The saddest love story #OfAllTime. George Orwell’s 1984 was published in 1949. It’s amazing how much we think the future is going to change. This satirical novel, supposing what the world would be like in 35 years, is a great example of how much we fear the future –even today, I believe. The biggest fear some of us have is losing our freedom and falling under the totalitarian rule of another. Books like this are amazing because they can be applied to current politics, future politics and even our day-to-day lives. is there any way for another person/body to govern you efficiently?
1984 takes place in Oceania, a fictional country under the rule of “Big Brother.” The thing with Big Brother is that, not only does he monitor your actions, but he reads your thoughts as well. By keeping the country and the people in a constant state of war, the Party deflects private anger towards a common foe. But you cannot deter from your faith in Big Brother. If you do, he’ll notice. There are “telescreens” everywhere – televisions that you can’t change the channel on, which the entire country receives the same alerts and messages, mostly to do with the ongoing, raging wars.
Citizens of Oceana are employed in different places which help carry out the party’s goals: The Ministry of Love – which administers torture, The Ministry of Truth – which alters history books and records to agree with current politics because “he who controls the past controls the future”. The idea is that if you change the past to make the present correct, you’re always right. By this method, Big Brother is always right and cannot be defied or denied. Making there less reason to rebel. The Ministry of Peace manages war and The Ministry of Plenty rations food and any other articles the people need/want. As you’ll have already noticed, this book is completely backwards and insane — at the end, the most sane people are considered insane.
“Brainwashing” is what we would call it, but Oceania’s people call it self-discipline. They are taught that evil is going against the party. By learning to contradict themselves, or “doublethink”, the people stop questioning anything around them and just follow Big Brother’s lead. They’ll tell you that 2+2 = 5 without blinking an eye. Anyone who deviates in the slightest is considered a traitor, brought to The Ministry of Love and “cured” from their insanity.
I started reading this book on July 3rd, 2012 and just finished it now –7 and a half months later. It’s a lot to process. I had to switch on & off. The difficulty of reading this book lies not in the actual wording of the book, but in comprehending how this all takes place. In whether or not this make sense, because it doesn’t but it does. Oceania’s people are rasied in this world –it is all they know. As you make it through the book, you start to learn that if no one strays, you rarely feel the need to. You being to understand the mind of the Oceania citizen and that is the scariest part. The people are not allowed emotions except hatred for others and love for Big Brother. Children turn their parents into the police and love is prohibited. It makes you question true human nature and how much control we really have over it. Winston Smith, the main character, falls in love with Julia — they find secret places to meet and even plot against Big Brother. In the end, they are both captured and tortured. Although they loved eachother deeply, they both ended up betraying eachother to save their own lives.
“Sometimes,” Julia said, “they threaten you with something you can’t stand up to, can’t even think about. And then you say, ‘Don’t do it to me, do it to somebody else, do it to So-and-so.’ And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no other way of saving yourself, and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.”
“All you care about is yourself,” Winston responded.
“And after that, you don’t feel the same towards the other person any longer.”
“No,” he said, “you don’t feel the same.”
It was so real. And… they don’t. And it’s so sad. They both give up on love and hope as it was beaten and worn out of them… Can love really be destroyed? Can you really make a person submit like that? I’m sure you can. This entire book comments on the frailty of human beings. Big Brother works as a unit –it is a shared thought and ideology, therefore it cannot die. It is bigger than any individual person, and that is so sad. As someone who’s not a fan of politics… I find this a real danger. We can’t lose sight of our humanity. Without love… what is life?
It ended so sadly. So empty. And that scares me more because what if life did end up that way? Still, I suppose… for now, we still have love. So it’s okay. *exhales* An amazing read… now I can breathe. Sadly… but breathing 😦