Control in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four|
In many oligarchies, where the power of a society rests in the hands of a small elite group, the government claims absolute power and control over the population. Such is the case in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the Party maintains control over Oceania and its people. The Party implements various tactics to influence the population, specifically through the control of language, privacy and individualism, and natural impulses.
The power of language in this novel is one of the most potent forces that exists and as a result, the Party goes through great lengths to influence and control language. Language is one of the most important ideas that George Orwell includes in Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is of central importance to human thought because it structures and limits the ideas that people are able to express. “Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. […] The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it now.” (Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, 55-56) Orwell proposes that if the Party, the main form of government in this novel, is able to control language, then they control the loyalty to the Party and the thought of the population. The Party manifests its control of language by implementing the language of Newspeak, created to replace English. Altering the very structure of language, the Party makes it impossible to think disobedient or rebellious thoughts, because there would be no words with which to think them. The Party is constantly refining and perfecting Newspeak, “in the final version of Newspeak there'll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words – in reality,...