Would you want to live in an era where you have no privacy, truth, or friendships? This is the way things are in 1984; there are cameras keeping an eye on you and the truth is turned into lies everywhere. Then there is the thing about relationships, sex, and emotion. In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, we can infer, Winston, is longing for the past due to the dreams and thoughts he has of the past, the privacy and emotion that the government constricts him of, and the want of trust and love.
Winston is an emotional person who would like to describe how he feels about things. The newspeak that they use in 1984 constrains him from letting out his emotions. During his affair with Julia, the most emotional thing he can say to her is I Love You. Winston states that, … [his mother’s death] had been tragic and sorrowful in a way that was no longer possible(Orwell 30). In Winston’s present, there is no way to feel that kind of emotion due to the government taking it away from them with newspeak. Winston wants privacy. During the time that he is living in, there is almost no such thing as privacy. A telescreen is in all rooms, even in the bathrooms.
The emotion and the privacy that the government takes away from them are very important to Winston. Orwell stated Winston and Julia come to a rude awakening when it turns out that their rented room has a hidden telescreen that has surveyed them for their entire affair. (Orwell 221) Even when Winston thinks that he is safe without anybody watching him, it turns out there is. Many times in the book the words Big Brother is Watching You appear. This is a reminder to the people that they can never escape from Big Brother. He has eyes everywhere. The privacy that big brother steals from them is one reason that Winston writes DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER in his journal. In the past, there would have been a government that lets them have their privacy. This is a large reason why Winston longs for the past instead of his current state.
Winston has many dreams of the golden country. A land where he is free, happy, and off the map. The main difference in the golden country and the airstrip one is the restaining government and the population. This dream happens on page 29-31, In his walking thoughts he called it the golden country. Golden has the definition of a high degree of excellence. This means that the golden country where Winston is free as a bird is excellent to him compared to the confined big brother era, where he is held under tight constrictions. Orwell shows us Winston’s thoughts, the instinctive feeling that the conditions you live in are intolerable and that at some other time they must have been different. (Orwell 73) Winston describes his living conditions as intolerable and states that at some time life had to be better. Using the word that makes the statement past tense which channels us to the conclusion that Winston believes that the past was better than the present in which he lives in. There is also the evidence …to the ancient time, to a time when there were still privacy, love, and friendship. (Orwell 30)
His dream of the golden country starts out with his mother and sister. He explains how he misses them very much; his mother’s death had been tragic and sorrowful he was to love her in return. (Orwell 30) The word mother has a connotation with care and affection. Winston loves his mom and wishes that he was still with her; in the past. Winston gowns more in-depth on the fun he has with his mom, Soon he was wildly excited and shouting with laughter¦ For a whole afternoon, they had all been happy together. (295-296) This goes on to show that in the past, Winston, had been happy with the friendship, love, family, and privacy he once had. In the book, The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud states Dreams have significance(Freud 8). This proves that the dreams were special.
There are many good things that Winston receives in his present. These include a good paying job from the government, a house, and his favorite cafe that he visits often. The overall simplicity of life for Winston is good, too. He does very little work, only attending work a few times a week. Winston states perhaps twice a week he went to the ministry of truth and did a little work. (Orwell 294) So, now life is very simple for Winston. He goes to work very little, and sets in the cafe drinking gin and watching the news for most of his time. The simplicity of life for Winston is good. In the past, he would have to work more; but, there would be an overpowering number of advantages to living in the past.
Humans are extremely complex creatures with many wants. Some of those wants are love and trust. In 1984, it is against the law for him to know the truth, everything is a lie. Winston works in the ministry of truth changing the truth into lies. This tells us that almost everything he hears is a lie. This means that he can’t trust anyone or have the friendships that he wants. Winston thinks a man and a woman with no clothes on, making love surely there could have been a time when that seemed ordinary. (Orwell 143) This explains to us that Winston believes that in the past, things would be happier for him.
In the big brother era, there are laws against sex or relationships. Winston wants to live in a time where he can freely do these things. Dopamine and testosterone are vital parts of the human body. One of their main purposes is to help the reproduction process or the desire for sex. On page 88 of the book The New Psychology of Love, it states individuals feel sexual desire, (Robert 88). Humans have sexual desire, but big brother has laws set and Winston is not to exercise these desires. Therefore, Winston would rather live in the past where he can enjoy this activity freely. Julia states When you make love, you’re using up energy and afterward you feel happy They can’t bear you to feel like that. (Orwell 156) Julia says that when you have sex it uses the energy that the party wants you to use for them; this is one reason why the party made laws against sex.
After learning this, would you agree with Winston, and want to live in the past, or have to deal with big brother? In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, we have learned that Winston is longing for the past due to the dreams and thoughts he has of the past, the privacy and emotion that the government constricts him of, and the want of trust and love for which he has. Privacy, embracing emotions, and the freedoms of the past are much-preferred than the enslaved present that Winston lives in .
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