1984 Fishbowl

1984, a book on why you should hate authority figures.

Also see: Thought police – A clever way to show that big brother know what you’re thinking, or a metaphor for my family?

The skinny on what 1984 is (no spoilers):

  • From the perspective of Winston Smith, our protagonist who’s eyes we look through to see the brutal mistreatment of his fellow citizens by their government in Oceania.
  • Winston is introduced as someone who’s only ever known of party control, and has very minimalist ideas of rebellion and freedom.
  • Winston is the only person in Airstrip 1 (the name of his home town), who thinks that being free might be a good idea.
  • However, something even so simple like writing in a journal to express yourself and your own opinions is an unpardonable offense, sometimes referred to as thought crime.
  • Do you have your own opinion on controversial topics such as equality, human rights, or anything else that applies to you? Too bad, now all you have now is death.

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Question: Oceania was constantly at war with other countries, do you think it was important for Orwell’s totalitarian society to always have an enemy? (Brandon, Leif, Julian, Nicole, Owen, Gabe, Jay)

Thesis: They were constantly at war because the war produces income, propaganda, and increases a countries faith in their government and overall patriotism.

Supporting Evidence:

  • The war is perpetual, they keep the war going to keep up propaganda and revenue.
  • The war has no end goal, they don’t really know why they’re at war.
  • None of the countries are trying to defeat each other but just to use up excess resources to keep the economy thriving.
  • The countries always switch sides, presumably in agreement with each other and act fake like they were always on the same side.
  • The countries agreed to only fight for resources within a certain area comprising of Northern Africa, the Middle-East, and Southern Asia rather than attacking each other directly.
  • When each side changes their allegiances, they each pretend that they were always on the side of their current ally

To me, the war seemed like a mutually beneficial way to continue the economic growth achieved by the military industry, hence the constant production of floating fortresses. The war is happening, but it’s being organised toward a constant stalemate, to keep all the countries happy.

or

It’s more to consume extra resources, and keep economic growth stagnant.  The book is very nihilistic and it’s hard to tell exactly what’s true, besides presumably what Winston experiences for himself.

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