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Orwell 1984 Thought Police

By jojo9898 Apr 27, 2014 615 Words
n the novel 1984, author George Orwell portrays a world that has been altered to a state of political control. Encased within a society rooted on fear and rigid rules and regulations, protagonist WInston Smith attempts to rebel against Big Brother and the thought police. Orwell uses 1984 as a means to satirize the devastating affects of totalitarianism and socialism. In order to guarantee complete totalitarianism, the government utilizes scare tactics. Big Brother is the supposed ruler of the country of Oceana (though it is never reveled whether he is a real or not), and his face is present everywhere from coins to prominently displayed posters. Through the thought police, people who were assigned to detect any rebellious thoughts of party members through body language and the telescreens that were omnipresent, the inner party was able to force citizens of Oceana to comply with Party beliefs and to obey, praise, and fear Big Brother. If one even thought to doubt Big Brother, he or she would inevidably be caught by the thought police and sentenced to what one can only imagine to be a horrible fate. "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." (16). " A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp." Winston works for the Ministry of Truth, one of four sectors of the Oceana government that ironically focuses on rewriting history at the expense of the truth. In order to maintain a totalitarian government, the Parties alter history in order to mold the minds of their constituants to believe what Big Brother wants them to. The Party slogan, "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." (32), illustrates the mindset that if all historical documents told the same tale, then that lie that is history must surely be the truth. By depriving individuals of accurate historical documents, photographs, and dates, the Party is effortlessly able to work in the present to manipulate history, which twists history to benefit the future of the Party a well as justify current actions. Inner Party members hoped to wipe out any traces of individuality, as this could pose a threat to the desired outcome of totalitarianism. The government believed if a person does not have a word in their vocabulary for rebellion or freedom or love, they cannot act according to such words. One action taken to ensure that all individuality was erased was to devise a language that eliminated any words that go against the Big Brother. In Oceana, this new language was called Newspeak, and consisted of narrowing the current language down to such as. Winston's dangerously intelligent coworker, Syme, understood the true incentive of Newspeak, stating "In the end we shall make thoughtcrime nearly impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidary meanings rubbed out and forgotten." (46). It can be inferred that Syme had realized that the Party had created this new language as a means to make its people dumb to all words but yes, as a final measure of a nation succumbing to a government of complete control. rebellion

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