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"Nineteen Eighty Four" By George Orwell. Essay

1225 words - 5 pages

In his book Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell portrays a bleak world in which "the party" holds complete and utter control. To assure their ability of maintaining power, this ruling elite has developed methods to eliminate dissent and impose complete uniformity of opinion upon its people. It was Stephen King who said, "The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance...logic can be happily tossed out the window". Applied to Nineteen Eighty-Four, worship of the godlike figure King speaks of could be symbolized by the party's corporeal representation of itself, known as Big Brother. The act of tossing logic out the window could be likened to Doublethink, a mental technique that is taught to all members of Oceanic society. This technique is such that its followers can consciously control their memories and their unconscious thoughts, thus effectively controlling their past as well as their present reality. Congruent to the process of Doublethink, the party has created three slogans, which are central to their political ideology. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength. It is this final slogan that represents the party's philosophy that individual intelligence is not only unnecessary; it is a danger to their (the party's) continued existence. Thus intelligence itself must be limited if not destroyed entirely. It is also this final slogan that will be explored here in more detail.Through the entirety of history there has always been three groups of people in any given society, the high, the middle, and the low. They have been divided and named in many different ways but the overall structure and relation between the three groups, regardless of any seemingly catastrophic changes that may have occurred, has always remained, in its essential nature, the same. The goals of these three groups have also remained the same, although entirely apposing in nature. Those in a position of power, or the High, want to stay where they are and maintain their influence and control over the rest of society. The Middle aspires to change places with the High. The Low are generally too crushed by drudgery and oppression to be aware of anything other than their daily lives. When they do have a goal however, it is to abolish all distinctions and classes to create a society of universal equality among men. Herein lies the first meaning to the party slogan Ignorance is Strength. With a "Low" section of society spending the vast majority of their time performing menial tasks as opposed to becoming educated, there exists a largely ignorant group of people from which the High can draw labour and thus strength.Tom Stoppard once said, "Revolution is a trivial shift in the emphasis of suffering". This idea becomes apparent, as history has proven, in that regardless of large scale political or social change,...

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