1984 Essay by TE

1984: Selfishness Superiority

          Humans’ natural instinct of self-preservation creates an innate selfishness within all people. Humans are genetically wired with the desire to live, causing them to put themselves and their needs above others. Through a healthy, loving family dynamic, this selfishness can be blunted to some extent and altruistic tendencies develop. In1984, the Party uses innate selfishness to their advantage, creating love only for the Party. The manipulation of the Outer Party differs from the Proles, due to their varying roles in society. The Outer Party members possess knowledge of the Party’s activities and therefore pose more of a threat. Consequently, the Inner Party manipulates the Outer Party Member’s selfishness in order to control the Outer Party. The Party destroys familial bonds, and creates dire living conditions as a way to fuel the Outer Party members’ selfishness. Because of their lack of power, the Proles can maintain their family bonds, allowing them to remain human. Orwell juxtaposes the ability to love in the two different groups to demonstrate how the Inner Party manipulates social hierarchy and family dynamics to accentuate humans’ innate, selfish tendencies. [Read more…]

Siddhartha and The Alchemist Comparative Essay by JF

The Significance of Love and Wealth on Human Fulfillment

In their early teenage lives, both Hermann Hesse and Paulo Coelho struggled to cope with their parent’s conflicting outlook on their lives and ultimately, their purpose. For separate reasons, Hesse and Coelho spent time in institutions designed to “reinvent” the individual. The authors endured many months in this compulsory prison yet after release, proved their individuality and perseverance was more than a product of teen angst– they pursued their aspirations. Moreover, Hesse and Coelho’s persistence through a childhood polluted by parental control yet followed by complete success, demonstrates not only the genuine existence of destiny, but also the continuous opportunity to achieve happiness and greatness. Exemplified by the stories of their lives, Hesse and Coelho channel this idea in their works Siddhartha and The Alchemist. Using the wisdom the protagonists obtained from personal journeys, both Hesse and Coelho convey the importance of sacrificing love and common human pleasures to become entirely fulfilled. However, only Coelho advocates an ultimate return to such pleasures suggesting that love and possessions are essential in a truly authentic life. [Read more…]

1984 and Invitation to a Beheading Comparative Essay by EY

The terrifying nature of freedom causes individuals to assimilate into society to shirk their responsibilities.  Societies thus take advantage of this by oppressing individuals to maintain stability.  1984, by George Orwell, and Invitation to a Beheading, by Vladimir Nabokov, both exhibit oppressive environments and individuals who accept these societies.  The protagonists believe in the ideals and opinions perpetuated by their respective powers, and choose to subject themselves to the oppression put forth by those in control.  Jean-Paul Sartre’s essay, “Existentialism is a Humanism”, discusses the freedom and responsibility inherent to humanity.  In Orwell and Nabokov’s works, the protagonists, faced with the burden of decision and consequent responsibility, choose to suppress their freedom.  Out of fear, not of oppressive forces but of self-dependence, they turn to another to control their lives.  Thus they ultimately engage in deceiving themselves and choose lives of bad faith, where they are dishonest with themselves and refuse to embrace despair and anguish.  They suppress their individuality to ignore the responsibility inherent to freedom.  Both 1984 and Invitation to a Beheading exhibit the intrinsically oppressive nature of society and show that, through an existentialist lens, structured society is unnatural and accepting it is ultimately a form of self-deception as it suppresses an individual’s freedom. [Read more…]