1984 Potential Hero

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Potential Hero

Superman, Terry Fox, and Mother Teresa are well-known people that are considered heroes in today’s society. A hero is typically someone in society who is strong, good looking, and stands out over the average person. From the beginning, in George Orwell’s novel 1984, Winston has been portrayed as a fat old man with a gross varicose ulcer above his ankle. This shows that right from the start he is not the average hero. Winston’s name is ironic because it stands for the greatness of Winston Churchill, but on the other hand his surname is very common. Winston maintains heroic qualities that lead one to believe he will defeat the party, but against their public demands, he is just another one of the many citizens who conform to society. The government controls Winston through doublethink, mutability of the past and love, even though he is a man who can maintain his private virtue, he never stood a chance.

The government makes public demands on Winston through forcing him to doublethink, changing the past and love. Doublethink is the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. It is not lying because lying is saying something that is wrong and knowing that it is wrong but still saying it. The party forces Oceania too accept both beliefs for example one week when the chocolate ration was 30 grams and the very next week is was lowered to 20 grams. Even though the ration is lowered drastically the party holds such a great amount of power over the people and their perception, “The telescreen-perhaps to celebrate the victory, perhaps to drown the memory of the lost chocolate- crashed into ‘Oceania, ‘tis for thee’.” (Orwell 28) The party forces them to watch the telescreen and it starts to play the national anthem in celebration. Everyone around Winston is happy, but Winston keeps his believes to himself, knowing that he will get less chocolate is appalling. He keeps his private virtue against the party. The government also uses “Mutability of the past” as a way of control by changing the past in order to remain infallible. Winston works at the ministry of records and constantly works at changing the past, but he often wonders if he is the only one who realizes the truth. Nobody realizes what the truth is because the past is mutated so much and, “the chosen lie would pass into the permanent records and become truth.” (Orwell 48) By controlling all information through memory holes, re-writing history, and forbidding Winston to think about what his own memories may recall, they are able to mutate the past. The party also sets public demands on Winston through love. In the novel love is a term that describes the most basic human emotions. The party feels that sex is a waste of energy, and instead that energy can be used to benefit their society. They demand that men and women must only have sex to reproduce. There shall be no pleasure in sex, and it is the man and the woman’s obligation to the party to have a child. The party holds enormous power in citizen’s personal lives because their aim “was not merely to prevent men and women from forming loyalties which it might not be able to control. It’s real, undeclared purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act.” (Orwell 68) The party did not want anyone forming loyalties; therefor you must have permission to marry. Winston maintains his private virtue by loving Julia even though it goes against the governments demands on him. At the end the only remaining love is for Big Brother.

People’s everyday actions in today’s society would be considered the largest crimes in the world of Oceania. Winston commits rebellious actions because he wants to attain freedom and will go against the party’s public demands at any cost. Throughout the novel Winston commits unthinkable acts including writing in his diary, committing sexual acts, indulges in past memories and secretly indoctrinating...
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