1984 Panopticism

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John Corvi
A parallel society
Hitler and Stalin are two men who forever left an imprint on the history and future of mankind. The 1940’s are a decade with hundreds of twist and turns, and these two men can be named responsible for the majority of them. The respective countries of these two rulers both experienced a time where citizens ultimately had almost no rights and no freedom because of the choice of government these two rulers decided to practice: Totalitarianism. Totalitarianism left people’s rights behind and just focused on power and control of the party in charge. It developed from a theory on a way of controlling people, Panopticism, and was tweaked and modified by the two rulers because of its intenseness to make it suitable for their countries. Because of this still extreme way of governing, it brought along with it many critics and literature pieces written about its extremist qualities. One of the most famous of these authors is George Orwell, who draws from Hitler and Stalin’s government to try and construct an even extremer type of rule that would be a perfect panoptic society in his novel 1984. However, due to the holes in the structure of his created society in 1984, George Orwell fails to represent a perfect state of panopticism.

Designed by Jeremy Bentham, panopticism lays a heavy emphasis on the importance of effectively educating the youth. Education in a panoptic society is suppose “to ‘fortify’, to ‘develop the body’, [and] to prepare children ‘for a future in some …work’” (Foucault 224). A panoptic community allows children to be placed into their most natural learning environment so they can be most effective in their society as an adult. From an early age, children would be split up into specific careers paths so they could become most effective and whatever is most natural for the child. Once the children reached the end of their education, they would be on route to aiding the society through their specific expertise. However,...
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