Who Controls The Past In George Orwell's 1984

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“‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past’” (Orwell 34). George Orwell’s 1984, a dystopian novel set only 35 years after it was published, establishes this statement as a continuous central theme of its government, often referred to as the Party. As long as one is powerful enough in his or her words, one can make an audience believe an utter lie about a real event, no matter the amount of people that saw it happen before their own eyes. Throughout time, words have dictated how society sees and interprets actions, especially the words of those in control. In support of Orwell’s claim, examples from both the past and the present can validate the statement, in the cases of …show more content…
Today’s society relies heavily on news sources such as television, newspaper, and online articles, as it seems these sources, beyond question, are to be trusted. However, descriptive language can play a huge role in how events are exposed to the public. For example, in the previous August, a boy of just eighteen years old named Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson. Brown was unarmed and by witness of Dorian Johnson, who had been walking with Brown when he was shot, the two had gone to purchase cigarillos from a convenience store near their apartment complex (documentcloud.org “Case: Grand Jury – Ferguson Police Shooting”). Johnson was unaware that Brown did not bring money for the sixty-nine cent cigarillos and Brown walked out with the item. Later, when Officer Wilson found them, he told them to “get the F on the sidewalk” and when they didn’t get down immediately, he began to grab Brown until he got out from under his grip and put his hands up. Brown’s autopsy shows he was shot six times by Officer Wilson after that struggle. Mainly because Michael “Big Mike” Brown was 6’5”, 289 pounds, and African-American, almost every news source pinned him as a “thug” although he was known as a gentle giant. Wilson is 6’4”, 210 pounds, and white, but his measurements and race were rarely mentioned. The majority of those who are aware of Michael Brown’s case today believe he was a thug and that Darren earned his indictment of not guilty, just as many in 1984 fully believed lies that the Party would tell only a day after they had known the truth themselves. Today’s media can account history in any manner they like to make the public have a certain opinion towards it; the past, present, and future is fully in the hands of those that are trusted to state the truth, and they can

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