Through 50% (sorry, that’s what my kindle gives me)
I am now well into Part II of the novel (1984 by George Orwell is split into III parts)
I would say the motif at this point really puts the ‘total’ in totalitarianism. Let me give you a sample of Winston’s living conditions:
- The Party, the ruling party in which Winston Smith is a low-ranking member, watches Party members constantly through video screens called telescreens.
- Everywhere you look you see Big Brother, the omniscient leader and face of the Party.
- A new language called Newspeak is being enforced. It seeks to eliminate all words related to political rebellion, unnecessary expressive language, and more.
- Thinking rebellious thoughts is even illegal. This is known as a Thoughtcrime.
- History is rewritten.
- If there is any expression of individuality or free thought, you are taken away in the middle of the night and erased from existence.
- Living conditions are drab and dreary.
Mr. Orwell does a great job drawing you into Winston’s life with his descriptive writing and imagery.
With this imagery, I started to feel a sense of self-reflection. I (Adam) live in a democracy ruled by three branches of government chosen by its citizens, a free world with civil rights. As I continue to read the novel, I constantly think to myself, “I don’t appreciate or deserve this life I live.” It’s interesting how fiction can be that powerful, right? After reading these chapters, I woke up the next day, splashed water over my face and the refreshed feeling becomes more than a simple emotion; I say “Thanks for the running water.” As I walk down the stairs, I see Sarah drinking coffee and reading on the couch; I say “Thanks for Sarah.”
“Thanks for Family”; “Thanks for Friends”; “Thanks for freedom”
Well, you get the picture… It was a day of appreciation, something very much overdue.
Continuing with the plot…
Winston is very frustrated with the oppression. He illegally purchases a diary and finds a secret spot in his apartment out of the telescreen range where he can write. We are introduced to characters: O’Brien, a powerful Party member whom Winston believes is a member of the Brotherhood, a secret and mysterious anti-government group; “The Dark-Haired Girl” whom Winston believes is a spy for the Thought Police; Other co-workers.
The “Dark-Haired Girl” is later to be discovered as Julia. In a total turn of events, Julia gives Winston a note that simply reads “I love you.” They start a love affair. (I will touch upon this love affair in another post)
Inextricably – forming a maze or tangle from which it is impossible to get free
Reconnoitring – make a military observation
Inquisitive – Curious or inspiring