1984 Essay on Power

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Power has always been an issue in society. Controversies over who holds the power, who lacks it, and what is done with power affect society. In 1984, George Orwell conveyed his views on power through the totalitarian government, Oceania. His work conveys the idea that in order to gain complete power and control, one must force others to surrender their personal beliefs.

Orwell wrote 1984 almost forty years before the actual year of 1984, in response to Russian totalitarian government. In the novel, Oceania controls everything: what people eat, where they live, who they marry, and their thoughts. Posters saying “Big Brother is watching you” and telescreens allow government to keep a close eye on society while pressuring people to always love Big Brother and the Party. The government is apathetic towards people’s happiness and lack of privacy; having full control over people and society is the government’s only concern. Orwell symbolizes Russian government and control through Oceania. He communicates his views on totalitarian governments by creating dreadful living conditions and rebellious characters within his novels. A government with excessive power will destroy blitheness; as time passes, creating change in a powerful government is impossible. The novel is the story of an ordinary man, Winston, and his attempt to rebel and promote change against the Oceania. By the end of the novel, he failed in his rebellious attempt after being beaten, tortured, and starved in the Ministry of Love. Oceania convinced society that the government was perfect by controlling their beliefs.

Orwell continues to symbolize his pessimistic views on power through the glass paperweight. Winston discovers the item in Mr. Charrington’s shop and cherishes the piece. It represents the past, before Big Brother and the Party, because it provides hope for the future. The coral within the paperweight is preserved and safe, just as Winston felt above Mr. Charrington’s shop....
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