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The Novel 1984 By George Orwell

2462 words - 10 pages

Since the beginning of time man has tried to build vast empires to control the globe. Manifest Destiny has been sown into our human nature creating in us the desire to conquer. In the United States, we are accustomed to a safe democratic government where everyone has a voice and freedoms, but what if it all changed? What would it even look like for America to be stripped of all our freedoms, rights, and liberties? We think this is crazy and could never happen, but George Orwell illustrates, throughout his novel 1984, the possible dangers of complete government control. Even though this exaggerated society seems farfetched, many of his fictional governmental qualities are starting to line up with our government today.
Throughout the novel the totalitarian government, called Big Brother, is constantly attacking the people psychologically. One of the first things that strikes protagonist Winston Smith is a poster in the street, reading “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” (Orwell 5). From the very beginning of the book, the government is already shoving fear down on top of the citizens of Oceana. This threat is not all bark either, but all citizens are being monitored by cameras and microphones everywhere. In every single room there is a “telescreen” with propaganda of how great the country is. Nazi Propaganda leader Minister Joseph Goebbels said, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." And that is exactly what Big Brother did. They had complete divisions set apart to change the history of the country to make it sound like they were doing great. The people who remembered the truth (like Winston) were considered rebels of the state and were to be “vaporized” (Orwell 51). It was not enough just for the people to go along with the lies that they were saying, but Big Brother wanted them to truly believe them. The Ministry of Truth would alter past events for the purpose of exalting Big Brother. The party preyed on the fear of its people from which it derived its power. Because of this fear, it was impossible to rebel against the party “which controlled the citizens of Oceania with systematic disinformation, unremitting surveillance, and the pervasive threat of violence and imprisonment” (Malinowitz). Another tool in the arsenal of Big Brother is its ability to make any laws, unchecked by the people. From writing a diary, to loving someone, to even being outside after dark, the party considers all of these threats to the empire, so they deem them illegal. Anything that held “any political or ideological significance” (Orwell 36) was banned. What is even worse than “crimes” is “thought crime” (Orwell 74). Thought crimes had no written constitution but were perspective to whoever was in charge. Thought police where hired to specifically weed out anyone that showed signs of resistance to the government. Because of the unknown, it creates fear from the people: and that’s the point. Because of the party's...

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