“There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.”(1) This quote encompasses the intention that George Orwell had in mind when contriving 1984; he intended to caution society about the menace of a totalitarian dystopian world, in which there is no freedom, citizens are being indoctrinated, and how the ever existing lure to power will perpetually manipulate politics. In part one of this essay I will first discuss the themes of 1984 then I will consider Orwell’s objectives in writing the novel.
Two of the primary themes in 1984 are totalitarianism and power. All of these themes work hand in hand to form the interpretation that Orwell had of the future and preeminent social aspects. Here I will analyze the methods by which these themes are implemented and their importance in delivering the essence of the novel.
In 1984 one of the foremost themes is the austere peril totalitarianism, and its annexed structured inequality, poses to society. Orwell clearly demonstrates how a totalitarian regime is capable of acquiring and regulating a horrifically large degree of power and control. Orwell, a proclaimed Socialist, whole-heartedly believed in the potential of the Proletariat and their ability to organize a rebellion, subsequently hastening the advancement of society. However, he repeatedly observed such rebellions lapse and develop into totalitarian rule. He uses this experience to develop a totalitarian society that mirrors the destruction of civil liberties, honest government, and economic strength that accompanied communism in Spain and Russia. The Party is characterized as a faultless totalitarian dystopia, exerting complete control over its citizens through the mastery of every aspect of psychological dominion. This can be witnessed in its capability to metamorphose even the most independent minded individuals such as Winston. In the denouement of the novel, Winston is left defeated in every sense of the word, incontestably suggesting that there is no prospect for quelling the expansion of such a perfectly established totalitarian regime.
Although it is an element of totalitarianism, power is a theme of the novel in and of its self. The Party exerts power through control of resources, the media, and knowledge. The Ministry of Plenty, being ironically named, rations out the resources such as food, electricity, and clothing. In regimenting these resources, the party establishes itself as the source of such necessities and therefore integral for survival. This lends the party influence as a result of being associated with...