1984 Literary Analysis

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The Nature of Control
Is it the common human nature to feel power over others? A totalitarian government seeks to utilize its message of confinement and authority to control the many aspects of life. In the novel 1984, Orwell portrays totalitarianism through psychological manipulation, physical control and the control of language. The totalitarian party manipulates and invalidates the minds of the outer party and proles. Orwell describes the surroundings of Winston, showing totalitarianism, writing: The black-mustachio’d face gazed down from every commanding corner. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes looked deep into Winston’s own. Down a street level another poster… uncovering the single word INGSOC. In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a blue- bottle and darted away again. It was the Police Patrol. Behind Winston’s back the voice from the telescreen was still babbling away. The telescreen received and transmitted... any sound Winston made would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision with the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. (2)

The Party is scrutinizing the citizens of Oceania’s every movement. When Orwell describes the poster and refers to the captions “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, this portrays the omnipresence of the Party; trying to operate and consume the minds of the outer party. They not only make the outer party believe and worship Big Brother; however they make them fear him too. “The telescreen that receives and transmits… any sound” overwhelms the minds of the people living within the flats. Citizens are continuously reminded of the party; so they are conditioned to act differently. Their minds are constantly being manipulated to a state of being corrupt. To emphasize the psychological manipulation from the party, Orwell refers to the Two Minute Hate writing: In its second minute the Hate...
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