Listen, the 1984 book was strange. I finished it Saturday and have been thinking about it ever since. I hate scary movies, like really hate them. When I read a book, it usually plays out in my head like a movie. So this book may have given me some nightmares. I can appreciate a lot of dystopianfiction, but this was hauntingly prophetic.
Totalitarianism itself isn’t new or futuristic. It’s real now, and has happened before with psychos like Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. It’s still happening today in places like North Korea, Russia, and Iraqi. Actually you could say it's happening everywhere, with all the restrictions on an individual's personal liberties in general. I won't go into that though. That's another post.
I will say this, I don't want to imagine what it would be like to live in a world like George Orwell created. I mean, we all have limitations to our liberties in our daily lives that are out of our control, in our jobs for instance. We are limited to exercising our own want or will, due to the interest of the company we are working for. Or, in our personal lives, we still have liberties left, however the government tries to continuously choke those out too. I am thankful to have freedoms, but after reading this book, it definitely makes you question how long we will be allowed to live this way. The whole book seemed very much like an advanced technological Holocaust.
Poor Winston, you could see he was disturbed from the get go, but who the hell wouldn’t be disturbed in a time like that. You ask yourself daily "Are your memories real or fake". The whole doublethink thing, how could anyone live like that and not lose it psychologically? It was sick in the end, when O’Brien was conditioning Winston through torture. All the citizens were conditioned daily with the stupid TV shows, and watching people get murdered in public. The bloodlust it created in those people was just sick. O'Brien really believed he was trying to “save” Winston, or save his mind. That was the thing though, O’Brien and the inner Party want all thoughts to be “purified"; hence the Holocaust reference from earlier. O’Briens character, much like a Hitler, tortures others in order to keep power and for the sake of "purity."
Winston represents the undying self-determination that I think we all would want to have if ever faced with this type of reality. While Winston is being tortured, you see him lose his will and his spirit. It is completely destroyed. I think Orwell does this to remind us, that this could happen to anyone, it has happened in the past and could happen in the future. He reminds us that it is still possible. Maybe we should take a break from having babies and fix the world huh? I don't know.
Listen, on a brighter note, Saturday I got up and drove myself to Lexington, just like I said I would, all by myself. I actually drove to Lexington for almost 4 years for work, and witnessed many really bad car accidents. The last one I saw was actually really horrible and may have been the thing that pushed me to find another job. After I left that job and came to my current one, I kind of developed a fear of driving back over there. I have only driven myself, by myself, to Lexington maybe three times for doctor appointments since then. I am trying to do more things that are out of my comfort zone though.
I am glad I did it. I got to spend nearly 2 hours in this secret, hole in the wall bookshop called Glover's Bookery. I think I could have stayed all day actually. It was pure magic for me. I got some really great books, and also found another little hole in the wall place that I may try to venture out to this weekend. Still don't know how I feel about driving over there two weekends in a row though. But, I am telling myself this fear is all internal, and that they are just thoughts, and that this is good for me, and that I can do it.
I got this great little book that I am reading right now from there too. It's called "The Star of Life" by Edmond Hamilton. It's an older SCFI book, but I love old books. Someone also took the liberty to mark their favorite parts with four leaf clovers. I just love that. I imagine that if my heaven or afterlife, or whatever it is we get when we leave this wretched place, if it has a smell; it will smell like old leather and vanilla, like old books. Maybe even a touch of freshly mown grass too.
Well, that's all for a midweek post. Read 1984 if you want a good jolt into futuristic possibilities, and maybe a reminder of history. Also, go visit an old bookstore, like one that doesn't have a catalogue or any type of organization. It will make you nostalgic and longful for simpler times I think. When things and people weren't so loud, when we still talked to each other, and people read poetry and fell in love with it.