“If you want to see a picture of the future, imagine a shoe hitting a human face.”
“1984” is one of the most famous anti-utopias of all time (along with Aldous Huxley’s book “Brave New World”). The picture that George Orwell suggests in his work depicts just such a shoe, while the terrifying force of a blow to the face is capable of instilling fear absolutely for every individual: from a pessimistic misanthrope to an idealist optimist. To which camp should Orwell be attributed? Probably, to both at the same time. After all, it is difficult to say with certainty that such a scenario could only be realized, being completely confident in its ability to come true. But regardless of any historical background, the novel “1984” has already become the cornerstone of our culture, like a warning or a prediction – here everyone should choose for himself. The book was written in 1949: in Europe, just barely managed to abate the echoes of the explosions of the Second World War, and Orwell presents to the public his creation. What is this, prediction or warning? It is impossible to answer unequivocally, but the judgment of each of us will depend on the angle of view, whether we will look for preconditions in the past, or the results in the present. Much more important is another – such books do not appear without cause.
What is this book about
Winston – the central figure of this novel – lives in a conditional state in which social thinking is completely abolished. The only creature who is allowed to think and decide is Big Brother. But by its nature, man is a thinking creature, to which such mental processes as observation, critical analysis, etc. are inherent. This is probably why Winston faces difficulties in realizing his own incapacity, but it is much sadder that he is the only one who poses such questions. He questions the omnipotence and omniscience of the Big Brother, and this is his main step on the road to freedom, while the basic humanoid mass sees no need to be interested in such ideas. Each individual simply sold his own voice and self-expression to the benefit of ephemeral well-being. In trying to find like-minded people, he, naturally, is defeated, and Winston himself, through severe torture and frightening methods, begins to believe in his own love for Big Brother. He is turned into a slave. Another!
Echoes of Reality
Tell me, do not we see a similar picture today!? Let it be slightly exaggerated, sometimes metaphorical, but the essence remains the same. Orwell’s image of the image of the Big Brother penetrates through the years and centuries and finds its reflection in any era. States or nations that openly ignore Orwell’s warning should frighten the modern public. States and nations that have not learned a lesson from Orwell’s prediction are not worthy even of sympathy!
Projecting the text of the book “1984” on real life, we cannot fail to note numerous coincidences. Even if we throw aside the image of Big Brother, there will surely be other distinguishing features that must cause us to feel anxious and anxious. First of all, this is the importance of power in our society. Power penetrates into all spheres of life, into all forms of state structure, regardless of whether we are dealing with totalitarianism, capitalism, communism or the like. Power requires enormous resources, usually human, which sometimes become mere victims for the sake of maintaining this very power. Probably, in this judgment one can place Orwell’s prediction and warning at the same time, without sharing these concepts with each other.
Perhaps one of the strongest episodes of the book is a direct answer to the question why. Winston reads a book explaining how the Party remains in power, of course, he is beginning to annoy the question of why she does it. When he asks this question to O’Brien, it sounds painfully simple and straightforward: power in the name of power. In fact, it is a cruel machine that can swallow absolutely everything, grind ideas and motives of absolutely any strength and nature. In the face of such a machine, humanity looks like a helpless insect. But it is able to grind not only with its “bloody wheels”, but also the mechanism created to control this machine: any insect, luckily lucky enough to get behind the wheel, will continue the business begun – to press himself such insects. So it hurts me to realize the sad ending of the novel, in which we see how Winston sincerely thinks about how he loves Big Brother.