Honors British Literature
25 September 2013
The Prophecy of a Detrimental Future
George Orwell foreshadows the malice of dystopian societies to warn the modern era of excessive governmental control’s detrimental outcome. Dystopias deal with a government having the power to prohibit the right of its citizens. English socialism, or IngSoc, was the type of government the Party in 1984 used to torment and to manipulate the behavior of its citizens. Orwell wrote 1984 to restrain people from developing a government that manipulates its citizens, oppresses the thoughts of its citizens, and limits the use of language.
Dystopias deal with the power of prohibiting the rights of its citizens just as the Party in 1984 did for its citizens. “Government tyranny and exploitation of the people” are common factors seen in dystopias (Annadec n.pag). Dystopias are generally societies in which citizens live in fearful situations under the control of a powerful government. The Party prohibits its citizens from exploring their free will in activities such as having causal sex. The Party knows that having casual sex is a simple human urge, but it still forbids it: “The Party knows that people instinctively want to have sex… [But] [a]s long as people choose to exercise free will, the Party must be ever-vigilant against crime and make their punishments severe in order to remain in control” (Novels for Students n.pag). Restraining from casual sex is one of the things the Party wants its citizens to deviate away from in order to focus all their attention in loving Big Brother. For example, Winston and Julia were caught by the Thought Police and O’Brien engaging in sexual activities. Winston was pulled away from Julia, whose sexual encounters with Winston have been helping his varicose ulcer to heal. His varicose ulcer, which is a symbol of his sexual frustration, began to heal while he was held captive by O’Brien, not because he was still having sex, but because all of his frustration was instead focused on loving Big Brother. The Party prohibits the rights of its citizens so that the people can focus all of their attention on being devoted to Big Brother.
The Party in 1984 uses torment and fear to control the behavior of its citizens. The Thought Police, or Thinkpol, are hired by the Party to monitor the citizens to prevent rebellion against the Party. They can plug in on any individual at any time and how often they do it, was unconceivable (Orwell 5). The citizens do not know, besides the children, who is part of the Thought Police or when they are being watched by the Thought Police, so this petrifies them into watching the way the behave in society. Telescreens are used by the Thought Police to watch the citizens at all times. Orwell wrote that “the telescreens received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up […] the metal plaque…” (Orwell 5) Every citizen is constantly being watched by the government. If any citizen were to be caught in rebellion, he/she would be captured by the Thought Police and sent to the Ministry of Love to be imprisoned. With this system, the established government stayed in control. If any citizen even thought about betraying the Party, he/she would be vaporized (Annadec. N.pag.). Because of the system, many citizens, including Winston, have to fight urges to rebel against the Party because the consequences are too severe (Annadec. N.pag.). However, Winston rebels despite knowing this and is discovered along with Julia by the Thought Police and sent to the Ministry of Love to be punished. The Party tormented its citizens to make them comply with its Party rules.
Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning to stray people away from developing societies that manipulates its citizens, “oppress[es] the working class,” and eliminates language to express human will (Novel for Students n.pag). The Ministry of Truth in 1984 used