1984 Conformity In George Orwell's 1984

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1984 Conformity in America

America: land of the free, right? Well, maybe not. 1984 portrays a totalitaristic society that seems far from the world we live in today, at first glance. But at a closer look, there are many chilling parallels between these two universes which are typically thought to be opposites. Of course, there are resemblances in surveillance and maybe even propaganda, but we generally do not believe conformance exists in our society.

American citizens like to think that they are unique. They think that just because they have the option of freedom, it means that they put it to use, but that is not necessarily true. In fact, the results of a recent study suggest that the human desire to conform begins at a very young
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Not only is originality discouraged, it is illicit. The Party will even go as far as eliminating words from the English language to make sure the people from Oceania do not veer from what the government wants them to do/think. Syme explains to Winston the true purpose of Newspeak over lunch: “‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.’” (Orwell, 52). Any show of individuality or imagination is taken as a threat to the Party, and needs to be shut down immediately. Even writing in a diary is a serious risk, because it is not following the government 's uniform expectations and rules. Winston knows that his diary is a guaranteed way that the government will arrest him: “Whether he went on with the diary, or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed -- would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper -- the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it.” (Orwell, 19). Everyone is required to think the same things, to do the same things. Conformity in 1984 is a matter of life and death. If the citizens of Oceania do not embrace the life that the Party has molded for them, their fate will have already been decided: the Party will either brainwash you, or make you disappear. As Winston’s longing for rebellion advanced throughout the book, he was destined to be imprisoned due to his “crimes”. After being caught and tortured, Winston’s thoughts were complete contradictions to what he originally believed in: “But it was all right, everything was all right, he had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.” (Orwell, 298). His will to rebel was gone all together and he was no longer himself. If the people of 1984

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