A powerless pawn in a board game

Waitaki Boys' High School year 13 pupil IvanPedersen describes the world that characters live in in George Orwell's book 1984. It is a fictional world, but one which seems frighteningly similar to the one in which Edward Snowden lives.

The former technical contractor for the United States National Security Agency and former Central Intelligence Agency employee recently leaked details of several top-secret United States and British Government mass surveillance programmes to the press.

I agree that Orwell has constructed a world in which Winston Smith cannot win, no matter how clever or powerful he happens to be.

As it is he who is poor, malnourished and wields no power in his job.

He isn't a player or someone who pulls strings behind the scenes like the main characters in so many other books.

Winston is one of those people who is usually accepted as part of the background and is ignored.

He has radical ideas but many people love the party, or at least trust the party, so there is no discontent and nobody to listen.

There is also the very important fact that the army is loyal to the party, so there is almost no hope of change.

In 1905, during the first Russian revolution, the people supported the revolution but it still failed.

This is because the army rallied to support the Tsar and crushed the revolution, giving the Tsar a second chance.

During the second revolution, the Tsar had lost the support of the army and was overthrown relatively easily.

In the book 1984 this isn't possible because the party keeps the people misinformed and because of the wide use of double think.

Thanks to double think, there is no sudden realisation that the party has made mistakes or that they have blatantly lied to the people.

The party releases a steady stream of misinformation that makes the people and the army believe they are winning.

With the people and the army unlikely to help in any way, there isn't much Winston can do.

In some stories, the hero takes down vast corporations by himself by uncovering a dirty secret or an illegal operation.

This isn't possible in 1984 because the court is the party.

Even as Winston manages to reveal some piece of evidence that shows the party is lying, they simply say it is sabotage and Winston is labelled a traitor.

Orwell has created a world in which the rulers are too well entrenched and too well established for Winston to have any hope of winning.

Even his own personal defiance is a loss in the end when they break his mind and he changes his opinions of Big Brother.

The world in which Winston lives won't change because there is no opposition.

If you were to look at Winston's world as a game board, then you would be able to see that there are only a few people playing the game and all of them are content to let the game continue on infinitely.

The wars keep them in power and control the people through fear and hate.

In this game, Winston is but an insignificant and powerless piece that can be disposed of and replaced at will.

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