To Orwell Today,
re: THE SPIRIT OF MAN
I very much enjoy your website, orwelltoday.com, and the many insightful essays. However, regarding the Spirit of Man, I have trouble accepting your analysis. As you claim, Winston is Orwell (sometimes, at least). When Winston claims not to believe in God, it probably mirrors Orwells own belief - he was at least agnostic, and very anti-catholic.
The Spirit of Man, which Winston also refers to as a principle, is more likely a human trait than some tangible spirit. Something which can't be completely erased, something innate. In short; human nature. In trying to break or remove that spirit, the Party is anti-human.
You are, of course, free to interpret 'the Spirit of Man' as something religious, but I don't think it's intellectually honest to ascribe that perspective to Orwell. Rather, it mirrors for its time typical 'rational' or 'enlightened' reasoning, similar to that of Popper or Russell.
You're misinterpreting my THE SPIRIT OF MAN essay when you say I'm talking about religion. The word "religion" isn't even mentioned. Nor do I ascribe any "religious perspective" to Orwell.
All the best,
PS - I haven't heard of Popper or Russell and their names don't come up in any writings about or by Orwell
PPS - On second thought I have heard of Russell - ie Bertrand Russell - and in some ways he and Orwell did think along the same lines - ie collaborated in some anti-war initiatives - but I don't think their spirituality mirrored each other at all
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~