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Totalitarian Government

By megan828 Apr 03, 2013 2091 Words
Per:A
Megan O'Connor
Ms.Tolley
Honors English
March 31,2013

Totalitarian Government

The government influences our lives on a daily basis.In the novel 1984 written by George Orwell the government is the "Party".It is a totalitarian government exercising control over the freedom, will, or thought of others.(Dictionary.com)From the word “totalitarianism”, it is obvious that this form of system wants to have “total” control over their people. Unlike democratic rule, under totalitarianism, people have no right to speak, form political parties, or even choose their religion. Totalitarianism restricts what people think and their wants.Countries today that have a totalitarian government are:China,Cuba and Laos.The former Soviet Union was also a totalitarian government. There can only be one political party ruling the country.In writing 1984, Orwell's main goal was to warn of the serious danger totalitarianism poses to society.Orwell was a man of strong opinions who addressed some of the major political movements of his times, including imperialism, fascism and communism.Another of Orwell's creations for 1984 is Newspeak, a form of English that the book's totalitarian government utilizes to discourage free thinking.Newspeak was the official language of Oceania.(page 6) Orwell believed that, without a word or words to express an idea, the idea itself was impossible to conceive and retain.(cliffnotes.com)Newspeak is nothing like modern day English.Newspeak has an A vocabulary that is basically needed for everyday life,such as eating,drinking,working,getting dressed and riding in cars.There is not a large selection words like modern day English.There is also a B vocabulary which are only used for political purposes.Then there is a C vocabulary in Newspeak that has scientific and technical words.There is also duckspeak which sounds like a quacking of a duck. Having witnessed firsthand the horrific lengths to which totalitarian governments in Spain and Russia would go in order to sustain and increase their power, Orwell designed 1984 to sound the alarm in Western nations still unsure about how to approach the rise of communism.(Sparknotes.com) He goes to great lengths to demonstrate the terrifying degree of power and control a totalitarian regime can acquire and maintain. (GradeSaver.com) Big Brother is the leader of the party.He has black hair,a black mustache and looks calm and powerful.Under the Party you cannot commit a thought crime.Thought crime is thinking anything that the Party does is illegal.The thought police listen to conversations and control the thoughts and beliefs of the people.The main character Winston Smith who is 39 years old commits a thought crime when he opens the diary and when he writes,"DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER."If you commit a thought crime the punishment is vaporization.People like Winston are either tortured into being "correct" or vaporized.Winston Smith does not belive in their varity of beliefs.He is against them.There are large posters with the caption of "Big Brother is Watching You" (page 5).The goal of Big Brother is to keep all the people the same.Everywhere the people go Big Brother is watching them. The party has three slogans that read:"WAR IS PEACE,FREEDOM IS SLAVERY AND IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH."(page 30)Freedom Is Slavery” because, according to the Party, the man who is independent is doomed to fail. By the same token, “Slavery Is Freedom,” because the man subjected to the collective will is free from danger and want. “Ignorance Is Strength” because the inability of the people to recognize these contradictions cements the power of the authoritarian regime.(SparkNotes.com)Winston applies to all of these quotes.Under the "Freedom Is Slavery" quote we examine Winston as he is oppressed by the thought police and the Party.He has no individuality under the party and his whole life is controlled by the totalitarian government.Through Winstons eyes we look at the physical and psychological cruelties that the government put the people through.Winston throughout the novel is very rebellious.He cannot trust people he meets O'Brien and thinks that he is part of the brotherhood.When Winston asks O’Brien if he too has been captured by the Party, O’Brien replies, “They got me long ago.This could mean that like Winston O'Brien could have been rebellious then they tortured him and made him join the inner party.(Sparknotes.com)Winston hates the Party passionately and wants to test the limits of its power.(SparkNotes.com)Winston was one of the few people who knew that what the Party was doing was wrong.In the novel it says"Curiously, the chiming of the hour seemed to have put new heart into him. He was a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure way, the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage." (Orwell 28)Winston thought of himself that he was lonely and that no one would listen to him or want to hear him.No one would help him over throw the government.Reading that quote we realize that Winston is thinking in a very negative way and that Big Brother will always be in control of everyone.We see that Winstons life is being greatly affected by the totalitarian government.In the novel Winston and the citizens undergo psychological manipulation,physical control,control of information and history.There was also "doublethink".The idea of “doublethink” emerges as an important consequence of the Party’s massive campaign of large-scale psychological manipulation. Simply put, doublethink is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas in one’s mind at the same time. As the Party’s mind-control techniques break down an individual’s capacity for independent thought, it becomes possible for that individual to believe anything that the Party tells them, even while possessing information that runs counter to what they are being told.(Sparknotes.com)When Winston is sitting in his cell in the Ministry of Love which maintains law and order thinking about what O’Brien had said to him earlier. “’If he thinks he floats off the floor and I simultaneously think I see him do it, then it happens’” (Orwell, pg 278).O'Brien cannot float but by using doublethink he can say that O'Brien does float.O'Brien is a member of the inner party and does some kind of important work,but Winston does no what it is.Winston thinks that O'Brien is someone he can talk to.Winston also writes in his diary because he thinks O'Brien is on his side.Winston writes in his diary,"DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER" many times.(21 &22). He has committed thoughtcrime—the most unpardonable crime—and he knows that the Thought Police will seize him sooner or later.(Sparknotes.com)O'Brien knows the last line of the rhyme the Mr.Charrington had started telling him and that surprises Winston.Winston and O'Brien meet in a hallway in the Ministry.They make a reference that suggests that he and O'Brien are accomplices in thoughtcrime.Winston thinks that this meeting will mean his death.O'Brien gives Winston his address right in front of a telescreen. Technology is very prevalent in the novel.Technology is an important aspect of our lives.We use technology to communicate,to solve practical problems,and other important resources that we use on a daily basis.In the novel there is a telescreen.A telescreen is a large screen that sends and receives images and sounds at the same time.Telescreens are in all workplaces and homes.The Thought Police regularly monitor them.1984 reveals that technology, which is generally perceived as working toward moral good, can also facilitate the most diabolical evil.(Sparknotes.com)They are found in all rooms belonging to Party members, and in public places. No one knows how often the Thought Police tap into any individual wire, it is therefore possible that they watch all screens all the time. Outer Party members can dim the sound and picture coming from their telescreen, but the screen never turns off. Only senior members of the Inner Party have the power to turn off the telescreen, but can only do so for short periods of time. Very few proles have telescreens, mostly because members of the Inner Party do not feel they pose a threat. For the proles who do own one, the telescreen is an expensive item that they might buy for the entertainment value.(bookrags.com)Winston Smith thinks that hope lies in the proles.Since the proles make up eight-five percent of the population of Oceania,they could come together to the destroy the Party.He does not think the Party can be overthrown from within.The Party sees the proles as natural inferiors who must be kept in subjections.They should not have strong political feelings.Overall the people are under heavy surveillance.Even the police however not the thought police have helicopters looking into peoples windows.The telescreen gives the Party more of an advantage to brainwash the people. The Party uses it to see who supports Big Brother and who does not.As usual the face of Emmanual Goldstein ,the Enemy of the People,had flashed onto the screen.There were hisses here and there among the audience.The little sandy-haired woman gave a squeak of mingled fear and disgust.Goldstein was the renegade and backslider who once,long ago had been one of the leading figures of the Party,almost on a level with Big Brother himself,and then had engaged in counterrevolutionary activities,had been condemned to death,and had mysteriously escaped and dissappeared.(page 14)All crimes against the Party are attributed to his teaching.Winston whenever he saw Goldstein on the telescreen felt a mix of emotions.Goldstein is obviously a very powerful man to make the people feel fearful and other emotions.Goldstein had a lean jewish face,with a great fuzzy aureole of white hair and a small goatee beard.(page 15)Goldstein was hated and despised by everybody.His theories were refuted,smashed,ridiculed and his influence never seemed to grow less.(page 16)Goldstein was abusing Big Brother,he was denoucing the dictatorship of the Party,he was demanding the immediate conclusion of peace with Eurasia,he was advocating freedom of speech,freedom of the press,freedom of assembly,freedom of thought,he was crying hysterically that the revolution had been betrayed.(page 15)He was going against the Party.People were raging and Goldstein produced anger and fear within the people. Winston leaves a shop and sees the girl from the Fiction Department he thinks that she is following him.She then falls on the floor and drops a note that says,"I love you."(page 118)The girls name is Julia and she meets him in Victory Square. Julia is more concerned with enjoying sex and making practical plans to avoid getting caught by the Party. (Sparknotes.com)Apprently Julia is attracted to Winston because she says that he has this look in his face that appears that he is against the Party.Julia then tells Winston that she hates the Party.Although she does act interested in the Party and participates in many activites.I think that Winston uses Julia as someone to relate to.Julia and Winston believe that the Party cannot influence their inner thoughts and beliefs.He feels a connection with her because they are both against the Party.Winston and Julia refuse to betray eachother.In their next meeting Winston sees a rat and turns very pale.He thinks of a recurring nightmare that he has. Julia tells Winston that she had her first love affair when she was sixteen with a Party member.She tells him that the Party member was sixty who later commited suicide to avoid arrest.If he didn't commit suicide the Party would have had her name out of him when he confessed.(page 143)Winston noticed that Julia never uses Newspeak words,except the ones that had passed into everyday use.Apparently she has never heard of Brotherhood and refueses to believe in its existence.Winston tells Julia about his wife Katherine.Katharine had been a painful memory and become a distasteful one to Winston.(page 144)Winston’s former wife Katherine hated sex, and as soon as they realized they would never have children, they

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