The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.
In the novel 1984 by George Orwell, Winston undergoes a metamorphosis of character, which changes his life forever. At first Winston is just like everyone else, a dull drone of the party. Then he changes his ideals and becomes true to himself with obvious rebellion towards party principles and standards. Finally, Winston is brainwashed and is turned against himself and his feelings and is made to love the party. This is a story of perception, and how different it can be from one person to the next.
Winston is a miserable member of a society he hates, and is controlled and watched in every area of his life. He has no desire to go on living that way, but he has no other choice. "The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live - did live, from habit that became instinct - in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."(6-7). Winston feels hopeless, and knows there is nothing he can do to control his destiny. More than anything he wants to be able to have his own thoughts; not just be told what to think, do, and feel. He goes through the motions of outward orthodoxy, but inside he lives in a world of dreams, memories and endless speculation about the existence of the past in the face of the Party's continual alteration of documents. Winston is devoid of any creativity or one-ness as a human being, and feels he is being denied the right to live a real life.
Tired of feeling the way he is, with the monotonous struggle of everyday life Winston decides to oppose the party in more real ways; and begins to deviate from certain set behaviors to free himself from this bondage of the party. To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone-to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone(25-26). He has realized what the government does to people; how everyone is made to be the same, where no one is allowed to think on their own. The party is omnipotent in all affairs and he will not go along with it anymore. Winston has made up his mind; he is going to do everything he can to bring down the party. He and Julia go to OBriens apartment one afternoon, and Winstons true hatred is revealed. We believe that there is some kind of conspiracy, some kind of secret organization working against the Party, and that you are involved in it. We want to join it and work for it. We are enemies of the Party. We disbelieve in the principles of Ingsoc. We are thought-criminals. We are also adulterers. I tell you this because we want to put ourselves at your mercy. If you want us to incriminate ourselves in any other way, we are ready. (140). Winston decides to make some very big changes in the way he lives and realizes that he not only dislikes Big Brother and the party, he hates them, and will do anything in his power to bring them down.
Inevitably Winston gets caught by the Thought Police, and is forced to abandon everything he holds true, and in time comes to love the system as if that was all he had ever known. Winston is brought to room 101 where he is tortured and all of the rebellion is beaten out of him. He had told them everything he knew about her, her habits, her character, her past life; he had confessed in the most trivial detail everything that had happened at their meetings, all that he had said to her and she to him, their black-market meals, their adulteries, their vague plottings against the Party -- everything. And yet, in the sense in which he intended the word, he had not betrayed her. He had not stopped loving her; his feelings towards her had remained the same. (225). He truly gives up all fight that he has left when he says: 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! (236). Winstons utter defeat resonates deep in his soul, and the unthinkable has happened, he stopped loving Julia, true betrayal (137). Totally broken, brainwashed and reprogrammed, Winston is returned to society as another harmless devotee of Big Brother. In the chilling final pages of the book, Winston, tears of fear and joy streaming down his face, proclaims his love of Big Brother, all thoughts, hopes or dreams of escape and freedom permanently eradicated from his consciousness.
Initially Winston has little to live for, but after he starts his rebellion from the oppressiveness of the state he feels that he should still go on, although already considering himself dead. By the end of Orwell's novel, Winston is living in a state of near total apathy, and trudging on only because he has no desire to either live or die.
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
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