I am reading 1984 for the first time.
Somehow, I managed to skirt reading it in school. I know it's part of the curriculum but I was in all these English classes for advanced students that assumed I'd read a lot of books that we were supposed to have read.
The book is excellent. As much as I love science fiction that explores a future of incredible technoligical advances and utopian society scenarios, I also love the books that present an anti-utopian future. These books also include technological advances but the authors of these books imagine that technology will be used against us instead of to help us.
In 1984, Orwell imagines nothing good about the future and he anticipates that television will be used to spy on us instead of entertain us. Television is a tool the government uses to disseminate it's brainwashing propaganda discouraging individuality and freedom of thought and ideas.
Another author that imagines a dismal future is Ray Bradbury. In the story of Farenheit 451, the government burns books because again individuality is considered a threat.
In both, although I haven't yet finished 1984, the protagonist works for the government but starts questioning the vailidity of their work and mistrusting the government and ultimately this questioning of their world leads to trouble.
Anyway, I'm enjoying 1984. It's smart and interesting and I'll probably finish it before the day is over.
That is of course if I don't decide to go into work for a few hours, which part of me hopes happens and a stronger part of me is fighting.