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Post by LCRodriguezA11B on Tue May 30, 2017 4:03 pm

Hope, 4 letters that hold the reasons to why we do the things that we do, why we work, study and even breath.  It is a very short word but there is a whole world of things that happen within it. And because of that, hope is a huge word, a little giant. It has many definitions and it represents something different to each person but at the end, everything it comes down is that it inspires us to be and to do what we do. Why? because we believe in the idea that something much better will come as the result of all our sacrifice and dedication. Without hope, there is no reason to live. We all would be living a pointless existence if from the very beginning of our lives we learn that what we have, is all we will ever get, that things shall never change; that the bad will be forever bad and that the past, present and future will be always the same. Life would be meaningless, why should we live if at the end of the day nothing can be fixed? what would be our purpose? Why don’t we all just kill ourselves right now? Life is not worth living if we can’t seek a better future.
Hope is the motor of our souls. It helps us to accept and to resist the bad and the good in our lives while we figure out the way to better the situation. All of us have hope in something, we trust that good things can happen, that change is possible. Some people have more hope than others but it is still there, pushing us to keep going. People say that hope is the last thing we lose, and it is not far from the truth.  Sometimes it is everything we have left, our last reason to try again.

People don’t settle with what they have been given, which is not bad; it is rather a spark, sort of energy that drives us to do the impossible to reach goals. Hope makes people fight for their rights, for their freedom, for justice and for a better future.
Hope plays different roles in everyone’s life depending on the conditions the person is living and the kind of situations and problems it is going through. For one person, it could be studying hard to graduate and get their dream job, for other is scaping the war zone and to feel safe. These is why hope is tremendously powerful, it can make you go from doing the simplest things to even risking your life and in the worst case, lose it in the name of the cause you believed and fought for. This is the type of hope that we see in 1984. The one that encourages people to conspire against the tyranny and the oppression of the government regardless the danger they put their life on.

Hope in 1984 is not noticeably present until the character of Julia is introduced. Before her, Winston was curious about if it was true that before The Revolution, life was worse than it was now, he read about the past and began to wonder if those things were true. And so, he visited the prole area and tried to get answers from and old man, but he learned that is was pointless. The only people left that lived during the times of The Revolution couldn’t remember more than plain details and scarcely any important new information. The proles were ignorant, not smart, lame, and just like modern society, as long as they kept working and procreating, they didn’t represent any danger to the party. All they needed was beer and football to keep them controlled. Still, he realized that people there were “happy” in their own way.  They lived free from the immoral and wicked manners from the party and had freedom. Even though they were the poorest, lived in constant bombing, hunger, and were treated as and considered animals, Winston kind of envied them.

“If there is hope, it lies in the proles.” (Orwell, 1949, p. 69)

Those were the words Winston wrote in his diary. Here was can see that he had a little hope in a change. Since proles made up the 85% of the population, why could not they rise against the party and win? They had the force, they just needed to learn how to use it. The answer to his question came after the realization that proles were clueless about the manipulation and oppression of the party, most of them didn’t know how to read and they lived without thinking too much the whys and the hows of the system. They were just like the party needed them to be, meek and stupid.

“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” (Orwell, 1949, p. 70)

Winston doesn’t want to believe what he already knows, the proles would never rise, and fight, but still, they could and most probably were the only ones with the potential for the task. At his point, hope and a better future are further away and could only exist in his imagination. He wrote in the diary and knew it was dangerous, but still didn’t care about it because anyway you were already dead and could only expect to be killed. Days went by and nothing happened until the “I love you” message from Julia. From this point and on, Julia and Winston developed a very close relationship and now, Julia was hope and love to Winston, those two words forbidden in their world and in their hearts. He was eager to see her and liked talking to her. She brought to his life a reason to don’t stop believing that there were real people out there left, people like him, outcasts waiting for the next revolution.

Julia is a careless woman, she doesn’t mind the future or the importance of the dreadful things the party does. She wants to live and hates profoundly the party, but knows that they are always looking for traitors, so she knows how to hide and camouflage her mind crimes by participating in mary volunteer activities and groups. She doesn’t show a genuine interest in the party’s manipulation and knows very little about the times before the revolution, even though she knows things are wrong, she just follows orders, her passion for freedom and a better future is not big enough to make her do risky things or become the leader of rebel group. So long as the party don’t suspect of her, she would remain the same person doing the same things over and over again. Maybe she was in some way like the proles, her lack of knowledge and interest allows her to live carelessness existence, the future is not to worry about, the now is the only that exist.

Unlike Julia, Winston is concerned and aware of the consequences and awfulness of the size and control that the party had over every single aspect of live, how easy people were managed and tricked in front of their eyes but seemed to never be conscious of anything, of any incongruence in the historical documents (like the war with Eurasia), the dates and important events, how lies were pictured as truth and the absurdity of “reality”. Almost as if their capacity to understand was gone and the only things left were their empty bodies, with no soul or real emotions inside, like zombies These caused him to ask himself, am I a lunatic? Why am I the only one that recognizes how wrong this is? He knew he was right, but just couldn’t demonstrate anything because apart from his memories, every physical proof and written record were gone.

“By lack of understanding they remained sane.” (Orwell, 1949, p. 156)

Winston at this point was in the middle of the nowhere, he wasn’t sure enough about if the resistance, the Brotherhood, was real or that it was all a lie and he was indeed crazy. Nevertheless, Julia coming to his life changed everything and now he felt that a future with her was his goal, however in the back of his mind he knew that it would not last for long, they were surely going to be discovered, the thing was a matter of when would it occur. His hope and his miracle were the moments with her and knowing he was not the only one, despite the fact that their lives were in a countdown stage, they found a reason to stay together and make the best of their time together. This is proof that the party’s power was not imposed a 100% over their population, with those who refuse to be controlled is where hope is.

Julia and Winston are the example of what hope does to people, it turns them in rebels, but there are different types of rebels. The sight of something better coming after all the awful makes people act in different ways and we can evidence that in real life.
Let’s take Julia and see how rebels like her act. She knows everything is wrong but still doesn’t care enough to defy the system, she accepts everything and quietly obeys. she only complains and complains but yet, she doesn’t move or has the initiative to start a revolution. Like many people in different countries, they just criticize and accept to undergo the worst treatment because they are not brave enough to make it stop. They just keep waiting for forever for someone else to come and save them from the evil world they live in, they want all the reward without the sacrifice of fighting for yourself and the others, to demand better living conditions and the chance to live a decent life. To their eyes them, there is not a chance to change the world and if there is a little hope, they leave it to somebody else to fix it. On the other side, we have rebels like Winston, from the start they knew the system was corrupt and destructive, and from that moment they dedicate their lives to modify it. Stating with very small acts of insubordination and ending with great acts of courage that at times, end with their death. This type of rebels are the ones that we see on TV fighting face to face with police officers opposing and resisting to their rules that cause so much harm and misery among people. Those heroes that have died in the name of the cause because they believed so much in it and its power and hoped it was the change the world needed, that they were willing to give up their lives for it. That is what hope is capable of. It makes people bold, daring and fearless in the worst times, it gives them what it takes to act and the force to bear the hard process of change. Most of the times, people that start revolutions die before they can witness that the tough times and sacrifice they had to go through, finally worth the battle.

"If you can feel that staying human is worthwhile, even when it can't have any result whatever, you've beaten them." (Orwell, 1949, p. 166)

In 1984, hope becomes solid strong when Julia and Winston meet O’Brien, he gave them what they needed to confirm that they were not the only ones, that the brotherhood was real and that the change had a possibility. They became the rebels they knew they were and were now willing to do everything, even murder and to die. They knew all of that was worth and right because the outcome, the impact would be revolutionary. O’Brien told them: “this is what we got to do, unflinchingly. But this is not what we shall be doing when life is worth living again.” (Orwell, 1949, p. 175)

Julia and Winston leave his house impressed, exited and alert to what we will happen when they get Goldstein’s book and when O’Brien orders come. So far here anything could happen, and the future is unknown, but we can see that they are content as they can be in that situation.
Hope drives people to do the impossible, to test themselves and to proof what they are capable of. In real life we evidence this daily, a good example is Venezuela or Syria, both countries in very hard situations but still we see that people is refusing to obey, they fight and rise, even die because of it. The power of hope has no borders. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the only way to make change is to die (yet this seems to be the only way that actually causes an impact), but this rather means that is okay that people don’t settle for less of what is fair. It is right and people must make their rights to be respected but they should never find themselves in the position of extreme violence (like in Syria) to get a decent life. This shouldn’t happen, people should be guarantee a well-being just because they are humans and deserve much better of what they receive. We must find a balance of what is right and good way to fight for a change without stop caring for the lives of others. But on the other hand, we have the rebels like Julia, their inaction towards what is wrong is rather contributing to bad things to keep happening until the point of no possible solution.
Orwell, G. (1949). 1984. UK: Signet Classics .


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