knowledge - Alexander Pope remarks that a little knowledge...

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Alexander Pope remarks that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” In a world where society discourages individual thinking, knowledge can indeed appear dangerous. George Orwell, an Indian-born English author, wrote 1984 in 1948 to warn readers about a future in which humans conform to society’s demands that they ignore the oppressions of the government. The dystopian novel approaches the subject of acting against oppression through Winston Smith, the protagonist of the book. Through changing Winston into a person with a new personality, Orwell dictates that a government at its worst cannot force its citizens to tolerate its oppression with diction, details, and imagery. In addition, both the Violin Concerto by Sibelius and Freedom of Speech by Norman Rockwell possess desires for freedom. George Orwell warns about a waning of freedom in his book, but critics disagree on whether or not his prophecy succeeded. George P. Elliott believes that Orwell did not succeed as a prophet. People may credit him as a prophet by the warnings he spell out in 1984, but his atheist beliefs debilitate his credibility. Ruling parties do rule simply to gain power. However, Orwell loses the public in his contention that advancement in technology causes people to condone a cruel government. “Cruelty,” Orwell believes, “can become the strongest human impulse” (Elliott 344). Even though Elliott calls Orwell a failure in his prophecy, he agrees that ruling parties become corrupt from the desire for more power. Advancement of technology, however, enhances government’s efficiency to propagate propaganda. Propaganda, in turn, will forcefully bend any populace into the government’s brainwash. Anthony Burgess agrees with Elliott’s beliefs, stating that the readers do not agree that a government so cruel can exist. Pretty soon, he argues, man’s
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exploitation of cruelty would increase to a certain point where the law of diminishing returns takes over. O’Brien, a “friend” of Winston and an Inner Party member, refutes this by stating this cruelty occurs in a future society, in a human creature different from today’s. Readers approach this notion as romanticism, and cannot see how his vision will ever apply (Burgess 43). Orwell’s rendition of the mechanized world leaves the readers out of his vision; thus, readers cannot envision a regime as cruel as “a boot stamping on a human face forever” (Burgess 42). In this sense, the reader shrugs off O’Brien’s “romanticism,” as if indifferent towards its connotations. Romanticism differs from reality, as other literary critics point out when Orwell’s 1984 portrays some aspects from life in Great Britain during the time. Alfred Kazin writes that Orwell vents his anger about other leftist politicians through the character of O’Brien. O’Brien’s statement to Winston in the Ministry of love represents the main purpose of politicians in the twentieth century. All political parties seize power to retain
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knowledge - Alexander Pope remarks that a little knowledge...

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