1984 Essay

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1984 Essay

After reading Orwell's 1984 and examining Stalin's rule over Soviet Russia it is safe to say that the two are very similar. Many features of Big Brother and Oceania mimic those of Stalin and the USSR. As well, the ability to change the truth and rewrite the past was abused for both regimes. Also, the Party and it's enemies are actual representations of real people who were against Stalin and the USSR. Finally, Big Brother and Stalin did have some differences though very few. By discussing these points, a comparison of the totalitarian leaders Big Brother and Stalin can be made.

Many features of Orwell's imaginary superstate Oceania are from Soviet reality: the Komsomol (Young Communists) appear as the "Anti-Sex League", the young informers of the Pioneers turn up as the "Spies", Soviet Five-Year Plans shrink into Oceania Three-Year Plans, and easily available vodka into Victory Gin. Like Stalin's USSR, Oceania has its renegades and backsliders who are arrested at night, questioned by interrogators for counterrevolutionary activities and then either sent to the "saltmines" or "vaporised". As in Russia, the "comrades" of Oceania are given news bulletins consisting almost entirely of lists of industrial production figures, most of which are announced as "overfulfilled" and none of which are really true. As well, there are constant powercuts and shortages, all essentials being obtained through the underground "free market".

Winston's job of alteration in the Ministry of Truth consists of books and periodicals that are rewritten and photographs changed to reflect the "correct" or the latest view of past events was similar to events that happened in the USSR. One of Stalin's corrections of the past was the Soviet-Nazi pact of 1939, this is very similar to the alliance of Oceania with its arch-enemy Eurasia against its former ally Eastasia.

"Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia."

Big Brother,...
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