Is governmental censorship the ultimate way to a totalitarian system?
Freedom. It is like air, we tend to forget its crucial role in life until it is compromised. Sadly most human beings on earth take nearly everything for granted. When can one really begin to appreciate their countries democratic state and limitations to censorship? The answer is quite simple; it is only until a power of authority removes all that was once known as individual rights and freedoms. George Orwell’s 1984 noticeably bolds and underlines the repercussions the citizens face when a totalitarian government dominates Oceania. Nonetheless, it is not easy for one to eliminate a precedent democracy or monarchy. Governmental censorship is fundamental to a totalitarian system as it restricts freedom of speech, thought and expression, it brainwashes the younger generation, and it controls history and media.
The inhibition of sovereignty and prerogative to speech, thought, and expression restrains any overt or covert display of personal opinions of the governmental system. Oceania’s citizens cannot demonstrate any hatred or even a slight abhorrence towards the Big Brother or the government given that it will result in emotional and physical torture as consequences as seen in Chapter 6. “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. ”Winston wrote in his diary and had an overwhelming temptation to shout a string of filthy words at the top of his voice. However having known the consequences of disobeying “law” of silence of ones point of view, he did not o so. Moreover, in the society only one bias attitude and outlook is permitted through thoughts and deeds. Near the end of the story, O’Brien asks Winston what he thinks about Big Brother. The “right” answer would have been, “I love him”, however Winston’s answer with “I hate him” (Orwell 295) and O’Brien replies back to his unacceptable response with, “You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him.” (Orwell 295) Given that this is a totalitarian system, the Party’s subjects are restrained from any freedom of voice. Winston’s inability to verbally express fictitious feelings of admiration towards someone he loathes so passionately stimulates O’Brien’s ambition to cure his so-called “mental disease” by sending him to Room 101, “The worst room in the world” (Orwell 296). If there were any liberty of ones voice to be heard, O’Brien wouldn’t have cared about Winston’s beliefs and conceptions. This quote shows that O’Brien went to great lengths to fully wash all the “dirty” thoughts in Winston’s mind and soul. As a totalitarian system is governed, the Party holds total authority over the society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life wherever necessary. On the contrary, democratic countries such as Canada perform favourably in education, quality of life, government transparency, and economic and personal freedom. Fortunately for democratic citizens, they can write letters to the government; they are able to express themselves from pen to paper and they are allowed to participate in debates and controversial discussions. On the other hand, Oceania lacks this openness and equality as revealed in the following quote. “The thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished to death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced camp.” (Orwell 8) Orwell emphasizes the fact that freedom is an alien notion of an unpardonable crime. The reticence of freedom of speech, thought and expression is not the only practice used for the sustainability of the Party. In addition, kids are brainwashed into being future obedient vassals.
Catechizing Oceania’s children to be submissive to the Party’s commands at a young...
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