George Orwell and the Necessity of Honesty

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Vladimir Lenin, the first leader of the Soviet Union, once stated “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” In times of inclusive deception, it is only innate for humanity to be blinded by the truth in a vast sea of lies to the point in which the act of telling the truth becomes revolutionary. In George Orwell’s 1984, society is led by the fabrication of the truth in an attempt to create a perfect world. But this attempt merely creates a society built upon lies and corruption. Through this novel, George Orwell comments on the necessity for humans to tell the truth and confront lies, deceit, and prevarication because humanity will face detrimental consequences if they do not.

Orwell stresses the importance of humanity to tell the truth by addressing the consequences of dishonesty inflicted on the human race. In the novel 1984, the Party’s slogan, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past,” reveals the government’s pursuit to control all aspects of peoples’ lives. By altering history, the Party has absolute power of the present, limiting the psychological independence of its subjects by controlling their interpretations of the past. Individuals are forbidden to keep any account of their past, such as photographs and documents, and all recordings, great or small fade “away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the date of the year is uncertain.” Therefore, the members of the society are willing to believe in any “truth” the Party feeds them. Due to the reliance of authority, humanity would become highly infantile and foolish. Just as infants depend on their parents’ guidance, all of human kind would act as little children, relying on authority to direct them to the truth. People would virtually have no memory of the past, so they would have no experience of emotions and would not know what emotions truly are. As a result, Orwell suggests that people would not grow as human beings because they would be willing...
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