Deception. Perhaps we all have been deceived at one point or another in our lives – maybe you were deceived by your parents, into thinking that they would buy you a certain present for Christmas, only to realize on December 25th that it is not the present you were hoping for. Imagine being deceived almost every day of your life; telescreens to monitor your every move, even your eyes can give away the slightest piece of evidence, and there is no justice for the innocent; because after all, no one is innocent. Now imagine Oceania; set in the future, written in 1948. Airstrip One, previously referred to as London. Ravished by war, poor living conditions, poor wages and a total lack of privacy. This is the setting for which we will explore the deceptive nature of the Big Brother government and the manipulation of the characters throughout the novel 1984, written by George Orwell.
Some major and recurring themes become apparent in the novel from quite early on; obedience is instilled into the members of society; conformity is compulsory, and we see this through the character of Winston describing how “the horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in”. Orwell has used Winston to emphasize this idea that the hatred for Big Brother was almost contagious, and that even if you did not hate Emmanuel Goldstein’s ideals, you still must deceive yourself and join in so as not to get caught by the Thought Police. Totalitarian control of Oceania is apparent through the use of a fear-invoking government and brutal police force, as well as the telescreens who symbolize the idea of ‘big brother is watching you’ – there is nowhere to hide, and every moment and every sound made is under constant scrutiny. Another key theme is the manipulation of the government into forcing its people to have a constant hatred for Emmanuel Goldstein’s