Reader Response: 1984
The novel 1984 made me paranoid and suspicious of the government's power and intentions. I became aware of the potential manipulation of which the government could impose upon us. The very thing which I depend on for security and protection may be a conniving entity which feeds off of it’s own power and corruption. As I flourished in my naivety, I was unaware that the people I trusted, whom I believed to be wholly dedicated to our well-being as a society, could betray us at any moment they see fit. I gravely overlooked the potential and the power that the government has to rule us. In fact, they may have been conspiring against us this whole time, using us as pawns in their quest for ultimate authority. As a civilization, we are dependent on our government. If it were to turn on us, we would be left like lost vulnerable children separated from their parents. We would have no direction, no security and no hope. George Orwell’s depiction of the government in 1984 is strictly totalitarian. Basic rights are suppressed to the point where living seems pointless. Members are under constant surveillance by the Party through telescreens. Any offense against the Party or its ideals are severely punished. Civilians are frightened to the point where they obey these unjust laws. Some believe “thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death”(19).
The Party also displays immense brainwashing, to the point where basic facts are made out to be untrue in order to fulfill the Party’s ideals. Records are changed to preserve Big Brother’s reputation of always being correct. In order to maintain control, “the Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears”(Orwell 27). This was yet another way for the Party to manipulate the citizens of Oceania. Also, their vocabulary is limited to newspeak in order to stifle their own thoughts. This weakens them intellectually. They are also weakened physically by being forced to do Physical...
Cited: Orwell, George. 1984. 1990. New York: Penguin Books, 1954.
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