1984 – Terrifying

I seem to recall first reading this during an English Literature class in the Seventies.

Wow, it was powerful stuff back then.

Several years later I won a work competition with a W.H.Smith voucher as a prize.

I used it to buy the spoken word talking book read by Derek Jacobi.

For years since I haven’t given much thought to 1984 George Orwell’s prophetic book about 6079 Smith W, who exists in the miserable state of Oceania.

Scholars will know this was written in 1948, and that the author flipped around the last two digits to suggest how his “vision” might work out in the none too distant future.

A recent Radio 4 programme revealed that this incredible book had been inspired by a Russian novel titled We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Maybe I’ll look that out in the new year.

I had completely forgotten that Room 101, which spawned the marvellous TV Show with Frank Skinner is based upon the scary place and sequence which was still very much alive in my memories.

Back in the Autumn I decided to re-read the novel because our one and only holiday this year was interrupted by Winston Smith’s biggest fear.

What were my impressions of 1984 now?

It’s even more terrifying now than it was back when I was an optimistic teenager.

Can you imagine living in state where you’re constantly under surveillance, and where freedom is denied for the greater good?

Is it even possible that in this enlightened age that our Government might re-write history, and seek to subjugate dissenting voices?

At my first reading I was fascinated by the “Telescreen” which couldn’t be switched off, and monitored the central characters every action.

Now in 2020 my iPhone can hear me thanking someone for a 2021 diary whilst lamenting my lack of a physical paper diary. A short while later I was offered a discounted magazine subscription with a “free” desk diary.

Whilst the book’s terrifying and completely eradicates any hope in the fight against “Big Brother” for the Christian there’s still hope.

“God” and thoughts of a divine being may be outlawed in Oceania , but even today He is very much alive and boasts a solid track record of overthrowing the very worst Satan can do.

At the beginning of Genesis we can read about creation.

In John 1: 1-5 Gospel it says

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

At Christmas we can celebrate the birth of the Son of God, who came to a socially distant well ventilated stable.

He came to give life, and hope at first to those living under Roman occupation but also to anyone who will turn to him by renouncing sin and welcoming Jesus in.

1984 depicts a terrifying world without God, but at Christmas we can let Emmanuel into our lives.

An eternity of Joy awaits those who kneel and worship The Son.

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