"1984" by Orson Wells

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Kellen Reimers


Back during the time of World War II, paranoia swept across the globe. Hitler, brainwashing thousands of people into fighting for him, nearly defeated all who opposed him. Had he succeeded in his mission, a fascist government system would have formed, greatly inhibiting the rights and privileges of the general populace. George Orwell wrote 1984 to demonstrate the horror this system would bring. Using setting, characters, and conflict, Orwell uses this book to portray the theme of raw, unrefined humanity, and its ability to rise above a corrupt and confining evil of an enemy.

Orwell distorts the idea of Utopia, an ideal society where human beings live a perfect existence, and creates a fictional setting in which life is extremely bad from oppression, deprivation of rights, and terror. Fear is used as a tool for manipulating and controlling individuals, and nearly every positive feeling is squelched. The world is divided into three political countries: Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia. Each of these states is ruled by a totalitarian government and is constantly warring on multiple fronts. Using the terrifying atmosphere of the archaic world, Orwell creates the illusion that Winston has nowhere to escape the oppression. Winston is forced to live within his present circumstances; able to change where he lives, yet unable to change how he lives. Oceania's political structure contained three segments: the ruling class, the educated workers, and the working class. Orwell, being a socialist, realized that with class distinctions came class struggle. The ruling class, consisting of the wealthy and powerful, was only two percent of the population. In Hitler's Germany, the very few people who were considered part of the ruling class had a more luxurious lifestyle that the masses, yet in this nation, as in 1984, revolt was inevitable.

The conflict between Winston and O'Brien is another way Orwell shows how a society can try to brainwash a person...
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