Limitations of a Freely Enslaved Society
Johann W. Von Goethe once said, “None are more helplessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” George Orwell’s book 1984 not only displays this idea of unknowingly enslaved citizens, but it does so in a controversial manner. Ingsoc strives to control society and all of the outer party by imposing Newspeak, altering the past, and ultimately eliminating those who pose a threat to the inner party and Big Brother.
First, the verbal limitations cause the people of Oceania to have restricted thoughts. This idea is the driving force behind Ingsoc, or the governmental system in Oceania, and is referred to as Newspeak. “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible” (297). By controlling words, expression of thought is thereby impossible. For example, the word “melancholy” in the modern day, is a powerful word. To describe someone as sad or distraught conveys the same meaning, but the same emotions are not understood as to say melancholy. In 1984, the prefix “un-“or the suffix “plus” are added to strengthen words and their meanings; for example the word “ungood”. It cannot convey a powerful meaning, because the word “ungood” cannot be viewed as powerful.
As Newspeak continues to narrow thoughts, another idea of brainwashing comes into play: thought crime. Thought crime is the act of “thinking out” against Big Brother and the inner party. To have free thoughts is considered a crime, because "Thought crime does not entail death: thought crime is death" (28). Individual thought is an act of heresy, because Oceania wants a population of people who “spit out” exactly what they are told, often times without knowing the meaning. For instance, the concept that Oceania created the airplane and the helicopter. When Winston begins to...