George Orwell's 1984 Essay
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George Orwell's 1984
War is Peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. These are the beliefs that the citizens of Oceania, in the novel titled 1984, written by George Orwell, live by. In this novel, Oceania, one of the three remaining world super powers, is a totalitarian, a society headed by 'Big Brother' and his regime, known as the ministries of Truth, Love, and Peace. A totalitarian government is defined as a government characterized by a political authority which exercises absolute and centralized control, and in which the state regulates every realm of life. This is the type of world that the citizens of Oceania must live in, ruled by fear and under force every day. The names of the different ministries for example,…show more content…
In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines.? Although throughout the story, the conditions of these wars were constantly changing, it made no difference to the masses, and the current ?truth? was all that mattered. ?Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia? (Orwell, pg 35). The truth is whatever the government wants it to be, and the people accept it at face value, a concept cleverly worded as ?reality control.? (Orwell, pg. 36) Likewise in today?s society, even though the people live under the rule of a democratic republic in the U.S., a large portion of the news that we receive is distorted and filtered, many times the truth is not what it appears to be. Being a democracy does not stop that from happening. Furthermore, like the citizens of Oceania, we as citizens often accept the information that we receive from the media as absolute truth, not questioning what we hear, even though we have the privilege of doing so. In the totalitarian society of 1984, the government alters history constantly and changes it to fit the predictions and needs of the party, so that they always come out ahead. The Party destroys any evidence that the past has been altered, and asserts absolute correctness and truth. One might argue that it would be impossible to get rid of all past evidence in today?s world, because
War is Peace. In their society, keeping the masses believing that constant war is being waged is actually a way of maintaining peace. War elicits great patriotism and devotion to country; it also promotes sacrifice and giving to the community over oneself. So, if there is constant war, the people are constantly giving, sacrificing, and pledging devotion to their government. This keeps the people in check and in control, and hence, peaceful. That is how the Party uses that slogan. The people think it just means that world peace is maintained through war. Without war, their security would be threatened.
Freedom is slavery is more tricky. The people probably believe that to mean that having total freedom is actually a way to become enslaved to your senses, weaknesses and vices. For example, the Party encourages young women to remain virtuous and restrict themselves from being romantically involved or sentimental in any way. The society has firm beliefs about sex and relationships--there is very little freedom there, because they feel that sex and relationships enslave people. If you are constantly embroiled in relationships, you are subject to the turmoil and unhappiness that they sometimes cause, and are constantly thinking about it. That is not freedom, according to them. So, to the people and the masses, they have been taught that freedom to act, and sometimes act poorly, actually tends to enslave one to sentimental and unessential vices and emotions. To the Party, a free people represents the removal of their power. So, the people must not be free in order to remain in power.
To the masses, being ignorant about the true condition of things is actually beneficial, because it helps them to remain happy and optimistic, and thus strong. To the workers within the Party, like Winston, their entire jobs rely on keeping the people ignorant of true facts and statistics. Essentially, lie to keep the people in the dark, and then the Party--and their jobs--will always be strong. The people's ignorance gives the Party strength; if they really knew the true state of things and how they had been manipulated, they would rebel, and take away the Party's power.
In the end, it all comes down to the Party creating slogans that ensure the continuation of their power and contro