“Winston Smith: Does Big Brother exist?
O’Brien: Of course he exists.
Winston Smith: Does he exist like you or me?
O’Brien: You do not exist.”
― George Orwell, 1984

Let’s face it for some years now if we hear the words “Big Brother”, we associate them with the famous reality show and no longer with Orwell’s masterpiece …
Many people are certain that it was the book that inspired the show and not the other way around, and I think this speaks volumes about the level of general culture of our beautiful country!
But fear not, you can make up for it!
First of all, just look at the dates, the dystopian future controlled by the big eye described by George Orwell was written in 1949, while the trash program that locked ten people in a house under 24h cameras was only imported into Italy in 2000.
And then it is clear that if the producers, the participants and the viewers had really read the novel, they would never have agreed to be locked up for three months in a house under constant observation!

“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
― George Orwell, 1984

It is incredible how after more than sixty years this tragic novel is still so relevant. Tragic, because I don’t know about you but me the idea that someone can see every single action I do, that even checks what I have to think and fixes the shot if ever I’m wrong, scares me! It seems to me something horrible! Yet we are allowing it, if not at those dictatorial levels, to a more acceptable extent we are absolutely already undergoing it.
Just think of how many payments we make with credit cards (and therefore traceable), the cameras on the streets, the traffic control cameras, the PC webcam.

We allow it because all in all they make us comfortable. But what is the purpose of voluntarily locking up with complete strangers and being filmed all day?

Why did those people feel the need to give themselves completely? To give power to strangers?
Maybe I found myself making this comparison because I read “1984” right between the first and second edition of the show, but it was a cold shower, a rude awakening, this reading led me to wonder where we are going and how much we are far from the lethal future predicted by Orwell …

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”
― George Orwell, 1984


The protagonist of the story is Winston Smith, a member of the Socing and responsible for the correction / censorship of books and newspaper articles by rewriting the history and limiting linguistic expressiveness, in order to give truthfulness to the Party’s predictions and to build the myth of the infallibility of the same. Despite the prohibitions of the Party, which he obliges to chastity (sex is allowed for the sole purpose of procreation), he will fall in love and have a clandestine relationship with Julia.
It seems like a surreal plot, it could never happen.
Quite right?
In my opinion, however, this is exactly what we are doing… leaving aside the more strictly political part of the deniers that I find absurdly alarming, I would like to focus on the second part: the report.

Aren’t we relying more and more on something / someone other than us?
Aren’t we bringing relationships on TV more and more so that they can be chosen, recommended, piloted by someone else?

Don’t you know each other almost exclusively through apps that find you the perfect partner according to sophisticated algorithms?
Sure, it’s not exactly like the Party but it doesn’t seem that far away either! It is a collective consciousness that wants to overwhelm and cancel that of the single individual.
If love is emptied of its most intimate and profound meaning, we could all end up like Winston in room 101

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”
― George Orwell, 1984

I believe that school is the right place in which to discover this novel, because among the desks there is a tendency towards homologation and a book like this would perhaps awaken some conscience, but it would be nice for adults to (re) read it and did some self-criticism. I do not condemn trash as the source of disinformation because I believe that a person can both watch a reality show and read a newspaper, the two should not be excluded, but surely if we asked ourselves more questions, if we demanded a little more culture, love. precisely, of intimacy even from the media, perhaps it would not be so scary to read “1984”.

The feeling I got at the end of the book is one of great discouragement. I would like to reread it in five or ten years and smile at it, even laugh at it, discovering how different our society is from that proposed by Orwell. For now, I feel the melancholy and the anxiety of a decline in conscience.

I recommend reading it with due calm, and repeating like a mantra that you don’t want to end that way, you don’t want to end that way!

You don’t want to end up that way, do you?