1984 Close Read
1984, a novel by George Orwell, shows how terrifying a totalitarian government can be. In this passage, Winston doubts himself as a reliable source of reality, displaying the Party's ability to control others. He thinks, “If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable - what then?” Winston is able to identify the reason mind control is possible and is afraid that he himself has been controlled to think a certain way. Throughout the passage, the tone is perceived as desperate. Winston is desperate for someone to tell him that his reality is the truth. Orwell uses words like penetrated, battering, and frightening to describe the Party's tactics and show how hopeless escape is. The Party will always be there to make a person believe what they wish them to believe and there is no way to avoid them. Winston realizes this when he thinks, “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it.” Throughout the passage and the book, the reader senses how powerful the Party is and why it is so difficult to overthrow a totalitarian government. The Party controls everything, even people's thoughts of rebellion which is referred to as thoughtcrime. Oceania is and will forever remain in a totalitarian state.
At the beginning of the passage, Winston questions the word lunatic. He makes an interesting discovery when he says, “Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority...” What is normal? People who don't act like the majority of the population are considered ill, while George Orwell shows us that the reader would be seen as ill in this world. The perception of illness is really an opinion with only others to judge if a person is sensible. In an analysis of Winston, one will discover that he displays the traits of a Schizophrenic even though he is more relatable to the reader. He is constantly paranoid and...