1984 Essay

Submitted By LilDramatikQueen
Words: 970
Pages: 4

The reader is filled with total cynicism after reading 1984. Do you agree? In his novel ‘1984’, George Orwell describes a terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime. The citizens of Oceania are ruled by fear, brainwashed by propaganda, constantly being watched, have no rights and certainly no freedom of expression. The amount of power Ingsoc has on its people is so great that people in the society don’t even possess the ability to think on their own. By illustrating the totalitarian government of ‘1984’, George Orwell positions readers to fear the dreadful potential of a corrupt and selfish government and the elimination of identity that ensues. Readers are filled with total cynicism after reading ‘1984’ as they realize that no hope remains for the citizens of Oceania as Winston is defeated in the denouement of the novel. The Party barrages its subjects with psychological stimuli designed to overwhelm the mind’s capacity for independent thought. The giant telescreen in every citizen’s room blasts a constant stream of propaganda designed to make the failures and shortcomings of the Party appear to be triumphant successes. The telescreens also monitor behavior—everywhere they go, citizens are continuously reminded, especially by means of the omnipresent signs reading “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU,” that the authorities are scrutinizing them. The Party undermines family structure by inducting children into an organization called the Junior Spies, which brainwashes and encourages them to spy on their parents and report any instance of disloyalty to the Party. “In the end the Party would announce that two and two makes five and you would have to believe it.” These lines play into the theme of psychological manipulation. In this case, Winston considers the Party’s exploitation of its fearful subjects as a means to suppress the intellectual notion of objective reality. Readers admire Winston for being an individual and one of the only characters who dare to oppose Big Brother. Readers become privy to Winston’s rebellious behavior against the party when he writes in his diary “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER”. By writing these words in his diary, Winston is sealing his own death warrant and it is made obvious to readers that Winston is bound to be caught by the Party sooner or later. Because Winston is fatalistic, knowing that he will be shot “in the back of the neck”, readers comprehend the awful inevitability of his arrest and death. However, readers put all their faith and hope in Winston as they realize that he is the only person who has the chance to remain as an individual and continue to believe what he believes in. Early in the novel, Winston writes that “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four.” The motif comes full circle at the end of the novel. After the torture Winston suffers in the Ministry of Love which breaks his soul; he sits at the Chestnut Tree Café and traces “2 + 2 = 5” in the dust on his table. By tracing “2+2=5” in the end, Winston’s body and soul is completely taken over by the Party and he is destroyed from within. Readers now lose the admiration that they once had for Winston as we realize that ‘our hero’ is defeated. Readers are filled with total cynicism after knowing that the person in whom we put our faith in is defeated. We realize that there is no hope of breaking free from the totalitarian government that Orwell vividly describes and is left with a feeling of helplessness and pessimism. In addition to manipulating their minds, the Party also controls the bodies of its subjects. The Party constantly watches for any sign of disloyalty,