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1984 Reality or Dream

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Topics: Mind
Reality: is it ever real?
1984 takes place in a dictatorial society, in which power creates reality and truth. "Whatever the party holds true is the truth", accomplishing this by manipulating the minds of their people. Anyone who is a minority, a "lunatic" who does not conform to the party, must be convinced that he is insane. By brainwashing, "doublethink" overcomes the mind losing every trace of individuality of love, critical thought, and emotion, unconsciously. Memory is considered a disillusion and discarded as dust. "I have brought you here to cure you, to make you sane! We do not destroy our enemies, we change their thought." The past starting from yesterday had been abolished day in and day out in life as people lived. The government created an endless present with a "flawless" past that was obviously not true.

Orwell creates a vision of a completely repressive world in which every movement, every word, and nearly every thought is monitored. Big Brother is always watching, trying to detect the slightest indication of disloyalty or incorrect thinking. The novel's protagonist, Winston Smith, is a miserable little man whose longing for things he cannot even name leads to his ultimate demise. Everywhere Smith looks, he sees three slogans. These three phrases contain keys to some of Orwell's most powerful themes in the novel: "War Is Peace," "Freedom Is Slavery," and "Ignorance Is Strength." The phrases are examples of "doublethink," where the listener is required to believe in two contradictory things simultaneously. To survive in Big Brother's world, this is an essential skill.

Orwell's message that he is trying to convey through the reeducation of Winston Smith is one of near despair for humanity. Can human nature be changed in such a way that a man will forget his longing for freedom, dignity, and integrity? This is the question posed through out 1984, and it demonstrates that power creates reality and truth by controlling man’s minds, the only existing place of reality.
Orwell draws an image of Man who is frail and cowardly, wanting to escape freedom. He explains that if he were to just face the truth of surrendering his independence and honor, he would achieve this. The government takes advantage of the new mood of hopelessness displayed, and takes hold of the consciousness of the people.

Humility and self-discipline are the acts of sanity and not submitting to these controllable acts is the price you pay. "You believe that reality is something objective and self evident. But I tell you Winston, that reality is not external. The individual mind can make mistakes, and it is impossible to see reality except looking through the eyes of the Party, whose mind is collective and immortal". An effort of the will must be evident to humble oneself. If the discipline is not apparent in the people’s actions, the government takes it upon themselves to instill it in them for the good of reality. The government implants the theory of imagination versus the truth to excuse a memory or evidence of an actual event. Supposedly this is to protect the people from their own nature. The thought of human progress is not trusted, therefore must be prevented.

The reeducation in Winston and the rest of population in 1984 was instilled in the people through manipulative and deceiving ways. The government dominated the people and their minds, and instead of people hating them for it, they accepted and believed in their reality and truth. Their acceptance only fueled Big Brother's desire to expand their assembly for the future of man. The people of Oceania are at fault for their own allowance of domination. "How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes?” He was scolded for the truth, but eventually he learned to block out what he saw and overcame his interest in the past and reality, letting Big Brother capture his inner mind and reshape him. Some things had happened, other had not. Occasionally Winston was troubled by false memories, but they did not matter so long as he knew them for what they were. Throughout, and then after his torture "his heart turned over" and he realized he did not need to be loved, just understood. He had won the victory over himself. He loved big brother!

1984 was not written as a prediction of the future, but rather a warning of what was to come if man did not change. Man has, apparently, not changed because our reality parallels that of the novel. "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’’. We must never let that much power fall into the hands of a single man or group. We must always be able to do what we want to do and think independently and we should always be free to know that 2+2=4.

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