Books that mark: Nineteen Eighty Four

If I were good with promises, I would promise that I am inaugurating today a new series of posts about the books that marked my short and insignificant trajectory on earth. Some of the works that I want to mention here may have been elaborated in a rather unpretentious way, others less innocent had the clear intention of transforming people and mobilizing crowds throughout history. 1984 is classified in the second group.

In the dawn that preceded my high school graduation trip, one of those nights where cortisol seems to throb in every cell of your body, I tried to find a book on internet to read until sleep comes, and I ended up with Orwell’s 1984. In that time, being me a fresh seaman for books subject, I only knew some references to the concept of Big Brother, which was enough to start once for all the reading with the vain hope of fall asleep.

Published in 1949 with the world catching back your breath and taking courage to set foot on pavement after the extremes of the Second Great War, George Orwell was able to describe with frightening fidelity the ideological constitution of a totalitarian state, where fear is the main resource to dope the population and make they deliver what is most precious, the freedom to self-determinate according everyone’s own conscience.

In the dystopian society, government has the ability to watch your citizens in all the acts of their public and private life, in a way that the second one practically stop existing, once the awareness of constant vigilance inhibits the individual to demonstrate some unpleasant behavior to the status quo. The central character of the plot, Winston Smith, works in a public office called “Ministry of Truth”, whose primary function is to edit newspapers and other records of history according to the interests of the party, circumstance that makes commemorative dates change in meaning and people be erased from the history.

“War is peace,
Freedom is slavery,
Ignorance is power.” Big Brother’s Motto

Like all growth, reading 1984 for the first time hurts a lot, especially when you become aware of how fragile individuals are in front of an oppressive force, and our most intimate desires can be nullified by a cause that is not ours. The feeling is of suffering a spiritual death before the organic. I very much believe that this book was one of the great gifts left to humanity, so once alive, we have the power-duty to go through this healthy annoyance.