1984 Theme Essay

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Absolute control over society is the central theme in the novel, 1984, by George Orwell. One method this power over society is exercised is use of language to manipulate and control people. The story features a society called Oceania, which is located in the European region. In Oceania, there is a form of totalitarian government called the Party which controls the entire society. The Party controls thoughts by making certain words or phrases illegal. In addition, any anti-party thoughts or motives are also deemed illegal. To control society, thoughts are monitored by telescreens which read reactions and record speech. A force, called the Thought Police, is also engaged to take power over and eliminate society’s individual beliefs. The Thought Police control peoples’ ideas because they know if they have any anti-party motives then they will be killed. This intimidation and control via the use of language is extremely effective in 1984. Another way of controlling society in 1984 is the invention of a new language known as newspeak. This language which was expected to completely take over by 2050 eliminated many words that allowed antiparty or democratic thoughts. It also abolished any words that could be used for independent thought and narrowed the thinking ability of its speakers immensely. Words and phrases such as “free democracy” or “independence” or “honor” were erased because they allowed for negative thought. The main goal of newspeak was for people to stop using the higher brain centers to think before they speak but just speak from the larynx based on reaction, repetition, and what they were taught. This made it impossible to create certain concepts in an individual’s thoughts because the correct words, phrases, or terms to express these thoughts or even grasp the concept of them made rebellion or rebellious thoughts impossible. People think in words and in 1984 when certain words were eliminated from the language it became impossible to create...
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