John Anthony Burgess Wilson an English writer, music composer, critic and also a comic writer published a series of science fiction and dystopian books. The novel 1985 display elements of criticism and dystopian fiction in it. The author wrote this novel in response to, George Orwell’s novel 1984.
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Author: Anthony Burgess
Genre: Science fiction, dystopian fiction
Good reads rating: 3.48 of 5
My Ratings: 6.7 of 10
Publisher: Little Brown & Co; 1st edition (October 1, 1978)
For The Latest Price: 1985
***Warning Spoilers Below This Point***
The novel comprises two parts. The first part show where Burgess discusses and elaborates Orwell’s “1984” depicts and visualise his thoughts, ideas, and images on Orwell’s writing.
The second part of the novel is the extract of Burgess’s mind contemplating a future dystopian British society in the year 1985. In this part, the two major themes involve the power and strength of trade unions who controls society. There are unions for almost every occupation and the consequences of the union system are that they set up strikes for very little to no issues. Eventually, it leads to general strikes all over the country. It focuses on the other theme shown in the novel on Islamic culture. They establish Islamic political forces in Britain at an extensive rate.
The main character of the novel is a man named Bev Jones, formerly a history professor. Because of the union system, they considered his work as useless and meaningless and they fired him because of it. His opposition and hatred towards the union system increased after his wife experienced burns in a hospital that caught fire. Because of the strike of the fire department, no rescue service arrived to help.
The story proceeds as one day Bev went on his job despite the strike of his union. He disobeyed and rebelled against the union and became thrown out of his employment and his house. He admitted his daughter in a state-run facility and he went wandering around London. Bev joined a group of similar dismissed and jobless nonconformists. Bev with the others lived their life by petty thefts and stealing. They arrested and sentenced him to an institution that is neither a prison nor a hospital.
They subjected him to re-education and attempted to convert him to accept the system. He remained firm on his beliefs. Knowing that soon they would throw his daughter out of the facility. He sold her to an Arab Sheikh. He decided on this approach after his wife explained that she would remain happy and safe there.
They see Bev work at a network called The Free Britons. They aimed to build an infrastructure and society in perfect order. The book took many twists and turns, and at the end of the story, they again noticed Bev working at the institution. He revives his teaching career among other prisoners. The story ends with Bev trying to escape from there and killing himself by intentionally touching the electric fence.
The novel writing style offers a unique approach. It displays different aspects of criticism, literature, and fiction predicting how Britain may look like in 1985. My ratings for this novel are 6.7 out of 10. Would I re-read it? No. Am I glad I read it? Yes.
For The Latest Price: 1985
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