12 April 2012
Oppression and Dehumanization of Society in George Orwell’s 1984:
The Manipulation of Technology, Language, Media and History George Orwell uses his novel 1984 to convey that human beings, as a species, are extremely susceptible to dehumanization and oppression in society. Orwell demonstrates how a government’s manipulation of technology, language, media, and history can oppress and degrade its citizens. In 1984 the political manipulation of technology oppresses the people of Oceania and leads to the downfall of individuality and of the qualities that define humanity. Telescreens and the Internet are used not for entertainment purposes but to monitor people’s lives.
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The government reformulates history, takes out the inconsistencies. The people are exposed to more propaganda. Due to their lack of critical thinking ability they are unable to question its accuracy. The Party maintains its totalitarian society by lying, cheating, and deceiving its citizens. Accumulation of knowledge is one way that an individual can stand out from the rest. The Party makes it impossible for any knowledge to be accumulated, since history is always being rewritten. “If, for example, Eurasia or Eastasia (whichever it may be) is the enemy today, then that country must always have been the enemy. And if the facts say otherwise then the facts must be altered. Thus history is continuously rewritten” (Orwell 124). Through these alterations the government destroys the desire to question, and therefore the desire to criticize. By manipulating history the Party is able to eradicate free thought. The Totalitarian society in 1984 is under the absolute control of the Party. “The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it” (Orwell 124). The Party robs its citizens of another