1985 (Anthony Burgess novel)

1985 (Anthony Burgess Novel)

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1985 (Anthony Burgess novel)

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1985 is a novel by English writer Anthony Burgess. Originally published in 1978, it was inspired by, and was intended as a tribute to, George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Plot introduction

1985 is in two parts. The first is a series of essays and interviews (Burgess is the voice of the interviewer and the interviewee) discussing aspects of Orwell's book. The second is a novella set in 1985, seven years distant at the time of the novel's writing.

Rather than a sequel to Orwell's novel, Burgess uses the same concept. Based on his observation of British society and the world around him in 1978, he suggests how a possible 1985 might be if certain trends continue.

The main trend to which he is referring is the expanding power of trade unions. In the hypothetical 1985 envisioned in the book, the trade unions have become so powerful that they exert full control over society; unions exist for every imaginable occupation. Unions start strikes with little reason and a strike by one union usually turns into a general strike.

Another major theme of the novella is the rise of Islam as a major cultural and political force in Britain, due to large-scale immigration from the Middle East; London abounds with mosques and rich Arabs.

Plot summary

At the novella's beginning, the protagonist, Bev Jones, confronts the death of his wife. She was in a hospital when it caught fire. As the firemen's union was striking, the hospital burned to the ground. (In reality, the UK firemen's union...
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