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George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four 1984 Essay

1300 words - 5 pages


Throughout the evolution of man, power and control have been idealized. When power is attained by manipulative dictators, citizens may initially view them as a means to satisfy their need for structure and direction. An author’s grim prophecy of mankind in a totalitarian society is depicted in George Orwell’s, 1984. Citizens in Oceania are governed by the Party Big Brother, which succeeds in controlling their actions and minds. The concept of oppression is taken to a new level, until there is no sense of humanity within the society.
Natural instincts and emotions do not exist for the citizens in Oceania, as they are conditioned since birth to be working bodies, lacking mercy and compassion. “By careful early conditioning, by games and cold water, by the rubbish that was dinned into them at school and in the Spies and the Youth League, by lectures, parades, songs, slogans and martial music, the natural feeling had been driven out of them.” (Orwell, p.71) The main repetitive means of conditioning were the Party slogans which citizens must adhere to; War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength. War is linked with peace and security, rather than horror and grief. Freedom is viewed as being an individual, therefore more susceptible to torture. The individual is defeated and therefore enslaved to the government rather than being apart of the government. In result, there is no freedom of thought, expression, language, religion, etc. Ignorance is bliss since there is no need to criticize the government and therefore, fewer confrontations.
The proles (proletariats) in the novel are allowed and appreciate primitive emotions. Sex, scent, expression, and the true sense of freedom embody this in the novel. It is ironic that they reserve a sense of humanity, yet are considered inhumane. Eighty five per cent of Oceania’s population is proles, and they are unaware of their potential power. “If there is hope, it lies in the proles. Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” (Orwell, p.52) Although it could lead to a counter-revolution, they are content in the purity of their lives, and see no need for power since they have not yet been exposed to the oppression in Oceania. “The lower strata of the middle class – the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants – all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which modern industry is carried on…” (Feuer) This contrasts the bourgeoisie (i.e. Big Brother, the inner party) who are driven by power, are considered socially superior, and are the ones responsible for the struggle between the classes within their regime. They successfully change the upper class (outer Party members) to fit their image, and it is only a matter of time before they attempt to convert the proles. The inner party dictates to the...

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