Sunday, August 4, 2019

Wisdom Leads to Suffering in Brave New World by George Orwell Essay

Solomon spoke once, after a life filled with great wisdom of nature- chochmah tata’ah- that all of life exists for vanity, that purpose erases itself from existence and man is left with only a mean, purposeless life. Orwell, in 1984, realizes in his work that insight gained of the workings of a dystopic society, leads only to the discovery of purposelessness- the reduction of life to something other than that it purports to be. Orwell’s attack of wisdom takes shape through his usage of juxtaposition in character description, the telling nature of Winston’s state post-discovery, and a most mystifying metaphysical description: the peril of knowing too much. In the same way that Solomon captured the essence of chochmah tata’ah, the wisdom of the external, so Winston gains more knowledge of the external world, in the same way that Solomon (or a Qohelet pretending to be him) wrote of despair issuing from wisdom in Ecclesiastes, Winston finds himself suffering more than the people around him, due to his wisdom. In 1984, Doublethink forces the entire society, both the proles (because of their intelligence quotients) and the higher echelon of people (in order to keep power), into a stupor which leaves the without any knowledge of their situation in life, and completely- obliviously- happy. Though Orwell paints a picture of a crumbling world, the people within see no need to improve it because the simply choose to ignore problems. The people around Winston find themselves duped into believing blindly, without wisdom, and are content while Winston, aware of his surroundings, constantly struggles. Orwell’s message here screams to t he reader that knowledge leads to pain. Winston, strolling to work one day, sees a man with a twitch- fightin... ...fering and death of the combatants. The only outcomes of increased knowledge and wisdom of the external- chochmah tata’ah, exist as oppression and death. Orwell, though speaking out against the oppressiveness of societies, argues more strongly that humanity’s gain of wisdom about corruption leads only to suffering. The author of 1984 brings these points to fruition in his character analysis, and his analysis of reality itself. In the same way that Adam sampled the fruit of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and gained only death, the addition of wisdom to the human consciousness leads only to suffering. The epic told to represent this story by Orwell ends with the argument that â€Å"War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.† (4), the argument that when ignorance is lost, suffering and weakness follow. Work cited: Brave New World, by George Orwell.

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