English 12 CP
The Totalitarian Grip On 1984
In 1949 George Orwell, penname of English writer Eric Blair, wrote a satire of Communism in Russia. Although the story was meant to be fictitious, Blair’s thinking has been revered as prophetic and could be argued as a guide for a hypothetical modern society. The various dystopian characteristics of London-1984, the city and time in which the main character Winston Smith lives, provide some basis for a comparison to today’s society in America. However the country is lacking the key concept displayed in Blair’s novel, the overwhelming control of a totalitarian state. In 1984 the goal of the Party is to have extreme control over the people it governs through the use of mental, socio-emotional, and physical control.
The first idea that Blair provides is the Party’s capability to mentally control the society that it administrates by using the figurehead of Big Brother and the Party Slogans. Big Brother’s watchful eyes are everywhere which keeps the public in control. As Winston enters the lobby of the apartment complex, the caption on the poster reads “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” (Part 1, Chapter 1, pg. 3). The idea behind Big Brother always watching means the people will never commit wrongful acts against him. By instituting this principle into the subconscious total mental control is achieved. Other means of mind control are the Party Slogans engraved on the ministry buildings for all to see. “WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH” (Part 1, Chapter 1, pg. 6). The people have become used to war and thus it has become peace. The idea that people should be free is frowned upon and therefore the opposite is taught. The real strength behind the people’s ignorance is in favor of the Party’s control. Both of these principles contribute to Party brainwashing and thus are essential to total control.
The second important necessity for Party power is socio-emotional control. The Party must control...