Sunday, June 11, 2017

In high school, I did as much as I had to, to scrape by. I skipped many of the books we were supposed to read in our English classes. Recently, I realized how much I missed out on. A few months ago I got into reading for the first time in my life. I started with a book called Island by Aldous Huxley. When I read it, I didn’t make the connection to one of the main ideas in the book: that simplicity and human connections are what make a society great.

Today, I began reading 1984, which is one of the great books that I missed out on in high school because of my slackness. I knew the premise of the book, and lately have heard it talked about a lot by friends of mine. One of the things I had never heard about was the description of what the book calls the “proles”. In the book, they are considered to be the lowest human beings. They, unlike those in the main character’s social class, are given “freedom”. They are allowed to work and toil for material possessions and often get upset and fight over these possessions, but never have any sort of aggression for the powers that put them in their unfortunate place in life.

I never thought that a lesson on simplicity would come from a book like 1984. It made me reflect on our current country situation, and The Ad and the Ego and how materialism is being used to control us, much like it is in 1984. The believed freedom held by the proles in this book might be one of the most frightening comparisons I have made between the book and our world today. It may be wise for all of us to take a step back and look at what we consider to be freedom, and see how much of that is actually bondage.

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