Truth and Darkness - 1984 and The Left Hand of Darkness


The two books 1984 and The Left Hand of Darkness help to define humanity and truth. Humanity is the condition, quality or fact of being human collectively. The definition of truth is things as they are, things as they have been, and things as they are to come. Truth can not change because it does not reflect a personal perspective. These books illustrate how humans relate towards themselves, friends, enemies, and humanity as a whole while.

Truth allows humans to stand-alone. When they find truth they are able to be one against the whole. "Being in a minority even a minority of one did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad."(Pg.173, 1984) This fact allowed Winston to fight against the party. Truth is a powerful weapon that can stand alone like unto an army. "One voice speaking truth is greater force than fleets and armies, given time." (Pg. 27 The Left Hand of Darkness) Mr. Ai knew that eventually the people of Winter would accept the truth, it would only take time.

Truth can\'t be changed by man but can only be distorted. This fact was illustrated in both books. "The shortcomings are in the messenger, not the message." (Pg. 106, The Left Hand of Darkness) Mr. Ai knew that sometimes when the responsibility of the truth is on one person it could get distorted. The truth can also get distorted when the people holding the power are in charge of keeping the truth. "Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth." (Pg. 64, 1984) When truth is distorted one loses the freedom to decide if one wants to support truth or untruth.

When people\'s friendship goes untested they believe a friend would do anything for them, but when the trials come they end in betrayal. Winston believed he would stay true to Julia no matter what happened. "If I could save Julia by doubting my own pain, would I do it? Yes, I would." (Pg. 186, 1984) After Winston had betrayed everyone except Julia, he still believed he could withstand and not betray Julia. "You have whimpered for mercy, you have betrayed everybody and everything. Can you think of a single degradation that has not happened to you? Winston had stopped weeping, though tears were still oozing out of his eyes. He looked up at O\'Brien \'I have not betrayed Julia,\' he said." (Pg. 225, 1984) Yet when the trial came of his worst fear, he betrayed her in the end. "Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! I don\'t care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!" (Pg. 236, 1984) In the Left Hand of Darkness, Estraven stole food and supplies for Mr. Ai and himself even though he knew stealing was so despised. "Stealing is a vile crime on Winter; indeed the only man more despised then the thief is the suicide." (Pg. 205, The Left Hand of Darkness) Then Mr. Ai felt betrayed by Estraven because he left him alone after their long journey by purposely allowing himself to be shot. "\'He could have stopped. He saw the guards. He ran right into the guns.\'(Mr. Ai) The young physician said nothing for a while. \'You\'re not saying that he killed himself?\' \'Perhaps-\' \'That is a bitter thing to say of a friend.\'" (Pg. 286, The Left Hand of Darkness)

A friend fills many roles from tormenter to lover, but serves the main purpose of helping you survive. In the book 1984, Winston had only one friend left after the interrogation and made this comment about O\'Brien. "He was the tormenter, he was the protector, he was the inquisitor, he was the friend." (Pg. 201, 1984) Being a friend allowed O\'Brien to fill many roles in Winston\'s life. Mr. Ai questioned friendship on Winter because the people were able to change from friend to lover each month. Winter caused him to have to redefine his previous knowledge of friendship. "A friend, what is a friend, in a