ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

1984-Some Thoughts

Updated on March 15, 2017

The book 1984, written by George Orwell, talks about a negative utopia, under the rule of a totalitarian government. This book is amongst some of the most interesting works of literature I have read and caused me to ponder heavily on some new concepts it introduced.


The book is set in the year 1984 in the city of London. After WWII has ended, there was a war that started to overthrow the communism in England and replaced it with a totalitarian government, known as INGSOC, this battle is later referred to as the Revolution. London is part of the nation of Oceana, which is constantly at war against either Eurasia or Eastasia, and is allies with another. INGSOC is able to erase all individuality, and manipulate reality. They separate the world into three sections of the inner party, outer party, and the proles, with the inner party being the most privileged and powerful, and the proles being close to slaves. They control the people with an iron fist, keeping them monitored at all times, and manipulate their thoughts using a ton of political propaganda and a language they devised called Newspeak. Anyone who dare step outside the box of the herd of brainwashed sheep will the vaporized, being erased out of worlds as well as the minds of the people.



The general plot of this book circles around our protagonist, Winston Smith, a member of the outer party who works at the Ministry of Truth helping with the edit of documents. Winston introduces us to this world and presents his own perspectives towards it. His desire for a revolution to change the current styles of living together with his rebellious spirit help moves the plot forward, and we are able to discover the perspectives of INGSOC as well as the brainwashed people in this process. The first half of the book revolves around these thoughts of rebellion as well as his love with Julia, another rebel. The second half of the book, which is also its climax, talks about his imprisonment when his thought crimes have come to light and the gradual perversion of his mind thanks to the brain-washing methods of the Party. The story ends with a completely brain-washed Winston who has lost all his individuality as well all his previous desires. The entire book ends with the words, “He loved Big Brother.” (Big Brother is the leader of INGSOC and he is their symbol. His face is placed everywhere from posters, coins, to the videos shown on the no longer fictional telescreen which acts as a television and a monitoring device. Big Brother’s face is always accompanied with the caption: ‘Big Brother is watching’.)

Doublethink is an interesting concept introduced in this book. It is basically the ability to hold two opposing opinions, mostly due to the influence of the government, at the same time. For example, I really like my Aunt Betsy since she is nice to me, but thanks to my parents constantly telling me how she is horrible to them and judgmental to the family, I has some distaste for her. Due to the promotion of my parents I now hold two opinions of Aunt Betsy that oppose one another, yet coexisted; this is the process of doublethink. In this book doublethink extremely common to a point of necessity, and INGSOC achieved this either by propaganda or by brain-washing. This concept alarmed me very much since I realized that I myself am starting to develop doublethink. Thanks to the constant bashing of the major media, my original political, social, or personal values are slightly affected, as an opposing concept is introduced. Though I still firmly believe on my original values, it is also true that I find the opposing opinion relatable, thus holding both in my mind at the same time. I realized the immense power that the media can have on the minds of the people, and what is scarier is they so subtly achieving this that I wasn't even able to notice anything out of the ordinary, what makes this worse is that there are many news today that are biased, fake, or partial. These events really lead you to question free will itself, seeing that the media nowadays can change your opinions and values almost as easily as you would change channels. What is somewhat a consolation though, is that at least we have freedom of speech, and a range of options to let our thoughts be heard to the world, and to hear other people’s thoughts, thus making any possible brainwashing done by the major media harder to achieve.

1984 George Orwell Movie Trailer

1984 also has a unique take on the definition of reality itself. The Ministry of Truth where Winston works helps with the manipulation of documents and literature. They even change history itself. For example, they claimed that they were the ones to invent the airplanes and etc., and destroying or alternating any documents that might disagree with them. The question presented here if there is no proof against the fact that INGSOC invented airplanes, and with everyone believing that INGSOC did invent airplanes, does INGSOC inventing the airplanes become the reality? You might argue that the truth is what really happened, and that is reality, but here comes another question. During Winston’s captivation O’Brien held up 4 fingers and told him that he held up 5. Winston kept saying it was 4 fingers, regardless of the torture due to his opposition saying that “you cannot change reality”. Winston then receives an electric shock directly at his temples, causing him to see everything in a blur, thus making the 4 fingers O’Brien had held up to 5 fingers. Here come the question, how can we know that the 4 fingers we see is truly 4 fingers? How can we be absolutely certain? If Winston’s perspective can be easily changed with an electric shock, how can we be sure that the 5 fingers he was seeing is not the reality, and that the 5 fingers is not what everyone else sees? How can we be so sure of our senses and trust them to be reliable to the perception of reality? The final dilemma is that if for example, I say that I’m floating in the air, despite the fact that I’m not. If everyone in the world ‘sees’ that I am floating in the air and believes it wholeheartedly, am I floating in the air? In a sense, if everyone including myself sees it, then yes, in another sense, no. These are just some of the questions presented in the book that has filled me with doublethink.

1984 was written as a warning to us after George Orwell has seen the terrors of the dictatorship of the Soviet Union. The totalitarianism of Hitler also fueled this book, as it became what I would believe as one of his best works. In this article I discussed only a small portion of this book, and I hope that you will get to read this book yourself.

Have you read 1984?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      17 months ago from The Caribbean

      I read this book fifty years ago. I remember being scared by the capabilities of the invisible Big Brother. Your review makes me want to read it again.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)