Lyceum — 1984

It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.

1984, by George Orwell, is a classic and for good reason. It envisions a dystopian society, where a totalitarian tyrannical party controls the actions and thoughts of its residents. It imagines a future where war is perpetual and of omnipresent endless surveillance. This was one scary read.

Orwell is my opinion is one of those thinkers that can see through the vast intricate social structures of society and lay them bare. His ideas are very relevant to how society and technology today are shaping our future and if not carefully kept in check, can spiral out of control.

One of the central ideas of the book is the Mutability of the Past, and how easily facts are changed to suit needs. History is merely a tool used by the party to assert it’s own immortality upon the masses. Really understanding and thinking about the idea is haunting when you realize how easily your link with your past and belief’s can be severed. He also talks about freedom of speech and action, and what happens when you sterilize people of them. He explores a huge breadth of ideas in the book.

Orwell in both Animal Farm and 1984 has allegorically referenced the Russian Revolution of the 20th Century. His reasons and motivations for the same can be read about here and here, which helps understand his insecurities and apprehension of totalitarian ideologies and Soviet Russia.

I was terrified while reading the book. Scared, trying to visualize the society that Orwell had painted and mesmerized by the depth and detail with which he had expressed his world. Ideas are not simply presented to the reader, but explored microscopically. His vision of this future might sound absurd simply because it’s hard to comprehend living in, which speaks volumes as to why we should avoid it. I will be re-reading this book every year, to grasp and have a better understanding of the text, there’s too much in here to ruminate about.

Orwell’s magnum opus is an incredible meditation on society, power, historical negationism and propaganda. It’s as important today as it was when it was written, maybe more.

If you haven’t already, try and find the time to read this masterpiece.