1984: The Loss of Humanity
The novel 1984 has left a lasting impact in the literary world. Though the year in which the book takes place has come and gone, the book can still warn of a future that could come. In all reality, the book could be titled 2100 and have the same plot line. But although the warning still has relevance and citizens of the United States should be conscientious of it, the democratic society of the country provides a protection against the loss of individualism. The first step of losing humanity occurs when citizens lose their ability or desire to think independently and know the truth; 1984 depicts the loss of society’s human qualities and how this scenario might occur in the future.
In 1984, Winston and Julia have individual thoughts and the reader is led to believe that these two people are a true rarity in this society. “She had become a physical necessity, something that he not only wanted but felt that he had a right to” (Orwell 139). The quote shows how Winston’s thoughts differed from the Party’s. Other citizens would not have felt they had the right to anything. The Party wants individualism to be extinct in the society of Oceania. By the end of the novel, Winston and Julia have become thoughtless beings as well. This is achieved through torture by the Party. Julia succumbs almost immediately and betrayed Winston with her words and her mind. It took Winston much longer, but he also loses his individualism willingly. The last words of the book, “He loved Big Brother,” show this fact (Orwell 297). Winston had no more desire to think unique thoughts. When Winston and Julia lost their ability to think for themselves, they lost their humanity. One of the American values is the human quality of individualism. In Bill Perry’s book A Look Inside America, individualism tops the list as the number one cultural value of America (Perry). Yet, though American citizens value individualism, they tend to act with groups and...
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