Truth is like that spot on your wall that, once seen, cannot be ignored. Every time you walk by that wall, it is there, Staring down at you. You cannot remove it and you cannot un-see it. It is that unsettling little thing that tarnishes your perfect view.
Once you settle into Orwell’s worldview, the exhilaration is rather impossible to shake off. Having read Animal Farm and his various Essays, I was expecting the story to be dark and thought provoking. But it was more, far more than I ever imagined. It was sinister.
Winston Smith is an honest man, not an overly intellectual type, but sufficiently intuitive. He is an ordinary man with Moral courage and once he has seen that truth, he can’t shake it off. He is a witness to the murder of history, to the mutilation of facts and the manipulation of man, and he has the moral courage to revolt against it. And party doesn’t want men/women with moral courage or critical faculties, But, to use the christian metaphor, a herd of sheep that is to be directed to the right path. And the thing about sheep is that they don’t ask questions.
The Totalitarian apparatus of ’The Party’ functioned along the same lines as mainstream religion does.Belief without evidence, submission, self abasement, infallible leaders, and unquestioning devotion, are the basic ingredients for a totalitarian system. It was shocking to see how perfectly the two conjoined. If you just replace big brother with god, and the party with religion, you’ll see what I am talking about. It fits perfectly.
It is quite challenging to write something definitive about a book that shocks us the way 1984 has. And if we pay attention to what Orwell was trying to tell us, we can see that his future is gradually becoming our present. We do, in many ways, live in a dystopia, where life, freedom of expression, freedom of thought and inquiry, and sanctity of the individual is at risk. I have finished this book, with an overwhelming feeling, that if there is one ideology worth espousing, it is the fight against totalitarianism in all its forms.