I am not really enthusiastic with the book’s ending. It seems like Winston fought so much to go against Big Brother and then he just gave it all up. I believe the novel wanted to demonstrate how much conditioned an individual may become when belonging to a totalitarian society. I can’t believe he accept it, after doing everything he did to show his principles. I believe he noticed how loving someone was impossible, since love would never be a pure feeling. As much as he enjoyed staying with Julia, he picked himself and Big Brother over her and his morality. He let go of his moral to save his life. I wasn't expecting such decision from Winston, and the way he “gave” Julia away. “Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!l.” This quote demonstrates how much he was willing to appreciate Big Brother and believe that 2+2 = 5 to maintain himself alive. On my opinion, he wasn't brave enough to stick up to his morality. I understand how Winston had no other choice than to accept the Party principles, as the author explains, "But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother." Winston accepts Big Brother, and becomes a “normal” individual from society; as if he had forgotten everything he once defended. His whole struggle and revolution against Big Brother was actually against himself and after passing through severe punishments, he realizes how “loving” the Party and Big Brother was the right thing to do. I believe I was expecting Winston to die; however this ending would be already expected. The ending actually surprised me.
The last chapters of the novel as expected are the most impacting ones. Totalitarianism won the battle against humanity as we saw in chapter five when the party made Winston betrays Julia. The only human aspect left on the couple was the fact that they loved each other, and the Party was able to remove it from them. By knowing Winston very well, they knew that one of his greatest fears were rats, and used them to make Winston give up. Winston’s betrayal gave victory to the party. This shows that the couple’s previous thoughts that the party could control them physically but would never be able to control their thoughts are false. The party in fact controls thoughts and by observing all individuals constantly them know all of them very well, even their phobias. Winston breaking point is completely clarified in the passage, “ His thoughts wandered again. Almost unconsciously he traced with his finger in the dust on the table: 2+2=5. “They can’t get inside you” she had said. But they could get inside you.” (Orwell 290) One of the most impacting thought crime Winston committed was to write that 2+2=5 in his diary. When he voluntarily writes this down the reader can notice that the party made him changes his mind completely. Another doublethink idea is ironically remembered right after this scene.
We can connect this section and idea of the novel to our society. All groups in society have the general ideas and principals, which in order for a person to join this group the need to follow and enjoy these ideas. ”. An example from our society is if you are in a party school and you don’t party, you are excluded because for that group of people the only “cool” individuals are the ones who party. In 1984 Winston didn’t want to “party” and honestly believed that his principles were write. He wanted to be a human with the characteristics he thought a human should have, and he should be allowed to do that, with ought being punished or criticized but the party. These groups in our society and the party of 1984 harm a lot the people by creating these negative ideas. Individuals should be free to make their choices and live, with ought being criticized or excluded by anyone.
Was Winston’s experience the only one that the Party faced or do they constantly have to change revolutionary minds? Did Winston really change his mind or is he pretending to in order to don’t be punished? Is death the only way to reach the “Golden Country” Winston dreamed?
In this section of the novel it was possible to see how fear affects and transforms the way people think. On Winston’s conversation with Julia after both betrayed each other he states “ You want it to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself” (Orwell 292). This quote shows that in other to save yourself people are capable of inflicting pain on the loved ones without caring. Just like in Brave New World, where in the end Bernard tried to betray Helmholtz and John in order to save himself from exile, his greatest fear. This is the way that both the Party and the World Controllers manipulated its citizens, each time that this happens people are separated, making it harder for rebellions to occur and easier for their minds to be changed into believing what the leader is saying. How is it possible for someone to suppress its greatest fears without affecting someone else? Can this be considered selfishness? Room 101 makes it possible for the Party to control every individual, since it is the place where the people face its greatest fears, everything the Party wants, the person will do. So this is the way the Party kills all dreams and hopes of one day defeating Big Brother, individuals learn how to love him and accept all that is said because Big Brother is the only one that can truly save them from their fears.
The ending of the novel, was even more disappointing than the one in Brave New World. My imagination went way further than reality, I thought that instead of Winston loving Big Brother, I thought that he was going to do something do Julia. The way Orwell says “But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother” (Orwell 298). It proves the novel theme, oppression generates conformity, that theme plays out by two different group, the first one are the proles that they are not aware of their oppression and lack in critical thinking and survives with a small amount of patriotism and are fully unaware of their life standard in being oppressed. In the other hand, there is Winston, an outcast member of society, whose main intention was to attempt together with Julia rebel against the oppressive government and change into a better world. Being caught in their “Thought Crime” Winston suffers at room 101, where physical pain overrules the mental pain in being oppressed, the need of survival causes him to alter his way of thinking and believe his love towards Big Brother. That is something I would never imagined, I wish this novel ended in a better way.
I agree that Orwell's book is convincing from the start until the end because is like if he could travel to the future and watch society against government, and the Party in control of society. At the beginning of the book I was thankful of living in a democratic society, yet as I kept reading lots of questions came into my mind like: is 2+2=4? Is the color red really red or maybe blue?
I wasn't tortured by the thought police, but as I read the last chapters I was feeling the fear, and torture of starvation, deprivation, betraying secret love, being threatened to be eaten by rats, and accepting the government. I was tortured by just reading the torture of another person. It wasn't enough just to control people from committing crimes, or defeat the government, it wasn't enough to control every movement and activity. The government needed torture Winston and control his thoughts until they could get inside of him. Being tortured over and over doesn't just affect your body, but your mind also. ''They can't get inside you, she had said. But they could get inside you'' (Orwell 290). Once the Party gets inside the person believes in everything they say. When 2+2=5 seem a reasonable logic for the person the Party which has the power to control no longer need to use logic and truth to support their actions. Everything becomes corrupted. We always have two theories, religion and universal scientific theory. We believe in what is best for us. But they want us to believe what is best for them. They want complete power of us. At the end our society is a bit like Oceania's government yet, I hoped Winston would revolt against the party. I hoped, but that is not enough. He ended up worst, loving Big Brother and power less to think outside the principles the government.
The end of the book was extremely disappointing. The fact that Winston betrays Julia and “falls in love” with Big Brother is repulsive. This shows how Oceania will never be able to fight against the oppression that they have and grow as a country because Big Brother has total control over the people. This is also very scary because in a certain way our world is similar to world presented in the book. The end proves how Big Brother has complete power over the minds of the people. This also shows how people can be controlled by pain and fear, and that is the main way that people are controlled in our society.
1. How to find Hope in Such an Ending
In order for a book with inspiring rising action but a “hopeless” ending such as 1984 to be understood, one must consider two things: 1) A defeated individual does not equate to a future of doom. 2) Even when a reader is overcome by a morose or depressed feeling upon reading the end of the novel, the fact remains that most of the book was characterized by hope and positive expectation because of the mere possibility of a character revolutionizing his or her society. In my view, this cannot be erased or undone by the end of the book, because the end of the book is the end of the individual only (see number one).
This book encourages the reader to keep the flame of revolution lit past Winston’s lifetime. It challenges you to overcome the end of someone you knew and carry on with more passion and rage than ever. Are you up for it? Or are you going to leave it up to the proles? If Winston had been correct and the book depicted a rebellion by the proles, the reader, who most likely related to Winston, would expect the change in real life to come from some other group other than themselves. Orwell is asking you to give Winston a chance to live vicariously through you!
So responding to the title: You can’t find it if you look at the ending alone, but that’s not how people judge endings anyway. Furthermore, Winston’s death is not generally symbolic of what happens to the whole revolution, but of few revolutionaries. We must look at what they did during their lifetimes.
2. Time in 1984
Obviously, preventing people from keeping track of time exactly is a big concern of The Party. In fact, the book title is a year, a measurement of time and in the first few pages Winston explains that he can only estimate what year it is because the party no longer provides a way to keep track.
“He sat back. A sense of complete helplessness had descended
upon him. To begin with, he did not know with any
certainty that this was 1984. It must be round about that
date, since he was fairly sure that his age was thirty-nine,
and he believed that he had been born in 1944 or 1945; but
it was never possible nowadays to pin down any date within
a year or two.” (Orwell p.10)
Why is this? Well, time is only kept track of in the Oceania for practical reasons such as knowing which issue of “The Times” (irony) to falsify or when the lunch break ends. In Oceania time is no longer relevant. As O’Brien states, the party is eternal and transcends each mortal individual. Still, why not document major events with precision? Well, because the party is also unchanging. Aside from a few advancements in surveillance methods, there are no major events in Oceania. Its’ the same war, the same scarcity of resources, and the same Big Brother. Winston can barely remember when and by whom things were invented or implemented, younger outer party members don’t know at all. So nothing should have a beginning or ending date (not even those “advancements”) otherwise people will wonder what life was like before it. Everything should be eternal and unquestionable.
Take a simple mathematical function in which time is X, the independent variable. We express Y (it could be anything which changes as time goes by) in terms of x because we want to know what Y is at a given moment. Say Y is any or all aspects of life in Oceania. They are always the same, so our equation is a horizontal line expressed as “Y= A constant”. Time (x) is no longer relevant! (In this case the domain is all positive numbers).
If not like the party’s, what should our notion of time be? How should we treat the past and the present?
The goal is to be able to point to times at which events occur so that we learn from them. We should keep the habits that led us to success and discard the ones that didn’t. Memory is essential for this (Winston’s had been tampered with) Furthermore, we should not get hung up with literal details of events in the past but focus on what they signify and symbolize. For example: Let us not be attached to technology of the 90s and ignore the present just because of nostalgia. The developers of that technology were doing the best they could at the time, and being innovative. They do not want us to be attached to their product forever, but understand that people are always looking for an edge; therefore, the biggest tribute we can pay to those developers is to make good use of the technology that is breaking new grounds in the present. Let us not refuse to acknowledge the genius of art and literature of the present because “the (insert time period here) is where it’s at”. True, many works of the past have not YET been surpassed, but they will be. After all, the magnum opus may come at the end of one’s career.
So, Winston Smith is gone, but he certainly would not want us to stop because of tha
Once again I have to keep in mind that the end of the novel was spoiled. But I have to say that it wasn’t spoiled by my classmates, and yet by Aldous Huxley. Both novels, Brave New World and 1984, have parallel structure, they are two dystopias, so OBVIOUSLY, it was going to end with an unacceptable ending. So my mind was already prepared for a disappointing ending. Yes, of course there was still hope, but no, it did not mean that my hope could change the ending of a dystopia. Well, it is common to hear that after you hurt yourself, you heal and won’t commit the same error again. Indeed, I did not get disappointed, and I know George Orwell did this novel to impact the reader. His job is perfectly done; hence, if it had a good ending it would be called a fairytale, not a dystopia. That’s why the first chapter has shocking facts like: thoughtcrime, thought police, the ironic ministries, vaporization, dead pasts, facecrime and innumerous other absurd ideas that can be compared to today’s world. Like the telescreens for instance, “The Voice came from an oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the right-hand wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice sank somewhat, though the words were still distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely” (Orwell 2), now tell me, who in their whole lives never feared that the camera in your computer is not turned on? I do! And after reading a whole book that is ironic while describing the Big Brother and puts you against it, of course Orwell will shock us (readers) by saying, "But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother” (Orwell 298). Instead of following his ideals, Winston lost his dignity when he follows the Big Brother. But what can he do? The poor guy has to face his biggest fear, betrays the only person he loves, and loses everything, he was one against a giant system that has the power of solipsism. Yes, Orwell does want the reader to go against the system, but what if it’s too late? Or maybe Orwell just wants to open our eyes?
The conclusion of the novel was dreadful. I’ve never envisage that it would culminate the way it did. However, after debating in class with Ms. B, and leaving this blog post as a late homework, I can now comprehend, appreciate and discuss about it. Before presuming what was the real purpose of the novel, I detested it, but after acknowledging its essence, I kind of liked the end. It is really significant. George Orwell wanted to show us that the hope doesn’t lie in the proles, the hope lies on us. If it did lie in the proles, like Winston believed it did, we would die like Winston did. The end of this novel is very subjective, we don’t know for sure if Winston dies or not, physically. However, this doesn’t matter, because either way, he died, he lost his individuality, he lost his control of mind, he lost his soul. Winston, now, loved Big Brother. Winston lost the game, which makes us hopeless about our future. Manipulation can be stronger than us, but we can stop it if we work together. This book calls attention of the readers to unite forces against manipulation and loss of individuality. We cannot let our feelings die over technology. We cannot let anyone control us and prohibit us from expressing our thoughts. We are free, to love and hate, to feel pleasure, and to think whatever we want. 1984 is similar to our reality in some ways, but we will never let it become more than a fiction.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.