There are many issues in the world and one of them are the social injustices. According to honorsociety.org, “Social injustice is the way unjust actions are done in the society. Social injustice occurs in a situation where the equals are treated unequally and the unequal is treated equally. Three common examples of social injustice include: … Read more
Constructing the Language of Tyranny; How Aspects of Newspeak and North Korean Language Enforce Totalitarianism The human perspective is malleable by features of language, as the process of thought relates directly to speech. For instance, countless variants of formal speech riddle South Korean language, rendering South Koreans sensitive to subtle differences in class. Indonesia lacks time-indicating … Read more
George Orwell’s 1984 gives readers a glimpse into a frighteningly plausible future where censorship and absolute power have taken the place of freedom of thought and democracy. The narrator and main character, Winston, is a citizen of Oceania, a fictitious superstate ruled under an iron thumb by Big Brother and his authoritarian regime, which is … Read more
All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall. Society loves conformity. To conform is to succeed, and those who do not are made an example of; an unpleasant reminder of what failure to conform looks like. The acid-dropping hippie, the Feminist, the LGBTQ member or the tattooed “freak”. Time after time we are … Read more
Quote RAE “Winston picked his way up the lane through dappled light and shade, stepping out into pools of gold whenever the boughs parted. Under the trees to the left of them the group was misty with bluebells. The air seemed to kiss one’s skin. It was the second of May. From somewhere deeper in … Read more
George Orwell’s book 1984, has been an important work in the eyes of many critics because of its views on a totalitarianistic society. Peter Firchow states that, “Orwell is one of the great essayists of the period—as well as in his documentary books” (Firchow). Orwell uses a variety of literary tools to embellish his novel … Read more
Cameras, televisions and microphones are everywhere. Our actions are constantly being monitored for various purposes. Though it generally poses no threat to our well being, nothing we do goes unnoticed. In George Orwell’s 1984 and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 neither protagonist agrees with the actions and views of their respective totalitarian governments. Due to the … Read more
Whether in a dystopian society ran by totalitarian rule, or in 11th century Scotland, getting what you want does not come easy, especially when you selfishly long for power, or simply want to be free. The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare tells the tale of a once honorable Macbeth, who would do anything that it … Read more
‘People must stand up against authority’ is a reoccurring theme which is being used in our wider world amongst many others. The text that relate to this theme are Animal Farm by George Orwell, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen and 1984 by George Orwell. Within the novel of … Read more
Both texts reveal that resistance and rebellion are futile; the system will always win in the end, at the expense of the individual. Discuss this with reference to both texts. When distribution of power in a society is too unevenly spread, or when one group abuses their power too greatly to the detriment of others, … Read more
1984 is a visionary and disturbing novel, in which a haunting setting in our near future is established. Orwell’s writing implies that the current unbalanced circumstances of the world are enough to throw society, in the span of one generation, into tragedy. He displays a profound cynicism about the ability of the individual heart; its spirit of love and freedom and the power to survive oppressive indoctrination.
The novel is a dystopia, its purpose being ‘a serious vision of society as a single intellectual pattern’ (Gorman Beauchamp). The characters could be seen as mouthpieces of the ideas they present, or the author’s views. Orwell’s politics were not only Left but to the dissident Left, directly contradicting what is one of his key themes in the novel: totalitarianism. Perhaps it is his political view that encourages him to be so vivid in his writing, showing that the effort of The Party’s overwhelming presence of surveillance tools and manipulation of language create a society ripe for exploitation by a less than just political leadership.
1984 can be seen to be a prophecy for our future. ‘The implied prediction [is] that the dawn of the new era is already near at hand’ (Edward Bellemy). This was one interpretation of the novel which was then contradicted by Orwell, as he stated that he didn’t ‘believe that society will necessarily arrive, but could arrive,’ and that ‘totalitarian ideas have taken root in the minds of intellectuals everywhere’. He is alerting us to what could happen via using systems of surveillance to protect us from war, terror and disease. Ultimately, the Party’s argument is what good is freedom if you’re unprotected from foreign aggression? Big Brother would insist that kind of freedom is slavery (one of the slogans).
In Oceania, political realities convince Winston and others that it’s necessary to eliminate ‘unreliable elements’ as that refers to enemies from Eastasia or Eurasia. But when the Party uses its absolute power over media and public language ‘to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable’ by purely eradicating Winston’s neighbours and workmates, that is pure oppression. Although our democracy may appear to protect us against totalitarian control, one need only cast a casual glance at the government’s efforts to defeat terrorism by avoiding civil liberties to see how governments convince us to sacrifice freedom for security.
Winston and Julia hunger for a ‘secret’ and ‘private’ life, an inch of personal space that is indeed ‘small and… fragile and… the only thing in the world worth living for’. This inch is denied them, and it leads to their sadly inevitable doom. As Donne once quoted, ‘no man is an island’; they both lust for some form of emotional connection. Although it is clear that they are not compatible in many ways, he longs for her as a means of being able to have a natural human communication, to interact with another human in a way that is open and unknown by the Party. Yet again, the totalitarian regime enforces these laws that ban all forms of emotional bonds between their citizens; to tell someone they love them requires courage as it is seen to be dangerous.
Possessing a relationship, be it a romantic or platonic one, is forbidden by the Party, as it creates the threat of emotional bonds in which they can share original thoughts or ideas; any rebellion is a threat as it can entice others to follow. Sexual fantasies are sadistic due to the repression of sexuality; Winston’s memory of the prostitute was depicted as taboo and violent. Winston shares his views with Julia, and it is apparent to the reader that she is disinterested. He views their relationship as political, whereas she enjoys merely beating the party in the limited way she can and makes no attempt to overthrow them. Primarily, defying the Party is the aim, so Winston claims to love Julia ‘more with the more men’ she’s had, a seemingly romantic comment to her.
Winston is conscious of his intellectual limitations, yet still believes that he is correct in any contradictory thought to the Party. Intelligence, or the ability to question the status quo, seems to Winston as a guarantee of thoughtcrime and eventual detection and extinction. His fatalistic expectations in the case of Syme and Parsons come true.
Orwell’s novel remains an argument for maintaining individuality as the only means for preserving democracy. Strong leadership initially inspires us to better things, but Big Brother shows how power in the hands of too few leads to corruption. Force is the entitlement of official power, the same as in any propaganda initiated either by seemingly democratic or totalitarian forces. Successful propaganda suggests a definite object of hate and contempt, which should be blamed for all disasters and consequently unite all people on the opposite side against it. Immigrants, Muslims, homosexuals, terrorists remain convenient symbolic targets for hate in the speeches and public events of political oppressors who offer a distraction from their abuses. In the novel, the Party illustrates this principle through public executions, the Two Minutes Hate, and their ever-present messages of manipulation broadcast on telescreen; essentially, a media with a two-way component.
Winston finds little escape from this universal brainwashing courtesy of The Party, bringing ‘the sound of marching, charging feet’ to one’s doorstep every morning. Orwell utilises satire to make the flaws of the government evident The party possesses a sadistic desire to make people they deem guilty suffer for even the smallest of ‘crimes’. Beauchamp ultimately summarised Orwell’s satirical intention, stating he ‘exaggerated the motive far beyond the historical evidence’.