1984 compared to other works

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Truth, Inner Party Pages: 5 (2176 words) Published: January 16, 2014
ESSAY
“History is written by the victors” – Winston Churchill. The reader sees two very different futures after reading “1984” and “By the Waters of Babylon”, but they share the same message in the end. “1984” shows us a futuristic totalitarian government that came from a war we know little about. And “By the Waters of Babylon” a society that has little rules and are ignorant of their surroundings which again stems from a war we know little about. The main thing we learn in both pieces is that humans cannot fully trust any knowledge that they don’t personally control. This is expressed through many different way but the three most reoccurring example. First is that true ignorance begins with blind belief as we see this in both pieces. Next as we seen mainly in “1984” is that winning a war leads to control of knowledge. Lastly the reason that is protagonist do all they can is because learning is the only freedom. The author uses these three ideas come together to show the reader that we as humans can’t fully trust any information we don’t personally control. A mistake that many humans make in this world is judging something they know little about, judging a book by its cover as it’s commonly referred as. In “1984” the reader gets a firsthand look at the ignorance to some characters. The party has almost brainwashed all the citizens in Oceania. They have them speaking and believing all is good in terms of the party. “On the sixth day of Hate Week, after the processions, the speeches, the shouting, the singing, the banners, the posters, the films, the waxworks, the rolling of drums and squealing of trumpets, the tramp of marching feet, the grinding of the caterpillars of tanks, the roar of massed planes, the booming of guns – after six days of this, when the great orgasm was quivering to its climax and the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up into such delirium that if the crowd could have got their hands on the 2,000 Eurasian war-criminals who were to be publicly hanged on the last day of the proceedings, they would unquestionably have torn them to pieces – at just this moment it had been announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally.” (pg 209, Orwell). This quote shows that the party can do anything they want without being questioned. The war is a big symbol Orwell used to show ignorance in people. War is everlasting in Oceania, but it isn’t always against the same superpower. Although whatever the current country there is in war with they say they’ve been in war with forever. As the reader, we can blatantly see the party’s intentions and why they do as they do. This shows that true ignorance really does stem from blind belief; the people of Oceania just go along with what they are told instead of looking deeper and looking for the truth. Ignorance is a reoccurring theme in “1984” as the reader sees that when the party makes any change or deliberately hides information in front of its people. This really makes the party as powerful as they have so little rebels to deal with. Then there’s “By the Waters of Babylon” a short story in which it is a little hard to see ignorance in the characters. The Hill People are worshipers of gods that the reader doesn’t know much about at the beginning of the book. The reader ends up finding out that the Gods the Hill People worship are really just an average person living in the 21st century. The last kind of tribe is the Forest People who are a kind of simple living people who live off the land. “We are not ignorant like the Forest People---our women spin wool on the wheel, our priests wear a white robe. We do not eat grubs from trees, we have not forgotten the old writings, although they are hard to understand. Nevertheless, my knowledge and my lack of knowledge burned me – I wished to know more.” (pg 1,Benet). With this quote...
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