Was Winston's rebellion always doomed or could it possibly have worked?In the final chapter of 1984.

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In 1984, Orwell plays upon our hopes and dreams the same way that the illusion of Goldstein and the rebellion played upon Winston's.  As readers in a free, democratic society, we have bought into the American dream, the "rags to riches" story of one man overcoming overwhelmng odds to become a success story.

But, too Orwell, who saw firsthand the fate of the individual in totalitarian governments (he was a journalist during many wars and rebellions), this story is an illusion.  For the individual in communist U.S.S.R., fascist Italy, or Nazi Germany, there is no hope, no dream, no rebellion.

There's no chance a rebellion of one could work in these governments.  They control the media.  They control the technology.  They control surveillance, profiling, and the secret police.  They control supply and demand of goods.  They torture.  They control propaganda, information, disinformation, records, history.  They even control children and the sexual mores.   In short, they are a well-oiled machine whose gears and mechanisms are all-knowing, all-seeing, and untraceable.

An individual plays by the rules, whether it is morality or integrity.  The state does not have any rules; more, they have no conscience.  They only know pain and suffering.  Winston didn't stand a chance.


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