George Orwell 's The Outdated Man Essay

866 Words Mar 25th, 2016 4 Pages
1. How does this episode explain the dangers of totalitarianism? “The Obsolete Man” explains the dangers of totalitarianism by creating such a scenario in which we are forced to realize how a totalitarian state could turn out to be. In this case, Mr. Wordsworth, a librarian, is called in by the state to a hearing that would determine if he was obsolete. The government has already deemed the elderly, the sick, the disabled, and those who do not hold a ‘valid’ role in society as such, and chose to exterminate. Mr. Wordsworth, whose role is not needed seeing as how the state banned books, was deemed obsolete and told he would be “liquidated”. Mr. Wordsworth objects, stating that a human life cannot be obsolete, but the state does not care, as the Chancellor states “…you are nothing…and the State has no use for your kind” (“The Obsolete Man”). This action by and the mentality of the government, similar to Hitler and the Holocaust, stripped individuals of their rights to a point where they had no way of fighting back. Much like the American viewpoint of citizens of the Soviet Union, the citizens of this totalitarian state were slaves, whose lives were run by the government and its beliefs. In addition to this, “The Obsolete Man” also warns that totalitarianism can make changes, in this case with who is considered obsolete, or turn against someone (or a group of people) at the drop of a hat. For example, the Chancellor was a high-ranking top state official, who held a role in…

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