Role Of Totalitarianism In 1984

2259 Words 10 Pages
In 1984, by George Orwell, Oceania citizen Winston Smith defies the totalitarian government he lives under as he grapples with doubt about his past and present. Totalitarian governments such as the one in 1984 have existed for years, and the frequency with which rulers even today seek total control of a nation can only be credited to humanity’s insatiable need to dominate and be all-powerful. Although no instance of totalitarianism has been identical to another, the nature of totalitarianism is so extreme that all totalitarian states, from Hitler’s Germany to Stalin’s Soviet Union, share a few principal characteristics. Among the most noteworthy, perhaps, is that all totalitarian governments have failed – there is simply too much to control …show more content…
The socialist government, ruled by a select few who comprise what is known as the “Inner Party,” functions for the very purpose of success, intent on rooting out and preventing the weakness that was detrimental to all previous totalitarian states. As such, the Party, as it is called, employs a number of tactics to assume complete, unadulterated control over Oceania and its members. What the Party thought was lacking in the failed regimes - Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union, and the like – they sought to reinforce in their own. This was, namely, controlling people’s thoughts, the one element of an individual that is largely uncontrollable, and therefore most threatening to the welfare – and the supremacy - of the regime. The totalitarian government in 1984 maintains its power through constant supervision, forced ignorance and the denial of education, and strategically implemented thought control known as …show more content…
It is the reason, more so even than unknowingness or fear of abduction, that Party members blindly accept all Inner Party ideas, regardless of how absurd they may be. Doublethink, as Winston reads in a book supposedly written by notorious rebel Emmanuel Goldstein, “means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them” (Orwell, 214). This system of thought comes in handy to the people of Oceania, into whom the system is drilled at a very young age, because they live under a government which can change the past, present, and future on a whim (Orwell, 75). In 1984’s Oceania, war is eternal (Orwell, 185). For as long as anyone can remember, Oceania has been at war. However, with whom they are at war is subject to constant change; sometimes it is with Eastasia, meaning that Oceania is in alliance with Eurasia, and sometimes it is the other way around (Orwell, 185). Regardless, it is understood throughout Oceania that the enemy nation at any given time has always been the enemy nation (Orwell, 182). It is not mentioned by the people of Oceania that Oceania was ever at war with anyone but who they are at war with at present. This, among many other contradictory notions submitted to the public by the government, requires the use of doublethink. Though a citizen can, if they chose to,

Related Documents

Related Topics