My new column, with a title that somehow makes sense. From now on until I stop I will be examining a paragraph in whatever detail I choose. This is also a good time for guests to pop in and do their own paragraph.
Today’s paragraph is from Nineteen-Eighty Four by George Orwell. And because it’s a very important book I give you a link here so you can buy it and possibly give me a few cents in affiliate fees.
If you don’t know the storyline then that’s fine. I don’t either, but I know what it’s about. This is a frightening book illustrating authoritarianism and how it can go so, so wrong. Despite being written in 1949 it is so close to what is happening in various parts of the world it scares me. And now to the paragraph:
He might turn the speech into the usual denunciation of traitors and thought-criminals, but that was a little too obvious, while to invent a victory at the front, or some triumph of over-production to the Ninth Three-Year Plan, might complicate the records too much. What was needed was a piece of pure fantasy. Suddenly there sprang into his mind, ready made as it were, the image of a certain Comrade Ogilvy, who had recently died in battle, in heroic circumstances. There were occasions when Big Brother devoted his Order for the Day to commemorating some humble, rank-and-file Party member whose life and death he held up as an example worthy to be followed. Today he should commemorate Comrade Ogilvy. It was true that there was no such person as Comrade Ogilvy, but a few lines of print and a couple of faked photographs would soon bring him into existence.
So much in these few lines. First of all this illustrates how Big Brother is trying to show the people the war effort. He’s trying to show the war is being won by the small person, the person who could very well be anyone left behind. Comrade Ogilvy is the everyman. Next, we’re being shown that much of the information is being made up, and we’ve no idea what is really happening. The person doing the work in this paragraph is Winston and it makes me wonder if he really knows what is actually happening. Comrade Ogilvy is now fake news.