English Journal 4 Essay

Submitted By tonineon
Words: 811
Pages: 4

Flor Nguyen
4/5/2013
Journal #4 (ONLY #1)
English 1A Honors
Dr. Bonnie Khaw-Posthuma
Sheep Can’t Speak if they Never Think In the book 1984, George Orwell expresses many lessons and morals he wishes to convey to the audience. One very prominent lesson seen in 1984 is the simple, rebellious action of “question authority”. Orwell consistently displays this lesson by portraying the characters as ignorant, brainwashed and blind. Big Brother, the government in place, possesses an immense amount of control and practices extreme measures to enforce the law causing the people of Oceania to nonchalantly follow Big Brother. Because of such extreme measures, such as the Thought Police, the people of Oceania are denied the right to even think for themselves. This causes an overwhelming phenomenon of submission by the people to their government. 1984 depicts the extreme consequences in which a society submits their liberties to a totalitarian government and fails to revolt or even question the authority in power. Winton’s very job is to alter the past in any written document in order to correspond with the present. With this political chokehold, Big Brother possesses the power to not only control the minds of its subjects, but also control the future. The quote, “And when memory failed and written records were falsified—when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested.” (Orwell 95) displays the tyrannical control Big Brother possesses and the failure of its subjects to question this power with adequate grounds. Even when Winton remembers an instance where Big Brother was wrong, he feels as though he must be a lunatic to remember such. In the event Winston caught Big Brother lying, it states, “Was it possible they could swallow that… Yes, They swallowed it… with the stupidity of an animal… swallowed it fanatically, passionately… with a furious desire to track down and vaporize anyone who suggested otherwise. Was he, then, alone in the possession of memory?” (Orwell 60). This represents the unease Winston feels when realizing Big Brother is misleading the people as a whole and that the members of the party as intellectually weak and willing to surrender to their government. Winston then realizes that the only hope left in revolution lies in the hands of the proles, however, he writes, “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until they have rebelled they cannot become conscious” (Orwell 73). Oceania is a city in London in which the government controls virtually everything: from magazines and propaganda to history books and educational information. With this kind of power, the people are limited to seeing only what Big Brother allows them to. Though they have a mind for themselves, they are not exactly permitted to let their thoughts roam freely due to the Thought Police, who monitor individual’s thoughts so that they can avoid any friction with Big Brother. This hostile environment…