1984 by George Orwell Response Paper
In George Orwell’s 1984 the world that materializes before the readers eyes, is a world dominated by totalitarian control. Through fear, oppression, and the Ocianian Government “Big Brother” exercises acts to shape and form a societal nucleus that on the surface looks bright and promising giving rise to new life and hope. It is discovered that the process injected and agitated with the poison of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, and incessant public mind control. Words such as “Freedom is Slavery, War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength” are a few of the tactics used to control the minds of its individuals and stomp out any free thinkers and open mindedness. The Citizens of Ocianian, conditioned at birth to be subordinates to a tyrant state stripping the essence of individualism and causing existing persons to pick their way through an ambiguous and meaningless existence.
At the heart of this unforgiving novel, the reader discovers a protagonist character that emerges, Winston Smith. Working for the “Ministry of truth” Winston finds himself perpetuating a lie, pumping propaganda and controlling the flow of historical papers and at various times erasing the existence of people identified as” unpersons,” throwing them down the memory hole. Winston job is to revise the Parties history, watering down ideals and truth so the dominate strain of the Party is not affected in any way, always on top and never wrong for the choices it makes. Inwardly, Winston struggles with the absurdity of these existential tasks and he find himself profoundly torn with a fundamental universalism; choice. Embodied in the heart of all free thinkers, rebellion began to slide into Winston’s philosophical thoughts trickling down into his daily life and soon he found himself rejecting the Party reality and keeping a journal of negative thoughts and beliefs against “Big Brother” that he knew if found by the “Thought Police” was punishable by death itself.
Winston memory is hazy on what broke out first, was it Civil War or World War, living as young child at the time he struggled to recall. What was clear to him, is a new world came about after the sky was scorched by atomic weapons, and he being a refuge was whisked away to be nothing more than a slave in a world that has since been controlled and imprisoned, even his mind. To cloud Winston’s memory was the constant threat of war or was this just a fabrication of facts. Perhaps there were not wars at all and, the powers to be would keep the threat alive. This accomplished the government could keep control of a society through continuing fear. Whatever the case, to be in this brave new World, the Party presently, made up of four distinct parts, the Ministry of Peace, Ministry of Plenty, Ministry of Love, and the Ministry of Truth. The populace was split into three distinct classes the upper class, the highest part of the Inner Party, the middle class making up the Outer Party, and the lower class the “Proles”, Winston seen this class as the majority of the people. Winston believed that hope lied with the “Proles.” Because the dissention of language was not absolute with the “Proles,” Winston convinced the meager existence would not be in folly. His commitment to moral choices began to waver as he continued his fascination with the fundamentals of truth. Nevertheless, through this slavery, he was well aware that “Big Brother” was watching his movements carefully. In his unique position, he had witness firsthand the power of the thought police and in this new society knew he had to tread carefully shifting the absence of thought to a quite hum.
It was unclear to Winston when Julia grasped this same intuitive value but her rejection of the party rang true when she handed Winston a note that stated, “I love you.” Before receiving the note Winston, despised Julia condemning her based on what appearances that while perceived outwardly, a red sash symbolizing purity and refraining from any sexual intercourse. Julia had an infectious hatred for the Party. Julia involved herself in several unlawful acts of sexual intercourse with other Party leader and members like Winston.
However, the value of truth is what the first part of this novel seems to embody. That truth comes from the freedom and value of humanity, not some controlled representation of reality. Nevertheless, reality defined by its own nature through intellect and above all the freedom of choice, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Ethical planes can be ingrained so far, before the human spirit begins to rebel against the so-called powers to be. Choices do matter and moral boundaries help exercise those choices. However, when a government such as the one portrayed in 1984 begins to reject individualism and meaning and announces absolute moral antecedents; rejection of the whole becomes pervasive such as it did with Winston Smith.