The poem We Are All Human and the book 1984 both address the concept of understanding those who are different from you and they make the case that it when involved in conflict, is important to remember that your enemy is still human despite your differences. In 1984, Goldstein's book mentions how the philosophy of Ingsoc relies on making sure all the citizens are forbidden from "contact with foreigners" (215) who are the enemies in the war, because if the people were allowed to learn about their enemy, they "would discover that they are creatures similar to himself" (215) and perhaps be less willing to fight. The character of Julia is a prime example of this strategy at work because she "excelled at shouting insults at Goldstein" despite the fact that "she had only the dimmest idea who Goldstein was" (167). The leaders of Ingsoc recognize that it is of utmost importance to prevent the citizenry from recognizing their common humanity with their enemy so that the citizens will be more willing to fight and demonize the enemy. If the citizens understood that they were fighting fellow human beings, they may be more merciful and less eager to perpetuate violence. The poem We Are All Human mentions also emphasizes the importance’s of remembering that—despite our differences—we are all human "it shouldn’t matter" to your measure of humanity where you come from, and we must "realize/that we are all just human". The poem laments that too often we are "labeled and typecasted" which is what happens when people don’t give their opponents the respect they deserve. This poem is making the point that’s even when encountering different people it is important to remember that people you oppose aren’t demons or subhuman, but rather that they are still humans and deserve that base level respect. Both 1984 and We Are All Human emphasize the importance of recognizing the humanity of all, even your opponents.
It should not matter - That we grew up On opposite banks,
The song Major Minus and the novel 1984 both deal with the concept of excessive surveillance and the idea that those individuals who fight against such a system will have to struggle with hatred for the system and also fear of acting out against it. In 1984, the main character Winston lives in a society where "always the eyes [are] watching you" whether one is "asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or in bed" there is "no escape" and nothing is private except "the few cubic centimeters inside your skull." (31) Winston is describing the lack of freedom and expression that results from a society overbearing in it's policy of surveillance to the point where it actually begins to make people feel trapped and willing to fight back. Winston is half willing to make rebellious movements against this oppression, but he is also terrified and therefore not fully committed to overcoming his society. In the song Major Minus, "They got one eye watching you/One eye on what you do/So be careful who it is you're talking to" referring to an organization that is somehow keeping track of what individuals are doing and watching their activities. Similar to Winston's inner conflict between the desire to fight his oppressors and his fear, Major Minus includes the lyrics, "I got my right side fighting while/My left hides under the chairs" which describes the inner split between wanting to dismantle the oppressive system and the fear of trespassing against such a powerful entity. In the end, both works describe the fear and violation that oppressive surveillance can bring and how difficult it can be for those underneath such a regime to fight back.
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