“A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it redefines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain. The old civilizations claim they were founded on love and justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy – everything.”
Above is a quote from the work “1984” by George Orwell. Written in the year 1949, “1984” is a depressing and disturbing look at the future and the government – Big Brother – that is trying to create its own version of a utopian (perfect) society through degradation and contradicting thought. The reader follows the protagonist, Winston, as he discovers the truth behind the world he is growing old in. Along the way he comes face to face with fear, love, hate, and the biggest mystery of all – Room 101, where violators of the law go to be punished.
The lengths that Big Brother goes to in order to create this utopia is the most interesting part of the book. They work to break down family ties – no longer are there strong bonds between husband and wife or children and parents. To enjoy sex is to break the law – orgasms are a felony. Children are to be taken from their mother at birth like eggs from a hen. There is no need for science, literature, or art; basically anything that will create joy in a human being. Humans are to be miserable while not feeling the need to rebel because they don’t know any better or different.
“`1984” is perhaps the most eye-opening work I have read in quite a while. The philosophies that create the foundation of the story are so complex, yet so simple – and, unfortunately, so possible. The main character, Winston, is an average guy trying to find his way in a world that outlaws his humanistic cravings. He wants to have sex, to be in love, to steal, to make mistakes. However, the world in which he lives forbids these things. And Big Brother is always watching – there are telescreens in every room, including bedrooms and bathrooms.
George Orwell is a writer that adheres to the very strict laws of grammar. Weaving his story with terse, harsh storytelling, Orwell produces a world that the reader comes to fear. Mixing the genres of Negative Utopia, Science Fiction, Romance, and Drama, the author places vivid images in the reader’s head without wasting a word or phrase. Every scene counts and leads to a bigger picture.
Mankind is heading down a bumpy road. I believe everyone can agree with that. “1984” showcases a world that falls apart within itself, that lives off of contradictions, and that is mostly a façade created for the purpose of humiliation. For a mental picture, take this quote from the book – “…imagine a boot stomping on a human face, forever.”
And that is what the reader will feel. As if a giant boot has stomped on their face for three-hundred pages. There is no happy ending. To have one would be naïve. After all, Big Brother is always watching