Orwell sees the society for 1984 is going to come to pass. Do you think he believe that the coming of such a society was inevitable ?
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I, too, believe that Orwell uses 1984 as a warning against totalitarianism. If he felt strongly enough to issue the warning, he certainly believed that such a society could become a reality. Something that is always interesting to my students when we study 1984 is to compare fictional Oceania with today's North Korea. It's eerie, and my students recognize Orwell's genius in being able to predict just exactly what a Big Brother regime would look like.
If Orwel; though the society of 1984 was "inevitable," I suspect that he would not have written the book. I think he thought that we were moving in the irection of "his" society, but I think he wanted us to read the book and wake up so that it didn't just "happen."
I suspect that his biggest concern was with the degredation of language that would allow the people in charge to take over the language and limit our ability to think ... something like what they are trying to do with Newspeak.
Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language -- so the argument runs -- must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.
From: "Politics and the English Language
He was also clearly concerned about the "creation" of a past that could justify whatever the leaders of the present wanted/needed it to be so that they could justify their policies. I don't think he could possibly have imagined the barage of information that surrounds us today through the internet, but whereas we once didn't have ENOUGH information to make a good decision, we now have so much that we don't know what to believe ... hard to know which situation is worse.
I think Orwell suspected that these and other things would happen, but I suspect that he though it was possible and wanted to present the picture to us in time to think/do something about it before it came to be.
I think that Orwell felt that the society depicted in his work could be a reality if individuals failed to recognize that the role of government in limiting human freedom is a real threat to consciousness. Orwell was writing in a time where the superpowers had the world covered. Yet, in both the Soviet Union and in the West, Orwell was convinced that individual freedom was threatened. The former's repression and institutional denial of rights was an evident totalitarian threat. Yet, in the West, Orwell was convinced that individual preoccupation with wealth, media, and other venues that distract from political activism committed to individual rights and action. It is in this setting where Orwell's society is one that renders individuals alienated from their rights as well as individuals whose political will is withered by the Status Quo.
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