Monday, November 12, 2012

1984 Book: Literary Reflection about Winston's fears

Everyone has a fear of something. It’s something that we don’t want to happen to ourselves but some cannot help it. Fear is an upsetting emotion produced by threat, danger, pain, etc. In the book 1984, Winston’s fear was rats. He wasn’t just troubled by rats. He was petrified of them. This was first revealed in Chapter IV, when he screamed at the sight of a rat. It’s embarrassing for Winston to be afraid of rats because his girlfriend, Julia, was right there at the time and she didn’t show any fear at all. The book shows that everyone has a fear.


Winston cannot tolerate rats, and O'Brien knows this and takes advantage of this fear in Room 101.  Winston sacrifices Julia.  He had hoped to keep his love for her in his heart, but the threat of rats in Room 101 destroys this.  After that, he has nothing left to love but Big Brother. Before Obrien used rats to torture Winston, he had people beat him with fists, weapons, and their feet to get him to break, but that didn’t do anything to Winston. When Obrien used rats, Winston was very terrified. One thing I’m really fearful of is getting shot. I’ve seen stories on the news of people dying every day from a shot and that really spooked me up. If there was a chance that I was getting robbed with an assault weapon, I would completely break down and act the same way Winston did in the rat cage.


When one lets themselves stay in fear, they are choosing to have the fear guide their actions like Winston did when he sacrificed Julia to this torture instead of him. I'm sure everyone has felt overwhelmed by fear at some point, maybe often. Most of us feel fear to some level or another, which is fine at a certain level, but when fear causes you to sacrifice someone’s life, then this must be a serous phobia. It’s very depressing that Winston did that because Julia was the only true love for him, and now he has no one else to love but Big Brother. That is a sad ending to the book, but that’s what fear does to people.

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