Commentary: Generational Hate In America

The novel 1984 wrote by George Orwell.

The novel 1984 wrote by George Orwell.

Claire Hunt, Reporter

The society created in the novel “1984” by George Orwell produces an atmosphere of hatred for one another considering that the citizens will turn against their own families to please the government. Similar to today’s society, hatred is taught from the moment we are born. Though people tend to believe that racism is dead, it is still alive and well in our world. With generations of people being taught hate from young ages, our society could be on the path to a dystopian future. 

A society that isolates the negative qualities to show the most extreme future is dystopian. The novel “1984” is a prime example of dystopian literature. The novel follows the main character, Winston, throughout his life based on the year “1984” imagined by Orwell. An overwhelming theme of the novel is complete government control, which is shown through the brainwashing of all citizens and their loss of freedom. 

In the novel, “1984” Winston faces firsthand the effects of generational hate. For example, children in this society are used as “thought police.” This means that the child’s responsibility is to report any negative thoughts about the Big Brother party, even if it means sending their parent to jail. Race in our world is taught as a dividing factor, something that separates us from one another. This creates more hatred in our society, causing people to focus on our differences instead of celebrating what we have in common.

From Education Week, Corey Mitchell states, “Others are disturbingly muddled when it comes to explaining that concepts such as race, ethnicity, and nationality are all varieties of the same thing: dividing lines invented by human beings and then reimagined as somehow natural or God-given” (Mitchell). 

This quote explains that ideas such as ethnicity and race act as dividing lines in our society. We have been taught that our race defines us, but it only separates us from one another and causes conflict. 

To start pushing against the ideas of generational hate in America we have to start at the root cause: our education system. American school systems tend to brush over the racism that our nation is built upon and how we have the power to end the tired values that have been passed down for generations. 

According to Time, Charles King states, “the concept of an inherent ‘whiteness’ or ‘blackness’ or ‘Asianness’ that many American students have absorbed from the earliest moments of their lives,” (King). 

Racism is not something you are born with, it is simply something you are taught. Hate towards other races is learned through your childhood and changes based on the environment you live in. In school, students are not taught the extremity of matters in our society that stem directly from years of racism.

 Many student textbooks today stay silent on biology and social identity rather than teaching against these issues, which leads to students not getting the full effect of systematic racism in our country.    

The novel “1984” and generational hate go hand in hand. In the novel, Oceania demonstrates a government with full control over its citizens. This generates a community without freedom of thought and exiles creative ideas that make a society diverse. 

Hatred is shown throughout the novel as societal members are taught to obey the government over anything else in life. Similar to generational hate in America, people are taught to divide because of minor differences like race. Nevertheless, people claim race does not play a role in our society today and that racial issues were solved years ago. 

In the opinion of Time, “Race and other forms of identity continue to be deeply ‘biologized,’ that is, spoken of as if they were rooted deep inside an individual’s being,” (King). This proves that race is still thought of as a crucial part of someone’s identity.

Today’s society continues to portray years of racism that have yet to be solved. These issues could lead our society down a path of dystopia if it continues to go unnoticed.

 With generations of people being taught hate from a young age, our society could be on the path to a dystopian future.  There is much to come from embracing our differences, but ultimately focusing on our similarities to come together without the dividing lines of race.