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Pursuit of Freedom in 1984 Essay


For many years, scientists, psychologists, and common people alike have debated whether a persons desire to pursue freedom, liberty, and justice is instilled within from birth or if these desires are learned from the environment in which he or she lives. In the book, 1984 by George Orwell, a world is created in which people must stifle their innermost feelings and succumb to the Partys harsh regulations. In my opinion, humans have an innate desire to pursue freedom, liberty, and justice.

My belief that humans possess an instinctive desire to pursue such things as freedom, liberty, and justice is supported through George Orwells fictional character, Winston Smith. Throughout the book, Winston Smith, a fatalistic, complex character, finds himself being gravitated toward both a past that he cannot remember and an optimistic future. Although Winston cannot quite grasp the memories of his past, he knows that they reveal something of great importance. He finds himself questioning the Party, Big Brother, the Thought Police, and his place within the Party. Winstons desires for freedom and justice from the Party reveal that such desires are innate. Winston is too young to remember life before the Revolution so a life of working for and being controlled by the Party is all he knows. It is obvious that Winston wants something more from life and thinks that he would be happier if he was not controlled by the Thought Police or the Party. Winstons affair with and feelings of sexual desire for Julia, an obedient yet rebellious member of the Party, clearly depict the idea that desires, although scorned, are still felt. Feelings of freedom, liberty, and justice obviously cannot occur without being felt from within because Winston never experienced a life where he was free from rule and obligation to the Party.

Although Julias motives in the pursuit for freedom, liberty, and justice were not the same as Winstons, it is still clear that ones feelings of such desires do not come from the environment in which they were raised. Julia, being only a young woman, was raised by the Partys ways her entire life. The Party prohibited most forms of promiscuity. In cases where a couple was married, it was then only thought of as their duty to the Party to produce a child. A persons sexual energy was shrouded and used to ignite war-like feelings against a common enemy. In a world where a persons sexual desires are forbidden and masked, Julias yearning for sex and passion is undoubtedly instinctive.

I strongly believe that person has his or her own thoughts, wants, and needs already programmed into him or her. I personally find it hard to believe that a person cannot love if love was never part of their life, or a person cannot produce hate simply because they did not grow up around hate. It isnt uncommon to hear of a person overcoming an abusive childhood, only to give the world kindness in return. In the same aspect, it is not unheard of to watch a person kill several people although he was surrounded by love all of his life. While a persons chances of becoming abusive, if surrounded by abuse, is greater, their environment is not the only thing that affects such an outcome. It is not simply black and white and cannot be pin-pointed to a particular moment or event in time. Abuse is an extreme example. This belief can be appointed to any idea. In George Orwells book, 1984, Winston Smiths desire to be free from the Party was felt from within. He did not know freedom; until that point his environment instilled the complete opposite. Another valid example would be the Amish culture. Children grow up learning that all modern forms of technology should not be used. They learn, from a young age, that rebellion is punishable by being shunned. That does not stop them from exploring freedom when they become teenagers. It is an inherent part of a person to be curious and to want something better.

While many scientists and psychologists believe that a persons desires for freedom, liberty, and justice are affected only by their environment, I believe the complete opposite. There is a saying that success breeds success, but that is not always the case. There is an abundant amount of evidence that supports my belief. George Orwells characters, Julia and Winston, rebel against their environment. People that are abused do not always abuse in return. People that live a simple life do not always lead a simple life. I believe that there is more than enough evidence to uphold my belief that desires such as freedom, liberty, and justice are innate.

Dissent within any country, culture, or species is important for several reasons. If there were no disagreements between any particular group or groups of animals (especially within the human race), innovation could not occur. Innovation occurs when one is not satisfied with his or her current placement at a particular moment in time. When a person opposes a particular force that person strives for something better. Without dissent, we would not have the light bulb, the wheel, or the telephone. Without dissent, we would still think that the world was flat. Christopher Columbus did not agree with the status quo and so, decided to set out on a journey to prove everyone wrong. Today, dissent is important because without it, we would live in a world much like the one George Orwell created in his book, 1984. We would be happy with what was and never question what could be. Government would have total and complete control of our lives. There would be no democracy. Mostly, dissent is important today because we do not want to give up the freedoms our forefathers established for us.

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