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Analysis Of 1984 In Reference To Censorship

1885 words - 8 pages

Censorship dates all the way back to 443 BC in ancient Rome with the Office of Censor. In that time this was an office of great repute, the Office of Censor was charged with the shaping of the character of the people. Thus it was considered to be an honorable task, since then the connotation of the word and such an office has changed greatly. Today censorship is the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc. and suppressing “unacceptable parts” based on whoever is defining “unacceptable.” Unacceptable has been considered to be a wide range of concepts from ideas to sexually explicit content. Historically in the USSR most leaders used censorship in every form as a means of suppressing whatever or whoever was perceived as a possible threat. George Bernard Shaw once said, “Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.” A common practice in the book is the “vaporization” of citizens. According to the Newspeak Dictionary this was when The Party would completely wipe out any trace of the citizen and either kill them or send them to a forced labor camps.
1984 was written as a satire targeting the rise of Communism in Russia by portraying a world in which Communism has spread beyond Russia’s borders. In the book there is “The Ministry of Truth,” whose sole duty is to create and distribute propaganda. They also forge documents so that whatever The Party says appears accurate. Such practices were best denounced by Jeremy Bentham who once said “As to the evil which results from a censorship, it is impossible to measure it, for it is impossible to tell where it ends.” The Party alters so many documents so frequently it is nearly impossible to sift through all the lies to find even a kernel of truth.
1984 was published in 1949 shortly after the end of World War II, a time filled with political tension and great fear. At this point in history Communism was on the rise, the Red Scare spread fear all throughout the world that Communism would taint their land. The book painted a very vivid image of the scary idea of Communism becoming an overwhelming superpower. This seemed like an all to realistic possibility at the time. This book took peoples’ greatest fear and amplified it, projecting a terrifying future of a totalitarian government having total control over its citizens. Many schools pushed to ban the book on the grounds of its sexual content as well as the profanity that it details. Amarillo High School in Texas banned it during the 1960s, in a statement they released the school stated that it was “Inappropriate for adolescents or any age group” (Karolides). George Orwell creates a harsh satire outlining the dangers of totalitarianism through the concept of doublethink, a product of psychological manipulation.
1984 creates a world ruled with an iron fist crushing any semblance of resistance or any actions less than complete devotion to The Party. They achieve this through a number of tactics the first and foremost being constant...

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