Do you think it is impossible to be enslaved unconsciously? Read these 9 Books like 1984 and you might change your mind
George Orwell imagined a totalitarian regime where repression floods the entire society. In 1984, the government uses whatever weapon it has at its disposal to exercise its coercive power.
Information is manipulated and mass surveillance is a form of political and social repression. This is one of the most relevant novels of the 20th century because it shows what a repressive government could be like in a near future.
In this article you will find stories where political and social repression take many forms, and where people end up being enslaved, either consciously or unconsciously, by its own leaders or by its own fears or desires.
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The Children of Men
by P. D. James, 1992
In the near future, humans have lost the ability to reproduce. No new human beings have been born since the so-called “Year Omega”, which condemned humanity to disappearance in a few decades and eliminated hope for any better future.
Great Britain has become a totalitarian state ruled by the Warden of England, the protagonist’s cousin, and disappointment reigns throughout the world and very few are opposed to believing that all is lost.
by Cormac McCarthy, 2006
A nuclear disaster has turned the United States into a blackened lot where nothing grows. There are no laws, no civilization, and hardly any food for the few survivors.
Through this nightmare landscape, two characters, a father and a son, will travel the roads and scorched forests seeking to escape from innumerable dangers.
The Running Man
by Stephen King, 1982
In this Stephen King novel, the greatest aspiration of an impoverished population ravaged by pollution and oppression is to appear on television and escape poverty. On television, people undergo life-threatening tests in exchange for money.
The most watched show is The Running Man. The game is simply about running away and staying alive. An army of hunters, policemen and spectators hunt down the man who runs.
Here’s a very Orwellian story, one of the best books like 1984.
By Yevgeny Zamyatin, 1924
Future is a bleak place. Private homes are made of glass (so that the police can better monitor citizens) and there are no proper names but mere file numbers (the protagonist is D-503 and his girlfriend is O-90).
Everything is oriented to increase production efficiency. This critique of the Soviet Union served as an inspiration for 1984 and Brave New World.
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The Sheep Look Up
by John Brunner, 1972
The United States has become the world’s leading importer of clean air. Nobody goes out without masks and pollution reaches all social layers and all aspects of life. In this context, there are only two possibilities to avoid the announced death of the ecosystem: revolution or terrorism.
by Dmitry Glukhovsky, 2005
A couple of decades have passed since the war that wiped out civilization. Only those who were underground at the time of destruction were saved. On the surface, the radiation washed away everything.
In the tunnels of the Moscow metro, small independent republics have been established at the various stations, with their armies, borders and organizations.
Alliances and wars have developed between the stations, and a complex small-scale economic system governs the lives of the few thousand survivors. In this underground world any abandoned station can mean death or something much worse.
By Ray Bradbury, 1953
Want more books like 1984? Here’s a classic.
In a society where thinking is a dangerous thing, the fire department’s mission is to burn books. According to the government, reading books makes people unequal, and it also makes them unhappy by causing them anguish.
Guy Montag is a firefighter who burns books and their owners’ houses by order of the government, without questioning anything and taking pride in his work. However, one day he begins to look at the books with different eyes and wonders if he really is happy with his job and his life.
Brave New World
By Aldous Huxley, 1932
Aldous Huxley’s novel is along with 1984 one of the great classics of the dystopian genre. The story takes place in the year 2540 and portrays a society in which all human beings are born in a planned way and belong to castes that pigeonhole them forever.
The danger is not the lack of information, but its excess and its banality. In this way, the truth is lost in a sea of ignorance, and the question is whether you prefer to be happy or to know the truth and be free.
The Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins, 2008
The Hunger Games are a life and death competition between young people. It is a reality show broadcast live where the winner is the one who manages to stay alive, the rest will die.
Is there room for resistance in this context? Is it possible the collaboration of those who are condemned to destroy themselves? What love can arise where selfishness is your best weapon?