianism are displayed to some extent yet the rest is lost.
All the themes were better explained in the novel even if they were mentioned in the film.
-the fact that Winston suspects O'brien is part of the brotherhood and that he joins it himself
Other concepts such as “doublethink” the importance of hierarchy, and allusions to previous countries are also passed over.
"War is Peace” “Freedom is Slavery” and “Ignorance is Strength" are plastered across every wall in the distinguished novel 1984. Written in 1949 by George Orwell, this famous antithesis illustrates the dystopian future in which the novel takes place; where the government, represented by “Big Brother,” has created an absolute totalitarian government in the state of Oceania. Interestingly, Orwell created 1984 as a political cautionary novel about the dangers of losing democracy and freedom (similar to his acclaimed
novel Animal Farm) as world war two had recently
ended and the cold war had begun. It is also an
allegory to communist Russia.
Throughout the novel Orwell explores many
complex philosophical concepts and themes.
In short, if you're debating on watching the movie or reading the novel- definitely pick the novel. The 1984 movie adaptation, with its unclear plot points, simply can not beat the deeper meaning and vivid language of the original story.
As V.S. Pritchett, reviewing the novel for the New Statesman stated: “I do not think I have ever read a novel more frightening and depressing; and yet, such are the originality, the suspense, the speed of writing and withering indignation that it is impossible to put the book down.”
Appeal and Intereset
-Most critics argue that the film's set proficiently presents the dreary mood and that the actors are played with skill
-Great for a 1984 film, but now, with the new technological editing software, it does not have as great of an appeal.
-The general public will compare it to other movies, and will not enjoy watching a movie that is so poorly filmed in comparison.
-The book simply has more to offer.
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