Political And Psychological Control In George Orwell's 1984

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In 1949, George Orwell published his novel 1984 as a method of relaying thoughts concerning political and economic construct to his audience. The novel follows one character, Winston Smith, but dwells more deeply on overarching themes of political persecution. Winston’s journey though guilt, curiosity, desire, rebellion, sacrifice, and submission intertwine throughout the three sections as he emerges from and regresses into the Party’s mind control. Orwell’s opportune placement of literary devices aids the development of his fictitious totalitarian society and the characterization of its contradictory rulings resulting in effective psychological control providing the Party with the power necessary for omniscience and oppression. As a whole, …show more content…
The omniscience of the Party reveals itself within the first chapter; telescreens and posters of the elusive Big Brother dominate the focal points of any space. The warning against technology that eliminates privacy, like the telescreen, that contained “no way of shutting [them] off completely” reappears as a theme throughout the novel and helps to establish inequality in the society (Orwell 2). For example, O’Brien turns off his telescreen during a discreet meeting with Winston and his lover, Julia, and Winston instantly recognizes his actions as a privilege reserved for Party members. Furthermore, the constant watch of the screens restricts freedom of expression and therefore also prevents rebellions called upon by freethinkers. Orwell clarifies the negative connotations associated with an unseen and therefore unbeatable leader by describing Big Brother with traits similar to those of Hitler such as a middle-aged and a black mustached face with supporters that rave or scream or chant in rally. These tactics refer to what Thomas C. Foster, author of the novel How to Read Literature like a Professor, considers “cultural anthropology” (Foster 117). For instance, the novel was written in the late 40s when televisions were not yet widespread …show more content…
Oceania establishes their fundamentals through the three phrases “war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength” through the principle of recognizing that each statement is contradictory and allowing the ambiguity to comfort the individuals. The three slogans are the only consistent statements in their society because they provide simplistic explanations for the constant war, invasion of privacy, and blatant contradictions. Orwell warns against governments willing to censor the truth as the Party does: “’who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past’” (Orwell 248). Uniquely, Winston displays a hypersensitivity to inconsistencies with his memories; he recalls being at war with Eastasia, but the announcement that Eurasia has always been the enemy and all the Hate week propaganda with the incorrect enemy pictured were the schemes of Goldstein presents curiosity. The Ministry of Truth quickly alters all media to suit the current reality. To further suppress thoughts, the Party revises the language, newspeak, to contain less words and exception rules. Winston develops a fascination with historical items with no value but contain beauty vague memories such as the coral paperweight that

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