The Dangers Of Totalitarianism: George Orwell

1895 words - 8 pages

Hiding in the shadows yet standing in full view, the signs of totalitarianism and the dangers that accompany it in 1984 are everywhere. Orwell is able to paint a frighteningly realistic picture of the all-consuming monster that is a totalitarian state. It tries to hide its negative traits by covering them up with promising lies that bring a good public image to the state. When a totalitarian style of government is employed, it gains control over every aspect of life for any unlucky citizen or bystander who happens to come under its reigns. George Orwell demonstrates his theme of Totalitarianism and the dangers thereof; illustrating itself throughout the entire story through everything from obvious signs such as the constant monitoring of every move a person makes, down to subtle signs such as slogans found throughout with that are more than meets the eye.
Hiding in plain sight, a slogan can portray a deeper meaning than first meets the eye. Displayed ledger than life on a government building, the slogan “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” (7) exemplifies the hold that totalitarianism has established. This hold that has built its kingdom from the ignorance of its’ citizens. These ignorant citizens have been taught to believe what the state says is true, even if it does not logically make sense. Exemplifying this is the facet that the previously mentioned slogan is accepted as truth among the citizens in 1984. They are taught the fundamental principles of Totalitarianism through a few simple lines. In order for a state such as this one to exist, it would need to constantly be in a state of war to prevent any outside nation to infiltrate and interfere with internal affairs. A complete removal of freedoms also is necessary in order to maintain and subdue. But the thing that plays the biggest part in keeping this government in effect is the peoples’ sheer ignorance. Ignorance leads to a cause and effect situation where “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” (61) When the people lose their ability to be conscious of what is happening in their government, the government can continue to push the people in whatever direction it chooses. Another key part in the scheme of totalitarianism is terror reign. Terror reign is where a government uses great force to make the people fear for their lives and in turn, do whatever the state says to do. In the case of the society in 1984, the state which took the name “Big Brother” (5) takes control of every aspect of life for every citizen in the nation. Control over a nation such as this one requires support from the civilian police as well as a special force called the “Thought Police” (24) who are similar to the CIA or the Secret Service, doing the state’s dirty work quietly and quickly. Thought crime, it is the act of having a thought that is negative towards the state, and in a totalitarian world, where the...

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