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Introduction to Orwell’s 1984 Revisted

Revisiting an introduction to George Orwell’s 1984. It has been less than a year since Donald Trump took office. Now it is becoming clear that his actions are leading to the subversion of American institutions. All of the government agencies seem to exist for the sole purpose of restructuring themselves. DOJ is far from embracing the notion of justice for all. Supreme Court is in the process of defending the federal government instead of the people. The progress of the Civil Rights Movement has been set back and all minority rights are being trampled upon! So has Orwell’s 1984 being update for our generations?

The Trump campaign, his subsequent election, and his follow through, has many people re-reading this science fiction novel. It is my belief that this has much to do with his flipping the purpose of American institutions, such as the EPA and the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice is now under a person that fought against the Civil Rights movement. And the Environmental Protection Agency plans to deregulate most controls on the protection of the environment. So looking at an introduction to 1984 might be useful in evaluating the present situation.

Ricardo Montoya Ochoa

Introduction
George Orwell‘s 1984, like many works of literature, unmistakably carries with it literary traditions reaching back to the earliest of storytellers. Among the literary traditions that Orwell uses is the concept of utopia, which he distorts effectively for his own purposes. Utopia, or Nowhere Land, is an ideal place or society in which human beings realize a perfect existence, a place without suffering or human malady. Orwell did not originate this genre. In fact, the word utopia is taken from Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, written in 1516. The word is now used to describe any place considered to be perfect.
In 1984, Orwell creates a technologically advanced world in which fear is used as a tool for manipulating and controlling individuals who do not conform to the prevailing political orthodoxy. In his attempt to educate the reader about the consequences of certain political philosophies and the defects of human nature, Orwell manipulates and usurps the utopian tradition and creates a dystopia, a fictional setting in which life is extremely bad from deprivation, oppression, or terror. Orwell’s dystopia is a place where humans have no control over their own lives, where nearly every positive feeling is squelched, and where people live in misery, fear, and repression.
The dystopian tradition in literature is a relatively modern one and is usually a criticism of the time in which the author lives. These novels are often political statements, as was Orwell’s other dystopian novel, Animal Farm, published in 1945. By using a dystopian setting for 1984, Orwell suggests the possibility of a utopia, and then makes very clear, with each horror that takes place, the price humankind pays for “perfect” societies.
Historical Background
Orwell wrote 1984 just after World War II ended, wanting it to serve as a warning to his readers. He wanted to be certain that the kind of future presented in the novel should never come to pass, even though the practices that contribute to the development of such a state were abundantly present in Orwell’s time.
Orwell lived during a time in which tyranny was a reality in Spain, Germany, the Soviet Union, and other countries, where government kept an iron fist (or curtain) around its citizens, where there was little, if any freedom, and where hunger, forced labor, and mass execution were common.
Orwell espoused democratic socialism. In his essay, “Why I Write,” published in 1947, two years before the publication of 1984, Orwell stated that he writes, among other reasons, from the “[d]esire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after.” Orwell used his writing to express his powerful political feelings, and that fact is readily apparent in the society he creates in 1984.
The society in 1984, although fictional, mirrors the political weather of the societies that existed all around him. Orwell’s Oceania is a terrifying society reminiscent of Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union — complete repression of the human spirit, absolute governmental control of daily life, constant hunger, and the systematic “vaporization” of individuals who do not, or will not, comply with the government’s values.
Orwell despised the politics of the leaders he saw rise to power in the countries around him, and he despised what the politicians did to the people of those countries. Big Brother is certainly a fusing of both Stalin and Hitler, both real and terrifying leaders, though both on opposite sides of the philosophical spectrum. By combining traits from both the Soviet Union’s and Germany’s totalitarian states, Orwell makes clear that he is staunchly against any form of governmental totalitarianism, either from the left or the right of the political spectrum.
By making Big Brother so easily recognizable (he is physically similar to both Hitler and Stalin, all three having heavy black mustaches and charismatic speaking styles), Orwell makes sure that the reader of 1984 does not mistake his intention — to show clearly how totalitarianism negatively affects the human spirit and how it is impossible to remain freethinking under such circumstances.
The Role of the Media
Orwell spent time in Spain during the time of Franco’s Fascist military rebellion. Although he was initially pleased with what he considered to be the realization of socialism in Barcelona, he quickly saw that dream change; such a political climate could not maintain that kind of “ideal” political life. The group with which Orwell was associated was accused of being a pro-Fascist organization, a falsehood that was readily believed by many, including the left-wing press in England. As a reflection on this experience, in 1984, Orwell creates a media service that is nothing more than a propaganda machine, mirroring what Orwell, as a writer, experienced during his time in Spain.
Orwell worked with the BBC during World War II when certain kinds of restrictions limiting what news could be disseminated were common, and he became disturbed by what he perceived to be the falseness of his work. It is noteworthy that Winston Smith, the main character in 1984, works in the media and is responsible for creating what is, essentially, deceptive propaganda. In fact, it is Winston’s position in the media that gives the reader the most insight into the duplicity of the society in which he lives and therefore, the society that Orwell most condemns.
The Setting
The setting of 1984 is Oceania, a giant country comprised of the Americas; the Atlantic Islands, including the British Isles; Australia; and the southern portion of Africa. Oceania’s mainland is called Air Strip One, formerly England. The story itself takes place in London in the year 1984, a terrifying place and time where the human spirit and freedom are all but crushed. In the novel, war is constant. The main character, Winston Smith, born before the World War II, grew up knowing only hunger and political instability, and many of the things that he experiences are hyperboles of real activities in wartime Germany and the Soviet Union.
It is important to remember that Orwell based 1984 on the facts as he knew them; hunger, shortages, and repression actually happened as a result of the extreme governmental policies of these countries. The war hysteria, the destruction of the family unit, the persecution of “free thinkers” or those who were “different” or not easily assimilated into the party doctrine, the changing of history to suit the party’s agenda, were all too real. Orwell’s speculation of the future is actually a creative extension of how the masses were treated under Franco, Hitler, and Stalin.
By setting 1984 in London, Orwell is able to invoke the atmosphere of a real war-torn community, where people live in “wooden dwellings like chicken houses” in bombed-out clearings. His intent clearly was to capitalize on a memory that every reader, especially a British reader, was likely to have. London in 1984, then, becomes not just a make-believe place where bad things happen to unknown people, but a very real geographical spot that still holds some connection for the modern reader.
In 1984, the world is sliced into three political realms — the super states of Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia. Orwell drew these lines fairly consistent with the political distribution of the Cold War era beginning after World War II. Each of these three states is run by a totalitarian government that is constantly warring on multiple fronts. By creating an entire world at war, Orwell not only creates a terrifying place, but he also eliminates the possibility of escape for Winston, who is forced to live within his present circumstances, horrible and unremitting as they are.
Oceania’s political structure is divided into three segments: the Inner Party, the ultimate ruling class, consisting of less than 2 percent of the population; the Outer Party, the educated workers, numbering around 18 to 19 percent of the population; and the Proles, or the proletariat, the working class. Although the Party (Inner and Outer) does not see these divisions as true “classes,” it is clear that Orwell wants the reader to see the class distinctions. For a socialist such as Orwell, class distinctions mean the existence of conflict and class struggle. In Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union, for example, the few people who comprised the ruling class had a much higher standard of living than the masses, but in these nations, as in 1984, revolt was all but impossible.
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Everybody’s’ leaving town. Seems they’re moving to L.A.

Back in time El Paso, Texas was isolated from most of the United States. Hardly anybody ever left. This was in the forties an fifties. But then started the trickle in my family. Los Angeles and the rest of California were the main places. It was almost a religious thing,  the pilgrimage to L.A. and back. They inadvertently came back to El Paso. Then one uncle, Frank Ochoa on my mom’s side of the family, and then another on my Dad’s side, Jose Montoya left. They would come back to visit but they were gone, never to come back accept for a brief visit. These were the first ones to leave our parochial town.
I never thought that I would leave. I loved the city,  the thought of leaving never entered my mind. I stayed put. There were not many jobs to be found, those that existed did not pay much. But, I figured that with enough schooling I would be able to find work. Got married not long after high school graduation, and then the kids came. I had kept on going to school, went to night school at Burge High School and El Paso Tech. I was interested in My interested electronics and did well in classes related to that. There were few jobs in electronics in town. I had to get whatever jobs that I could to support my young and growing family. Worked food service at first and just managed. The only way to get a decent job was if you knew someone that could open doors for you. I thought I could make it on my own, and so I struggled.
After trying to find work and finding only food service jobs paying low wages I finally got smart. Deciding to ask for help, I found it in a couple of uncles that worked for one of the biggest employers in town, Farah Manufacturing. My uncle Joe Farah got me into the garment factory. Later Uncle Eddie Ochoa got me into their research and development shop. More tales to tell later on the eleven or so years that I spent at Farah. It was a great learning experience, leaning to work with people, knowing how to go up the corporate structure, but best of all applying my basic electrons classes. In the end, I had to leave. Problems within Farah family over control of the company and attempts to unionize created an unstable environment. And so I left Farah.
I am skipping over a lot of history but that will be the next step in telling the story related to my leaving El Paso for better pastures. My oldest boy had a good job in town working for an electronics company. The second son only found work in food service. My older brother had lived in Dallas for some time, so I suggested to my second eldest that he look for work in Dallas. It did not take him long to decide to go there where he found jobs easily. The electronics company my eldest worked with started one of many restructuring steps. Eventually, he too left for the Dallas area.  The story is still incomplete but let me just stop here to say that I too followed in seeking work in Dallas.

 

The Brexit Review

The Brexit Review

Britain and the US, perhaps on different paths but much the same results. Good article by Gary on Brexit.

The Mexile

There is the unmistakable whiff of death coming from the direction of Theresa May’s government. It is, by all accounts, teetering on the brink of collapse under the weight of repeated scandal. If it’s not sexual misconduct in the defence department, it’s a renegade minister trying to divert aid to the Israeli army. But the big issue, as always, is Brexit. Talking of which – the

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Faces of India

Faces of India

Gary and his photographic essay. Each portrait seems to be telling us a story. As always, I really like his photography!

The Mexile

It would have been nice to have had a day or two at each stop to just wander off by myself with my camera looking for interesting this to photograph. I do enjoy a good urban stroll, losing myself in backstreets and stumbling across treasures the usually remain hidden from the normal tourist gaggles. But we didn’t have the time for such luxuries. Mrs P would also have been most displeased if I had abandoned her to her own devices.

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The Indian Verdict

The Indian Verdict

Gary speaking about India makes me wonder about the future of Mexico and the United States with respect to the environment.

The Mexile

I described India a couple of weeks ago as challenging. And suggested that such a description is polite. I don’t think many people who have been to India would consider such a description to be controversial. India is challenging, on so many levels. Your senses will be assaulted. Your ears through the constant, deafening noise. Your nose and lungs through the often

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Destiny Delhi

Destiny Delhi

Now we get to read some of the writing behind the picture of his visit to India. Thanks, Gary. A great blog to read and enjoy.
Rich

The Mexile

Imagine London 50 years from now, baking in a sweltering, climate-change-induced 40 degrees centigrade. With a population exceeding 40 million, social order has largely broken down. The people have been granted their wish and largely govern themselves. It hasn’t worked out terribly well and chaos reigns across this once great metropolis. Icons of it’s illustrious past – Westminster, St Pauls Cathedral,

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An Indian Odyssey

An Indian Odyssey

This a must read story by Gary. It reflects life India as is it is. Many sad things to see but there are wonders too.

The Mexile

We’ve been back from our trip to India for more than a week. Seven days to gather my thoughts and put them into appropriately organised bits and bytes on my blog for you to read. But where does one even begin? India is a truly extraordinary place. Specifically, Delhi. Agra, Ranthambore, Jaipur and Udaipur – the destinations we visited. Words cannot do them justice. But I will try. Perhaps a little brainstorming would help, to try and come up with the right adjectives?

India is vibrant. Bright. Polluted. Colourful. Noisy. Tranquil. Misogynistic. Welcoming. Cruel. Alive. Depressing. Extravagant. Neglected. Bustling. Delicious. Dirty. Diverse. Historic. Relentless. Dusty. Hospitable. Dangerous. Poverty-stricken. Capitalist. Decaying. Functional. Edgy. Stinky. Spicy. Choking. Cheerful. Exhausted. Indomitable. Brutal. Brilliant. Ugly.

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These are all great words to describe India. And whilst it is true that you could apply them to virtually any country, India is perhaps the only country to…

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George Orwell’s 1984 Revisited


Revisiting an introduction to
George Orwell’s 1984. It has been less than a year  since Donald Trump
took office. It is clear that his actions are  leading to the subversion
of American institutions. Government  agencies exist for the sole purpose
of restructuring themselves. The  Department of Justice is still far from
embracing the notion of justice for all.  The Supreme Court is defending
the federal government, not the people. The Civil  Rights Movement has
been set back, and minority rights are being trampled upon! Orwell’s 1984
update for our generation. It should be update for Donald Turkp’s for his
campaign.  For his  next election. And his follow through. This has
to do with his  flipping the purpose of American institutions. , such as
the EPA and the  Department of Justice. The Department of Justice is
tearing down the Civil Rights Act. The Environmental Protection  Agency is
deregulating controls on the protection of the environment.  A reread of
Orwell’s 1984 would be useful in seeing our furture under a Trumpalian
government.


Ricardo Montoya


Introduction


George Orwell’s 1984, like many works of literature,
unmistakably carries with it literary traditions reaching back to the earliest
of storytellers. Among the literary traditions that Orwell uses is the concept
of utopia, which he distorts effectively for his own purposes. Utopia, or
Nowhere Land, is an ideal place or society in which human beings realize a
perfect existence, a place without suffering or human malady. Orwell did not
originate this genre. In fact, the word utopia is taken from Sir Thomas More’s
Utopia, written in 1516. The word is now used to describe any place considered
to be perfect.


In 1984, Orwell creates a technologically advanced
world in which fear is used as a tool for manipulating and controlling
individuals who do not conform to the prevailing political orthodoxy. In his
attempt to educate the reader about the consequences of certain political
philosophies and the defects of human nature, Orwell manipulates and usurps the
utopian tradition and creates a dystopia, a fictional setting in which life is
extremely bad from deprivation, oppression, or terror. Orwell’s dystopia is a
place where humans have no control over their own lives, where nearly every
positive feeling is squelched, and where people live in misery, fear, and
repression.


The Setting


The setting of 1984 is Oceania, a giant country
comprised of the Americas; the Atlantic Islands, including the British Isles;
Australia; and the southern portion of Africa. Oceania’s mainland is called Air
Strip One, formerly England. The story itself takes place in London in the year
1984, a terrifying place and time where the human spirit and freedom are all
but crushed. In the novel, war is constant. The main character, Winston Smith,
born before the World War II, grew up knowing only hunger and political
instability, and many of the things that he experiences are hyperboles of real
activities in wartime Germany and the Soviet Union.


It is important to remember that Orwell based 1984 on
the facts as he knew them; hunger, shortages, and repression actually happened
as a result of the extreme governmental policies of these countries. The war
hysteria, the destruction of the family unit, the persecution of “free
thinkers” or those who were “different” or not easily assimilated into the
party doctrine, the changing of history to suit the party’s agenda, were all
too real. Orwell’s speculation of the future is actually a creative extension
of how the masses were treated under Franco, Hitler, and
Stalin.


By setting 1984 in London, Orwell is able to invoke the
atmosphere of a real war-torn community, where people live in “wooden dwellings
like chicken houses” in bombed-out clearings. His intent clearly was to
capitalize on a memory that every reader, especially a British reader, was
likely to have. London in 1984, then, becomes not just a make-believe place
where bad things happen to unknown people, but a very real geographical spot
that still holds some connection for the modern reader.


In 1984, the world is sliced into three political
realms — the super states of Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia. Orwell drew these
lines fairly consistent with the political distribution of the Cold War era
beginning after World War II. Each of these three states is run by a
totalitarian government that is constantly warring on multiple fronts. By
creating an entire world at war, Orwell not only creates a terrifying place,
but he also eliminates the possibility of escape for Winston, who is forced to
live within his present circumstances, horrible and unremitting as they
are.


Oceania’s political structure is divided into three
segments: the Inner Party, the ultimate ruling class, consisting of less than 2
percent of the population; the Outer Party, the educated workers, numbering
around 18 to 19 percent of the population; and the Proles, or the proletariat,
the working class. Although the Party (Inner and Outer) does not see these
divisions as true “classes,” it is clear that Orwell wants the reader to see
the class distinctions. For a socialist such as Orwell, class distinctions mean
the existence of conflict and class struggle. In Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s
Soviet Union, for example, the few people who comprised the ruling class had a
much higher standard of living than the masses, but in these nations, as in
1984, revolt was all but impossible.

You know what’s really dispectful to the American flag?  A Confederate flag. #TakeAKnee

They may be old but not old fashioned. Love what Margaret and Helen blog. Frump is just doing another redirect to take the public’s eye off the investigations.

Margaret and Helen

Margaret, last week six football players knelt during the national anthem. This week it was 200. And just like Colin Kaepernick, they weren’t making a statement about the flag. I swear this president is so stupid, he couldn’t find his ass if both hands were in his back pockets.

Lord help me, but I’ve taken a knee and I don’t want to get up. Maybe I can’t get up. I’m not sure which. Three and a half million American citizens are in crisis in Puerto Rico, North Korea is threatening Armageddon, Russia used Facebook to influence our elections, Nazis are running over young women, Congress wants to take healthcare away from poor people… and our president has nothing better to do except name calling to get a cheer at his Klan rally.

As the widow of a veteran, I have no issue with any player taking a knee to protest…

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