February 1, 2013

War is peace in 1984

"'To tell you the truth -' He sat down awkwardly on the bench opposite Winston.
'There is only one offence, is there not?' he said.
'And you have committed it?'
'Apparently I have.'"
1984, George Orwell

Many were recommending George Orwell's "1984". As soon as a picked the book from the library, I started reading. It is a depressing novel, but I forgive the author. He is trying to make us think about the questions we might have found philosophical, irrelevant, too abstract and uninteresting. Now it was imaginary, yet horrifying possibility.

What is freedom? What is peace? What is strength?

The party in novel says:
War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.
How often do we agree?

Or what is a difference between truth and falsehood? How often do we think no distinctions exist, no black and white?

While reading, I was often reminded about Soviet Union. There are simply too many similarities, but don't loosen up, the novel also reminds us of our present. Orwell gives us a hint what's concerning.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from the novel.

  • "It was like trying to make a move at chess when you were already mated."
  • "Always yell with the crowd, that's what I say. It's the only way to be safe."
  • "If you kept the small rules you could break the big ones."
  • "To push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing."
  • "He moved from thoughts to words, and now from words to actions."
  • "If you loved someone, you loved him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still gave him love."
  • "Inefficient nations were always conquered sooner or later."
  • "Imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages and the deportation of whole populations - not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive."
  • "The confession was a formality, though the torture was real."
  • "We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from hen."

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