Direktlänk till inlägg 30 maj 2010

1984, a terrifying world

Av 1984 - 30 maj 2010 11:58

Since Anders has already been describing the plot of the book, I decided to broach the subject considering the world´s appearance and the political aspects in 1984.

Initially, the word is divided into three world emporiums, Eurasia, Eastasia and Oceania, in which Winston himself lives. Oceania is in alliance with Eastasia. Together they are making war against Eurasia. No one really seems to know why, thus the war has no historical beginning and no visual end. As Big brother controls the past and the future, everything that is considered right now is being changed in history to fit today´s believes. Newspapers and speeches are being rewritten in order to destroy the past end make it more modern. In that way, the party will approach as the perfect party, which has never done, or said, anything wrong. Consequently, no one will be having anything to put against it, not from today´s happenings, nor happenings to be found in history. Winston work includes re-writing the past at The Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), and therefore he notices what is going on.

Due to the constant supervision from the party through the telescreens, no one has the chance to speak to one another about what they noticing. As Anders wrote, an opposition is therefore troublesome to build. Winston is constantly reminding himself of the fact that he is being watched and is afraid to make any move that would show his dislike, even though he still is an exceptional member of party. (Not considering the fact that he is writing a diary, which is not accepted). Moreover, the Party is creating a new language, “Newspeak,” which does not include any words that makes it possible to utter dislikes in any way. This of course prevents the building of an opposition as well.

Moreover, there are no such thing as laws in this world, although there are many things to be punished for. One thing that I especially reacted on while reading, is that looking at people being hanged is considered an enjoyment. At one point in the very first part of the book, Winston helps a neighbor with her sink. Her kids are constantly nagging about go down town to watch the hanging. Not only is it remarkable that they are seeing that as amusing, they already seem to be true subscribers of the party and have been learning to blindly follow Big Brother. What happens later in the novel is yet to be seen, although I believe, that if someone can make a change, it must be a person who has been living in times before Big Brother, and seen how the word has changed.

Oceania is being lead by “the party”; it is simply called that since there is only one. It is pure dictatorship and the society is build upon English socialism (INGSOC) and is consequently communistic. Everyone is working, in some way, for the party, and everything people own comes from the party. It feels almost like an extreme depiction of today´s China (where people also are being hardly monitored), or former Soviet. The strong dictatorship and all the terrible executes, seems influenced by the second world war, Big Brother figuring as Hitler. This might have been what Winston had in mind while writing the book, as it was written just after the end of World War 2.


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31 maj 2010 15:42

Interesting derivation to World War 2, considering when it was written it is indeed plausible that he has been influenced by several contemporary "celebrities". However, I personally regard Big Brother more as a portrayal of Josef Stalin then Hitler. Because of the politics Big Brother represent in the novel.

In addition, the frightening part is that, according to your text, parts of Orwell's predictions actually turned out to be justified, having China in mind. That is certainly deplorable and in some way so remote but still so real.

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31 maj 2010 16:37

Well, I see your point. Moreover, I agree as far as the political aspect is concerned, however, Hitler constantly made people hail him, in such way as for example shout out his name in choir, exactly as is described in the novel when people are shouting "BB" during the "two minute hate.”

Furthermore, choosing a communistic leader I believe that Mao is more alike whit all portraits of him all over China (although he is dead now), constant supervision of his people and killing without reason, or at least without any judicial procedure. Although I realize this happened when Stalin was in charge as well..

Consequently, Stalin, Hitler, or Mao does not matter. What I would like to enlighten is the influence of strong and dangerous dictatorship, and what happens when these sort of people gain access to power.

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31 maj 2010 21:26

I both agree and disagree with both of you regarding which is the "role model" of BB. On one hand he is like Hitler, on the other side he is like Stalin, and, on the third side he is a mixture of both of them; due to the fact that this is a fictional novel and therefor Orwell whishes to enlighten the reader with the message that dictatorship can be cruel to the inhabitants.

I would also like to emphasize another aspect of the telescreens. Have you two noticed the similarities with the banners in former Nazi-Germany? The Nazis had their swastika everywhere, a clear sign of unity. Orwell does not provide Oceania with the same rate of banners as in Nazi-Germany. Though Oceania has its INGSOC logo on many places, it is far from the Hitler regime.

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3 juni 2010 21:44

Interesting, I will have to read this book now!


P.S To all appearance, I would not say that this fiction has come true, nevertheless I am not enough informed to make such statements!

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Av 1984 - 3 juni 2010 18:13

A few years ago I was on my way to a competition and I slept on youth hostel called “Esperantogården”. I thereby became acquainted with the artificial language called “Esperanto”. It was made by dr L.L. Zamenhof in 1887 to sim...

Av 1984 - 2 juni 2010 18:00

Winston changes during the story. In the beginning he is a bit negative towards The Party and his contempt for it and the happenings increase, maybe because the influence of Julia and her attitude to The Party, but in the end he is indoctrinated and ...

Av 1984 - 2 juni 2010 17:20

When reading this novel, many questions appear. Why did Orwell write this and whom was he writing for? Was the book written for the future, for the people of his time, or mainly for his own need to express his anxiety and hatred?  Perhaps is it a mix...

Av 1984 - 2 juni 2010 16:23

As mentioned previously in different ways,”1984” is a highly political novel. Intended to affect and enlarge the reader’s view of society and hopefully, according to Orwell, amend it. To do so Orwell endeavors to use an advanced lan...

Av 1984 - 31 maj 2010 22:57

I decided to look more at the recurring Party slogans, this time at “WAR IS PEACE”. My father and I had a discussion about dictatorship contra democracy. We along with Winston found out that in order for BB (or the dictator) to maintain a...


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