Imagine a massive boulder suspended high above the ground; representing unparalleled intellectual exhilaration, the height of scholastic titillation. The weight of the rock represents its significance while also showing its propensity to fall downward. And now you instantly realize its antithesis, as if it had fallen down, and you’re left with a sickened heart and passionate sorrow. Yet somehow, both extremes are accepted to exist simultaneously; become inseparable and co-dependent, an addiction of the mind. This is 1984 – which I both vigorously love but utterly despise.
Throughout the narrative, I found myself, as in any good story, aligning against the establishment – cheering for the success, even if a martyred success, of the protagonist. Generally speaking, it seems that it’s becoming more and more appreciated when a story does not follow the typical form of a problem overcome or defeated by its protagonist. 1984 not only satisfies this growing demand, it almost spits in your face; as if telling you that you never really wanted to see a protagonist fail at all – at least to this degree and to this opponent – to find that you, as the reader, were dooped all the same. And let me just say, the very last sentence metaphorically sums up Orwell’s message beautifully.
Despite its demoralizing resolution, I very much enjoyed the political warnings and exaggerated (I hope) circumstances of the political order. To think that any of this was possible, in ideology or realization, is to feel the keenest fear of one’s own species and of oneself. How could people be capable of the methodical deconstruction of all the good in humanity? And how could any one person not only accept it but promote it? Let’s face it – the Party is BRILLIANT in understanding people and seeing what needs to be done to implement their order. To me, that is as fearful as the consequences of subversion.
At this point it is cliche, but this work is possibly one of the most timeless pieces I’ve ever read!