‘1984’ provided an engaging read and a great storyline but the underlying purpose served more important value for me as the reader. George Orwell’s insightful ideas offered another take on the twisted society which we live in and forced me to consider the core truths which I have never put under scrutiny. I would recommend this novel under the direction of reading between the lines and would encourage the reader to discover the ideas from Orwell’s intuitive prophecy.
“War is Peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” The citizens of Oceania have learnt to live by this three piece statement in the totalitarian society which they exist in. Headed by Big Brother and the Party, Winston Smith and millions of his fellow human beings live in continuing fear and ignorance where the past is altered and their private lives are under constant surveillance. George Orwell’s take on the future world sparked a re-evaluation of the importance of compromise in the context of conflict. The post war themes within the society of Airstrip One came about at a time of war and suffering and was still an open wound for many across the world. The direct approach to an apparent future for the reader undoubtedly caused them deep unsettlement. Orwell wrote the novel in hope of triggering deeper thought into the futility of war and has truly inspired change which has been at the forefront of the new world.
As the world was bombarded with fast-paced technology and society as they knew it was falling down and being rebuilt by machines, Orwell was constructing a novel to combat and warn of an apparent future which he saw the world descending into. Although the extreme society in which Winston lives in, some of the important aspects have been seen to develop into an issue for my generation. The inability to have privacy plays among the concerns of many in the decade of video surveillance and internet. I live with the knowledge of instant contact and the burden of being locatable around the clock and this extensive theme in 1984 was highlighted by Orwell as a warning of a society which has indeed come upon us. The novel is not only an excellent piece of literature but a warning, a prophecy which offers us a number of debates, philosophical thoughts and a critic to our society.
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” The continual altering of the past, present and no doubt the future, builds a society of lies and dominance by ignorance to the truth. The consistent war which rages between the three superpowers appears to have always been between the current enemy yet when peace is found and war is waged with the other power, the history books show it has always been against the new enemy. The truth is what the government determines it to and it is accepted as a core value of the Oceanic people. We also live under the rule of a government and most of our news is filtered down and twisted, what we receive is not always the whole truth. In an age where news can be published and viewed in seconds with minimal discretion masses of creates a swarm of fake news, manipulated media and a distorted cycle of information. Personally, current events of the larger world and societal changes interests me yet I have been discouraged by the less than legitimate news sources. ‘1984’ provides an insight into the extent which a society will go to alter the media in order to combat rebellion. This leaves me in a position of uncertainty towards media in the present day and has encouraged me to engage further with the facts and highlight the lies within in my own life.