Dystopian Society- “Nineteen Eighty-Four”
In the novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” George Orwell created the dystopian society of Oceania, where the government has complete control of the language used by citizens. Aside from individuals of lower social class called the “Proles,” the “Party” constantly watches everyone. In an attempt to eliminate any chances of rebellion against the Party, they created the new language of “Newspeak.” Newspeak eliminates any controversial words along with all synonyms, antonyms and verbs. By doing this, the government has gained the power of meaning. Syme, a specialist in Newspeak tells the main character Winston exactly what control Newspeak has allowed the Party to have. “Don’t you see the whole aim of Newspeak is the narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall all make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” (Orwell 54). Along with that, the Party also has complete control of written language by altering history related documents to match the history that is in favor of this political power. The altering of these documents is what happens to be Winston’s job. While at work Winston pondered the power of being able to control the past, coming to a startling realization. As written by the narrator of the novel, “the past, he reflected had not only been altered, it had actually been destroyed. For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory?” (Orwell 36). On top of being historically mislead, citizens are restricted of express any thought of their own or any way to voice against the Party. When you no truthful record for the past, the past doesn’t exist. When you have no words to associate with a meaning, the meaning behind the word then vanishes just like the political history of Oceania. For these reasons, a society with government restricted verbal and written language is one that proves to be dystopian.
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