One of the surprising aftermaths of Trump presidency is the skyrocketing sales of George Orwell’s 1984. One can only guess why. It could be the doublethink concept. It could be the concept of authoritarianism. We could only guess.
These are other books, just like 1984, that you can read to understand more about Trump’s American dreams:
1. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (1932)
This book is kept in parallel with 1984. In the book, Huxley imagines of the world in 2540 where a separate society is captivated by Fordism, consumerism, hunt for finding pleasure and an anti-depressant called ‘soma’.
The difference is that the people in 1984 are displeased while in this book, people are happy in the controlled environment of homogeneity, where freedom is supposed to be a bad thing, and individuality is supposed to be the worst.
2. We, Yevgeny Zamyatin (1924)
It is said that George Orwell was inspired by this book. It talks about a place in the future in the aftermath of two hundred years’ war and leaves only 0.2 percent of the population alive.
In that world, everything is controlled and each citizen is given a number to be called by.
There’s also a giant “Green wall” that separates people from the outside. Sounds similar to something that Trump is building?
3. Lord of the Flies, William Golding (1954)
Lord of the Flies talks about a group of boys who get stranded on an island and they establish a “democratic society” there. This doesn’t last long as it soon degrades and turns into sadistic feral chaos. It also explores how power is corrupted and how there are flaws in the social democracy.
4. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (1953)
It’s about how literature is banned and books are burned in the imagined American future. Book burning is an allegory to explain censorship, enslavement and political repression.
5. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (1985)
Taking place after the collapse of America, this fiction delves into the authoritarian military dictatorship of Gilead. There are no human rights. Female autonomy is destroyed; they are only tools for reproduction, abortion is considered to be the highest of crimes and sterile women are considered to be “unwomen”.
Rings a bell when Trump talked about women’s reproductive rights?
6. It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis (1935)
In this fictional novel, Sinclair Lewis imagines the world where instead of Franklin Roosevelt, Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip wins the election and becomes the president. The Hitler-like figure is elected as part of populist patriotism and promises of economic development, which is then opposed by a journalist and underground rebellion. They help dissidents escape to Canada.
See the parallels?
7. Children of Men, P.D. James (1992)
The book talks about a future in England where no children have been born for decades and the society is under a threat of mass extinction. During that time, democracy crashes down and is then ruled by a tyrant who hates “refugees” who flee from other countries.
Trump’s anti-immigrant campaigns can be seen as a parallel here.