1984: Government's Attempt to Control the Mind and Bodies of Its Citiz

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1984: Government's Attempt to Control The Mind and Bodies of Its Citizens

The novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is an American classic which explores the human mind when it comes to power, corruption, control, and the ultimate utopian society. Orwell indirectly proposes that power given to the government will ultimately become corrupt and they will attempt to force all to conform to their one set standard. He also sets forth the idea that the corrupted government will attempt to destroy any and all mental and physical opposition to their beliefs, thus eliminating any opportunity for achieving an utopian society.

The novel shows how the government attempts to control the minds and bodies of it citizens, such as Winston Smith who does not subscribe to their beliefs, through a variety of methods. The first obvious example arises with the large posters with the caption of "Big Brother is Watching You" (page 5). These are the first pieces of evidence that the government is watching over its people. Shortly afterwards we learn of the "Thought Police", who "snoop in on conversations, always watching your every move, controlling the minds and thoughts of the people." (page 6). To the corrupted government, physical control is not good enough, however. The only way to completely eliminate physical opposition is to first eliminate any mental opposition. The government is trying to control our minds, as it says "thought crime does not entail death; thought crime is death." (page 27). Later in the novel the government tries even more drastic methods of control. Big Brother's predictions in the Times are changed. The government is lying about production figures (pages 35-37). Even later in the novel, Syme's name was left out on the Chess Committee list. He then essentially vanishes as though he had never truly existed (page 122). Though the methods and activities of the government seem rather extreme in Orwell's novel, they may not be entirely...
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