1984 Response Essay

1984 Response Essay - Response Essay 1984 In George...

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Response Essay – 1984 In George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 , he presents a totalitarian society where the government controls every single aspect of the citizens’ lives. It portrays Orwell’s extreme version of what society could become should totalitarianism continue. In this fictional dystopia, the government strips away the freedom of its citizens and exerts complete control over them using various methods of psychological and physical manipulation. Firstly, the government invents a new language called Newspeak, which Oceania citizens are expected to learn. Newspeak eliminates all words from Oldspeak that are related to rebellion or independent thought, such as the word “free” (Orwell 299). It also abbreviates most words to take away certain connotations Big Brother doesn’t want citizens to think. By controlling language, the government is basically controlling the thought process of all citizens. Without the means of language, people cannot formulate and organize their ideas; so the elimination of such words would also eliminate all thought of rebellion. This is one of the ways in which the government brainwashes its citizens. The tactics Big Brother uses are so successful that the citizens of Oceania are brainwashed to the extent that they cannot recognize the contradictions within the party’s political agenda. This failure to identify contradiction is known as Doublethink, and is best demonstrated in the slogan of the party: “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength” (Orwell 4). 1
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independent thought. Their minds are trained to block out these inconsistencies and accept whatever Big Brother tells them, because he is at the very basis of their thought process. Another way in which the government controls the citizens of Oceania is through changing the past. It does this in two ways: through altering history, and suppressing past memories of citizens. There is a ministry of truth which is responsible for rewriting historical records. By changing history, citizens can no longer remember what the world was like before and how Big Brother came to power. This makes it easier for the party to brainwash everyone with its ideology. The suppression of past memories is an even more powerful strategy, as it removes the core of what makes every person an individual. The protagonist, Winston, struggles to recall his childhood: “He tried to squeeze out some childhood memory that should tell him whether London had always been quite like this…. But it was no use, he could not remember. ..” (Orwell 3). By taking away photographs or objects with sentimental value, the memories of Oceania citizens, along with their personal identities, slowly fade away. Eventually, everyone becomes simply automatons in a system, with no identifiable human qualities such as independent thought, emotion, or passion. This is what Big Brother wants from the citizens – complete obedience and unquestioning acceptance of the party regime. 2
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1984 Response Essay - Response Essay 1984 In George...

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