On this day sixty-two years ago, George Orwell passed away, soon after the publication of his final novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, an ugly glimpse at a dystopian future where the world is run by totalitarian regimes.
At the end of the novel, the torturer O’Brien tells Smith that, “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.” O’Brien goes on to argue that “the individual is only a cell, Winston, and the weariness of the cell is the vigor of the organism.”
“You’ll fail,” Winston responds. “Something will defeat you. . . . some spirit . . . the spirit of man.”
In Orwell’s book, the spirit of man is defeated, destroyed. Thankfully, in our lives, we can write our own ending.