The Novel '1984' Teaches to Rethink Everything We Accept From the World

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Sitting on my flax linen grey couch, I opened 1984. The book I am burdened to read. Sigh, “It’s going to be just like all the other dystopian novels I’ve read,” I thought. People joining a pact, living underground, and robots ruling the world. After finishing reading 1984 the first time, all I could think was, “nice descriptive language”. What I did not realize however, was how the world around Winston Smith was so scarlily relevant. It was not until after reading secondary sources on the value of Orwell and his personal life, did I realize how much truth Orwell speaks upon. Paul Grays, “That Year Is Almost Here” helped me understand the man who wrote 1984 as well as how it was shaped due to Orwell personality. Additionally, in “Today’s leftist need an Orwell”, I garnered a clearer picture on how 1984 reflected word in which Orwell lived in when he was writing. The first time around, I did not think about the larger context in which 1984 was written. I thought it was a creepy novel about the future world to come. However, the future was now. Furthermore, In 1984, “Afterword”, Erich Fromm showed me the relevance of 1984 not only in his generation, but also for years to come. Without the guidance of in class discussion and secondary perspectives, I would still be thinking of Orwell as a lunatic whose pen slipped from reality.

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Learning the background as well as the time frame in which an author wrote is the best way we can learn about their story plotline. Orwell grew up “hyper critical of himself… [and people] encouraged him to feel unworth”. He also “[laid] in a sanatorium when his book was published”. These sorrowful periods in his life reflect why 1984 may be so dreary. After learning that Orwell was an “anti-fascist… [who] grew tired of his leftist friends irresponsible incessant carping,” I gained a further understandin on the basis which he wrote the book on. The way in which Orwell reflected upon “Stalin’s atrocities… [and] Soviet-style tryanny” was parallel to the way Winston was forced to speak when torture. Having read this metaphor I no longer saw this part in the book as a work of highly acclaimed descriptive language from Orwell. I saw it as a piece of highly acclaimed descriptive language from Orwell which conveyed a message of the present day. What made 1984 so powerful was the details we can relate too. However, what Orwll didn’t realize when writing 1984 was how far reality came in line to his fictional world. Considering “Orwell wrote 1984 before the discovery of thermonuclear weapons” Orwell can be seen as a fortune teller. We are currently living in a regime that had not yet come to fruition in Orwell’s time. The use of totalitarianism to garner control, we induced arselves.

Orwell is significant to the present and future world at large because it serves as a warning or har far society can go to achieve a goal. One of the most iconic phrases “Big Brother is watching” had “entered our speech” in such a way that is unrecognizable. Everyday we are faced with the thought and worry about whether the government is spying on us or who’s on the other side of a Google search. The lack of objective truth in Oceania is similar to how we as a society do not know what to believe even if. There is always more than one perspective and it is usually the most forceful perspective that we will side with. 1984 raises the important question of whether “human nature can change in such a way that man… can forget that he is human”. Everyday we see political campaigns and parties using hatred toward each other to draw support. To see what is right in front of us we need to doublethink about whether it is true or not. In the end, Orwell’s main objective was to “remind people that they could think for themselves”.This reminder resonates in our global world as well as in our local world. With the usage of technology we created ourselves, we enclose ourselves in a bubble of what we hear. But, we don’t do as much seeing . Taking information out out there by anyone, we take for granted. Orwell explains the need for us to rethink what we hear and ask ourselves is this the truth and if it is, is this the truth that we should be living with.

The fictional country of Oceania emulated reality so much that Orwell might have as well been writing a novel on the present. The uncomforts of politics we do not like to speak of today, Orwell reflect in his novel. The language Orwell uses makes reading 1984 too familiar for comfort. In 1984, George Orwell influences readers with his blatant usage of truth in a context which is so relevant to home. 1984 will always be an essential book to society. It teaches us lessons on the importance of holding on to what one believes in real and valuable regardless of changes over time.

29 April 2022

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