Over the past few weeks, every colleague stopping by my desk would take a look at the book next to me and remark that it was such a classic story. I smiled when it happened for the first time. I had known that, of course.
And yet, as more people said the same thing over and over again, I began to get annoyed. I felt like an idiot because I hadn’t read the book for so long. It was 1984, after all.
The book, and not the year — in case you were wondering.
Now, however, I’m done. I’ve finished reading the book and I feel like kicking myself for not reading it sooner. Nevertheless, the book left me astounded, wondering if there was anything in my life that I think is true is indeed true.
It left me with a deep sense of insecurity and self-doubt. I do realise that it’s fiction, but it oozes reality in so many levels.
I’m a minimalist, but I would never apply the same minimal logic to words and human expression. When it comes to speaking and voicing thoughts, the more ways to say it, the better it is. But here’s what scared me: I agree that we should get rid of stuff that mean no meaning anymore. In that sense, when the concept of freedom itself is no more, it makes sense, in certain sense, to eliminate the word altogether — or forget that we even had such a word. But even to think, for a moment, that we don’t need freedom is a messed-up way of life.
And that’s what the book did to me. It messed me up. It messed with my head, and my ability to cope with the reality of the world. It’s possible that our world would become the next Oceania. The Party is, of course, just a bunch of power-hungry people craving to keep the masses out of their way and the working class in their wake. It’s the reality of every nation in the world. There’s just a tiny tipping point between a real party and the Party. Every day, we hear news of people gone missing, of people rebelling, of the rebels who died in battle, of torture and murder, even suppressed free thought. It’s all happening, each day all around us, right in front of us.
And yet, we call 1984 a fiction. It’s not. It’s our lives. Only, we love the Party too much to realise the truth and think for ourselves. In a world that still penalises people of other beliefs, advocates singularity, and abhors variety in even skin tones and vocal chords, it’s only a matter of time before two plus two become five.