Nineteen Eighty-Four Essay

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Totalitarian Government’s Misuse of Technology
Will Lim
A totalitarian government seeks to control not only all economic and political matters, but the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population, erasing the distinction between state and society. The theme of technology has been a significant subject throughout the whole history of totalitarianism. In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the totalitarian government abuses technology for its own ends instead of exploiting its knowledge to improve civilization. In the story, the government created its own contradictory language called ‘Newspeak’ which is used in censoring ideas of freedom or rebellion. Big Brother, a character of a fiction, was able to oversee everything and virtually controls the daily lives of millions people by telescreen. In the story, rumors, myths, ideas and false information controls the mind of the citizens, as the propaganda is used as a powerful weapon against citizens. Orwell’s novel about technology and dictatorship is a powerful statement of how technology empowers the totalitarianism government take control.

With the convenient use of technology, the government is able to censor any types of possibilities that might cause reformation. Nowadays there are many conspiracy theories about the governments like 9/11 terror or global warming, even staging events to create a result desirable to the government’s policy. However in the book, the government has gone to the extreme. “Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?” (Orwell 28) Newspeak is a fictional language, closely based on English, but has a greatly reduced and simplified vocabulary and grammar. The totalitarian regime of the Party’s aim is to make any contradictory thoughts inaccessible. As the government censors all types of meaning from language which contains the ideas of rebellion, the citizens having individual opinions or intellectual freedom seem...
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