The Real Life Counterparts Of 1984's Oceania

1951 words - 8 pages

Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin are household names, but what about the more obscure individuals Muammar Qaddafi, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong-un? George Orwell used 1984 as a prediction of what could happen if the fascism in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia persisted. The dystopian, fascist government that exists in 1984 resembles the governments in the real-life, modern-day countries of Libya, China, and North Korea.
The government in Orwell’s Oceania is fascist, causing citizens like Winston and Julia to hate the government. O’Brien explains the future of Oceania’s government to Winston, when he says: “’If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever’” (Orwell 240). This passage uses a metaphor to accurately define fascism. According to Dr. Lawrence Britt, there are fourteen defining characteristics of fascism, including: "a disdain for the recognition of human rights, controlled mass media, and the intertwining of religion and government " (Britt). These characteristics are all examples of the government stamping down on their citizens, thus keeping them from rising up. The image of “a boot stamping on a human face” metaphorically illustrates fascism. Specifically, the government has total control over the civilians. There is a dictator who has complete power over the nation and strongly, often violently, oppresses criticism and opposition. This is blatantly similar to “Big Brother”, the government that brainwashes its citizens to love their leaders and then punishes them, even to the point of murder, if they attempt to rebel in any way. The boot symbolizes the government because the government stamps down on the civilians, which prevents them from rising up against the government. The human face clearly represents the individual citizen, who is crushed by the government and is therefore unable to rebel. Overall, the concept of fascism can be explained through the use of the metaphor of “a boot stamping on a human face”. Fascism is very relevant to 1984, as this type of government rules Oceania.
Libya’s government is very similar to the government of Oceania in 1984. In the following passage, O’Brien explains the comparison between Oceania’s government and the governments of the past that resemble theirs, “’We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives’” (Orwell 236). O’Brien says that what differentiates Big Brother from the Nazis is that Big Brother knows its intent. Paraphrasing what O’Brien tries to convey, it can be stated that even though the Nazis killed millions of innocent civilians, as did the Russian communists, they were not as horrible as Big Brother because they did not understand that they were wrong. O’Brien states that...

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