1984 Betrayal

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Mrs. Hall
English II Honors
May 27, 2013
In the book 1984 citizens of Airstrip One are being monitored everywhere they go. Even any rebellious thoughts are illegal. The government prohibits free thought, sex, and any expression of individuality. This creates a reoccurring theme of betrayal throughout the novel. Orwell explores various kinds of betrayal, including self-betrayal, to heighten the mood of loneliness and alienation in 1984. Unsurprisingly, the Party believes that betrayal is ideal to keep people in control. To do that, they start with the children. The Party makes children devoted members of the Party by telling them to betray anyone for showing any signs of betrayal to the government, including their parents. Subsequently, this also turns them into uncontrollable savages. Winston witnesses this first hand while fixing Mrs. Parson’s sink. The little boy and girl continually call him a “traitor” and a “thought-criminal” and shoot him with a sling shot. Similarly, the thought police also betray others who they think could potentially challenge authorities. The Thought Police observe people, even Party members, through the use of the telescreen which allows them to see and hear what people are doing. The role of the thought police is to observe a person’s actions and take note of anything that resembles an unorthodox opinion or an inner struggle. If they have evidence to allow them to think that you’re betraying Big Brother, they will vaporize you. On top of that, the people of Oceania don’t know who the members of the Though Police are. As a result, no one can truly trust another just as Winston says: “It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself- anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide” (Orwell 65)....
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