WAR IS PEACE.
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
No, I’m not talking about the year 2016 (however fitting this may seem). Its from one of the craziest books I’ve read in a while — 1984 by George Orwell.
Before I got to reading this all I knew about it was that 1984 is the book that Bigg Boss (Or Brother. Depending on where you’re from) is based on and I just could not bring myself to read it. Because seriously, BIGG BOSS???
But trust me when I say that this book is scary, relevant, impossible, addictive and amazing. All at the same time.
Quick summary – Fucked up state of the world with a fucked up totalitarian government controlling the fuck out of every single citizen that is living in the year 1984(and beyond). Our man Winston Smith somehow sees past all this shiny bullshit Big Brother and the Party serve him and starts a mini-self-contained-rebellion of sorts. But although he’s such a special snowflake, he managed to find himself a woman (Julia) who is also the same kind of special snowflake. To top that he also managed to bump into the hero of his rebellion, O’Brein (Some luck Winston has). Of course as soon as we start to believe that Winston is unnaturally lucky and that everything will work out in the end (SPOILER ALERT: NOTHING works out in the end at all) , things take a turn for the worse (and I mean WORSE) and shit gets mega-twisted for poor boy Winston. All that he believes in comes around to kick him in the face multiple times, literally and figuratively. And then the book ends on the most depressing and hopelessly disheartening note possible for the story.
What gets me the most is how much its possible to relate with the book right now even though it was written in 1949 about a seemingly improbable dystopian version of the year 1984. The way governments and leaders want total control over our individual thoughts and actions more than they want to govern our countries on the whole. The way the media can easily be ‘manipulated’ to sway public opinion this way and then that. The way the public driven by hatred against anything foreign or different can be made violently orthodox by the wrong set of leaders. And most importantly, the way anyone with an opinion different from the masses and the popular leader feels insecure and afraid expressing said ‘unpopular’ opinion.
1984 has left me wondering if we’re all going to end up like Winston; defeated, owned, controlled and spiritless. Or if there really is hope for us to look past the hatred and divide that we’ve let the powerful among us create. And just for this, I would recommend everyone to read this book and think about everything that I’m thinking about now.