Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

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Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell

In part 1 of Nineteen Eighty-Four Orwell introduces us to the many means of control used by the Party to maintain power over the people. These tools of power are of many kinds and are extremely effective. For example some use technology, some come under the category of propaganda and some can be discussed in relation to structure of government. All these systems combine into a brutally effective machine for dominating the population, as the book’s main protagonists, Winston and Julia, discover. They discover late in the novel that the Party is utterly without human sympathy and empathy, and exercises power not to order human life according to any beneficial principal, but only to keep power. It is impossible to defeat a regime so single-minded. George Orwell’s main contention in the novel is to show that, if a completely power-driven totalitarian government ever came into power, it would stay there. It would become an irresistible and therefore permanent authoritarian government for all mankind.

The Party’s effectiveness is partly due to the technology of the time which allows the party comprehensive powers of surveillance. By means of telescreens and hidden microphones across the city, the party is able to monitor its members almost all of the time. In addition there are surveillance helicopters that fly around peering into people’s windows; there is no privacy at all. With this constant observation there is no escape, “your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom”. The party’s use of technology makes control over the citizens brutal and extremely effective.

The brutal control is also due to the constant propaganda that acts as psychological stimuli designed to overwhelm the mind’s capacity for independent thought. With the help of telescreens a constant stream of propaganda is always heard, designed to make...
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