“In the face of pain there are no heroes”
George Orwell’s 1984 is a brilliant commentary on the dangers of totalitarianism, mind control, technology and both physical and psychological manipulation. The novel’s protagonist, Winston Smith, is a very pensive and curious man. He is desperate to uncover the roots behind the twisted caste system that has been set in place by an organization called the Party. The Party demonstrates absolute control over every aspect of life in Oceania (formerly London). They are a totalitarian organization using language as a mind control device as well as psychological and physical intimidation and manipulation in order to keep its citizens, or effectively its slaves, in line. One thing always holds true in Oceania, “Big Brother is Watching You.” Winston Smith never becomes a true hero because the very society in which he resides has changed the very nature of what a hero can and cannot do. A society in which war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength makes individualism an act of blatant terrorism. When individuality becomes a crime the devastating power of the Party is illustrated through Winston’s attempts at freedom and independence.
Oceania is a harsh, totalitarian state. The leaders of the Party rely on a message that they relay over and over again: “War is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength.” They are a state that monitors and controls every aspect of society and even human interaction to the point where disloyal thoughts are made illegal. For the Party, “power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” Due to the fact that Winston chooses to refuse the Party’s ideals and controlling ways the point of their vast power is realized on an even greater scale. The true oppression of the Party, Big Brother and the Thought Police can be seen. Though Winston exhibits a sort of refreshing thoughtfulness (at least in regards to any other...
Cited: 1. "1984 by George Orwell. Orwell, George. 1984. Ed. Erich Fromm. New York: Harcourt, 1949.
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