It’s in the tenth chapter of the second part where Winston and Julia have just finished making love in their secret apartment. I did not find anything interesting in this scene because to me it was just like two teenagers sneaking around behind their parent’s back. This is something that was the topic of conversation at every table in the cafeteria no matter the clique of kids the table happened to occupy. But then there were these words:
“‘We are the dead.’ he said.
‘We are the dead,’ echoed Julia dutifully.
You are the dead.’ said an iron voice behind them.”
I vividly remember sitting back down on the edge of my bed and letting out a “Whoa” and suddenly becoming very interested in the book. I then chuckled at the next like that said “Winston’s entrails seemed to have turned to ice.” The combination of the hilarity of frozen entrails and the creepy iron voice telling them they were dead from behind a picture frame demanded of me to start the book over.
While the beginning seemed to lag to me, and there is a lot of repetition about policy and the monotony of life, I was really jarred that this very well could be a depiction of the types of censorship we could experience in the future. And the just weeks ago it feels like Big Brother materialized from the pages of Orwell’s book and into the mainstream media in the form of the new Facebook messenger. I am sure apps like this have existed since all of our technology has begun to advance, but this one has been chosen as the poster child. Maybe Big Brother has decided it is time to start watching us, or maybe still, just like with Winston and Julia, Big Brother has been watching all along, he was just always hiding underneath the other side of our screen.
Pretty crazy that they chose to have the voice come out from behind a screen isn’t it? Since it seems we all live our lives in front of or hid behind screens at all times these days. Just something to think about. This book changed the idea of forward creativity for me, and without it I don’t think I would be as intrigued in the development of new creative frontiers as I am for having read this. 1984 very easily may have been what started it all for me, and I am so very grateful.