Totalitarianism In 1984 By George Orwell

1564 Words 7 Pages
Author Christopher Hitchens had once said that “the totalitarian, to me, is the enemy - the one that 's absolute, the one that wants control over the inside of your head, not just your actions and your taxes” ("Totalitarian”). George Orwell’s novel, 1984, cautions the reader about the dangers of a totalitarian regime. The dystopian future that Orwell created in his novel shows the devastating effects on the people themselves. The people of Oceania lost their intelligence, independence, and even their love for one another. Governments with unlimited power will eventually destroy humanity itself.
The characteristics of human beings are deliberately stripped away by the government, leaving Winston as the last representation of humanity. First
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Intelligence, independence, and intimacy are three characteristics that are associated with human beings. In the novel, the totalitarian government had eliminated these characteristics of the people in this dystopia. According to literary critic Robert McCrum, Orwell’s dystopian novel has such a depressing mood because it reflects the author’s own life. Orwell was a constantly ill man, experienced many wars and lived the end of his life as a widower (McCrum). Using this knowledge, it would explain why the government acquires their power in such a detestable manner. For instance, O’Brien states how “power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing” (Orwell 292). O’Brien talks about how the government attains their power through the pain and suffering of others. They have the ability to erase and input new information into human minds, thus allowing them to erase the qualities that wouldn’t benefit themselves. Furthermore, another literary critic, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, supports the statement that Winston is a …show more content…
Intelligent people are able to acquire knowledge. Due to the fact that information is tampered by the government, it is impossible for the people to learn anything. Winston questions the validity of books by saying how “it might very well be that literally every word in the history books, even the things that one accepted without question, was pure fantasy” (Orwell 83). Ironically, Winston works at the Ministry of Love, where his job is to destroy and revise any kind of literature or documentation. The people cannot become educated if everything is altered to support to the Party. However, there are exceptions, and Syme is one of them. Winston realizes that Syme will eventually be vaporized because he is too intelligent. The Party does not like people like Syme (Orwell 59). The few intelligent people that exist threaten the power of the Party, and although Syme loves Big Brother, his intelligence will get him vaporized. Lastly, the Party’s slogans are seen everyone. A part of this slogan is “ignorance is strength” (Orwell 30). This is written on the wall of the Ministry of Truth. In this society, everyone believes in the information that the government constantly regulates. The people accept the propaganda too easily and therefore become oblivious to what is really happening. This strengthens the government because they face no opposition from the

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