Sample Essay on 1984
George Orwell’s novel “1984” is truly a masterpiece that continues influencing many people around the world and has a deserved title of best-seller. The novel presents a nightmare vision of the repressive state control in Oceania. Although written in the middle of the last century, this story is nevertheless relevant today to the politics of state as it has never been before. This book teaches us not only the important lessons of the past, but also presents the essential ideas about spread of totalitarian regimes and how it can be easily achieved in the state-run societies.
“1984” has never been a fiction. Orwell has simply projected how the totalitarian states of that time will emerge if no actions are taken. Unfortunately, today we see that this projection has rooted in one of the most democratic and free countries of the world, the United States of America. A close analysis of the essentials required for the authoritarian state establishment and maintenance reveals some of the similar key trends seen in the current state politics of the United States.
A first conditional essential for the initiation of the authoritarian claims is the state of emergency. There is no better way to achieve this than to make all people in the country believe that there is a perceived enemy and that the government is forced to be in a constant state of war against this enemy. The state of emergency is made even worse if people are made believe that enemy is anywhere (Fisher, 2004).
In “1984” Oceania’s residents are being convinced that the constant state of war in their country is held against a foreign superpower known as Eurasia and the internal underground organization called brotherhood. Goldstein, who is thought to be a leader of the brotherhood, is claimed to be an anti-revolutionary leader, who supports Eurasia. People of Oceania are also imposed with the image of their leader “Big Brother” and made believe that he will protect them from the enemy and will achieve the ultimate party’s goal of implementing “English socialism”, “ingsoc” (Orwell, 1990). Same as in any propaganda initiated either by democratic or totalitarian forces an inevitable part of the process is visualization of an enemy. In other words, there should be a definite object of hate and contempt, which should be blamed for all disasters and consequently unite all people on the opposite side against it. More often, as it appears throughout the history, such object is not a certain nation or leader, but the movement which is being attributed to the people involved in it.
In our modern world we see the same sate of emergency, which is imposed by the threat of terrorism and used as an excuse for the expedient imposition of laws. We don’t even learn about it secretly, we see it being proclaimed publicly and with authority of the righteous purpose. Such is the “Patriot Act”, for example, and many other minor changes in legislation (Meyssan, 2002). We see it all around us today: our own liberty and privacy are being violated to deal with the presumed domestic and foreign enemies. Is that a fair price or are we simply being fooled?
While the state of emergency is a very powerful tool to start establishing a totalitarian state, any population nevertheless get tired of imminent threats sooner or later. As a result, there is a possibility that internal opposition will develop to combat the invasions of freedom and privacy. In order for the totalitarian embryo to survive, there is an urgent need to control the minds of the masses and reduce any freedom of expression. This is the only way to enforce the national belief in the need for war and loyalty to the government.
In Oceania this control of masses was applied through the thought police, which was persecuting the violators of the thought crime. This was a very effective tool of controlling human expression. However, even this was not enough to have a full control of people’s minds and...
References: 1.Moore, Michael. The Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader. Simon & Schuster, October 5, 2004.
2.Meyssan, Thierry. 9/11: The Big Lie. Continental Sales, August 1, 2002.
3.Fisher, Louis. Presidential War Power. University Press of Kansas, April 1, 2004.
4.George Orwell. 1984. Signet Book; Reissue edition, May 1, 1990.
5.Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror. Brassey’s Inc, July 15, 2004.
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