Ignorance Is Strength Essay

838 words - 3 pages

In society today, education is a major factor in the lives of many Americans. In most cases, the higher the level of education a person has, the better their chance of succeeding in an environment they enjoy working in, and living an overall productive life. On the contrary, however, in George Orwell's 1984, the less the citizens of Oceania knew, the better. One of the three "truths" that the Party presented summed up the ways if Big Brother in just three words: "Ignorance is strength." The people who knew the least and questioned nothing were the model citizens of Oceania, and managed to escape vaporization or torture. Winston Smith did question the Party, however, and although he thought he had escaped the dominating control of the fictitious Big Brother, he was still under their grasp. A strong example in 1984 of a case where "Ignorance is strength" was a truth was Katherine, Winston's ex-wife. A description of Katherine shows the Party's ideal woman: "She had a bold, aquiline face, a face that one might have called noble until one discovered that there was as nearly as possible nothing behind it. Very early in their married life...that she had without exception the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind he had ever encountered. She had not a thought in her head that was not a slogan, and there was no imbecility, absolutely none, that she was not capable of swallowing if the Party handed it out to her." (Orwell, 58) This was what the Party wanted-a person so brain dead and brain washed that they willingly acknowledged as the truth anything the Party dished out. This was the Party's prototype woman, for if a citizen believed with their heart any absurdity that their leaders presented, then the Party had earned complete loyalty with no risk of rebellion or mutiny amongst the citizens. Katherine had even been brainwashed to the extent that the pleasures in life had been reversed in their roles and had become the dreaded parts in life, only bearable because it was her "duty to the Party." Big Brother managed to manipulate the citizens into believing falsehoods so that whenever they were speaking a lie they believed that it was the complete truth. "...to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies..." (32) However, there were some people in Oceania that had sparks of...

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