The Paternalistic Culture Of George Orwell 's 1984 Essay

1034 Words Feb 11th, 2016 5 Pages
The paternalistic culture that exists in George Orwell 's novel 1984 is dominated by a ¨fatherly¨ figure, Big Brother. Families, social groups, and governments are often controlled by a paternalistic idol. In fact, paternalistic hierarchies are effective in totalitarian regimes because a family unit is innate to all human culture. Thus, totalitarian governments use this hierarchy to their advantage by mimicking a family parent as a leader, establishing a social order familiar to family structure, and establishing consequences for those who deviate from the family´s ruler. A family-structured totalitarian government works best because the head of a government, like the head of a family, is seen as a dominant figure. The head of the paternalistic hierarchy has the most power, say, and influence. If everyone beneath the dominant figure may be skittish, or fearful of them, it is likely that while the leader gives the lowers what they need, if one were to act against the leader, or do something the leader does not like, the leader will punish the insubordinate. In the novel 1984, the government intimidates and controls the subordinates with simple sayings such as, “Big Brother is watching you” (Orwell 5). The paternalistic hierarchy that reigns over Oceania, in 1984, brainwashes the people to admire the leader like a child would admire his/her parent. The people in a paternalistic hierarchy become so addicted to pleasing the leader, that anything the leader does is seen as…

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