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Loyalty Is Betrayal Essay

2108 words - 9 pages

The dictionary defines doublethink as the acceptance of two conflicting ideas to be true. It is interesting to note that the word, doublethink, was coined in 1949 by author, George Orwell, and is still used today. It is one the central elements of his dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which is filled with a myriad of doublethink situations and slogans used by the oppressive government. The concepts of betrayal and doublethink go hand in hand when trying to analyzing the Party in the Orwell’s novel. Loyalty to the government is established by getting people to betray everyone else in their lives. This contradiction is echoes back the ideas of doublethink. The government of Oceania seeks ...view middle of the document...

The perversion of the family unit is one of the most effective tools of creating power employed by the government. The children in the society are trained from a very young age to be spies for the Party. They are heavily encouraged to report adults whether they are strangers or family for any possible signs of Thought Crime or treason. Good children spies are even glorified on the news and by other adults for their acts of espionage. The brainwashing of children totally destroys the idea of the family unit and any possible private loyalties. Now family does not come first, but rather the Party does. This can be seen in the case of Winston’s neighbors, the Parsons family. The Parsons children are incredibly enthusiastic about their duties to the Party and cannot even be controlled by their mother. They are obsessed with everything that has to do with the Party and will do anything for it. Early on in the novel Winston remarks that one day his coworker, Mr. Parsons, will be turned in to the Thought Police by his own children. His prediction comes into fruition later on in the story when he is being held in the Ministry of Love and Parsons is thrown into one of the cells with him. Winston finds out that it was Parsons’ daughter who had reported him to the authorities. Parsons explains the situation to him saying, “She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped me off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear any grudge for it. I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway” (240). The government of Oceania has created an atmosphere where betrayal has become the norm. The Parsons children are the perfect example of how the family unit has been twisted from its conventional form into a weapon of the state. Mr. Parsons, a man just as brainwashed as his kids, finds himself in jail for a crime he might have not even committed. In Oceania no one is safe from being sold out to the authorities. People have to be wary of not only their peers or coworkers turning them in, but rather their own family members. This situation empowers the Party by eliminating any possible threats to their grip on the people and transforming familial loyalty into state loyalty.
Building intimate relationships and friendships in the dystopian world presented in Nineteen Eighty-Four is unheard of and goes against the social doctrines established by the state. The Party wants nothing from its people but complete, utter devotion to their cause. Thus, the Party exercises a no-tolerance policy when it comes to the social lives of the people. Their philosophy is that there is no reason for a person to ever have to interact with others except when they have to fulfill their duties to the government. A devout Party member would ask a question like, “How could a person possibly have time to spend with others when there’s so much to do for the Party instead?” This might sound outlandish to many people...

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