Recently, I read Orwell’s 1948 classic dystopian novel, ‘1984’. For those of you with philosophical interest, you will know him as one of the great, grand thinkers of the 20th century. Whilst I’ve explored philosophies regarding pop culture of late, I thought it’d be a nice change of ‘pace’ to return to some more classical -as opposed to contemporary- sources of philosophy.
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.
-George Orwell ‘1984’
The famous line, ‘War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.’ AKA the infamous, tyrannical Party’s motto, holds much philosophical merit that I shall explore…
The juxtaposition of opposites not only, highlight the absurdity of Orwell’s dystopian creation…but demonstrate how opposing ideals can be confused and stand in the other’s place with inconsistent or confused morality. Because of the alteration in dictionary meanings in this society, words have altered, lesser meanings and thereby, confusion can arise: implicating opposite definitions than those intended.
In our real world today, even the use of certain words such as ‘hate’ when a less severe word i.e. ‘dislike’, could suffice, can create discord and alter the meanings or impacts of specific terms. Associations of the word love can further lose meaning with a decrease in or wrong usage of it. For example, in Louis Lowry’s dystopia, the Giver, the word ‘love’ is seen as improper and aged; as too harsh and emotional a word to be used for family members. Particularly, in our world engrossed by social media, the decay and downfall of the English language is occurring, where harsh words are frequented and abbreviations seem to eradicate words.
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