IRP response log #1
What would the world would be like if people were trained not think for themselves, and only follow the lead of the government? In George Orwell's classic novel 1984 the main character, Winston Smith, struggles to live in a society of people who believe in everything the government, called the Party, says and are not allowed to think freely. Winston though, still remembers a time in his life when the Party was not an all controlling power, which causes him to realize that everything the party says and does is not really in the best interest of society as a whole. As a result, he begins to try and defy the Party in every way possible, without getting caught. Winston Smith is making responsible choices that help in his process of self-discovery because he's choosing to go against The Party's protocol by thinking for himself and also writing in a diary.
In the beginning of the story, Winston begins to think about how much he hates the Party and how he wants it to be overthrown. This, in the eyes of the Party, is called thoughtcrime. If Winston is ever caught by the thought police he will be put to death. Winston realizes this and makes the choice to continue the thought crime, which is demonstrated by him recognizing that "Thoughtcrime does not entail death: Thoughtcrime is death." (Orwell, 25) This proves that even though Winston knows that someday he will die because of his thoughts, he realizes that his beliefs and values are more important than what the Party says his beliefs should be. Since he is already at risk of death, Winston also decides to commit other rebellious acts in order to try and protect future generations.