Controlling the Mind - Doublethink Essay

Controlling the Mind - Doublethink Essay

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Controlling the Mind The ability to hold two contradictory ideas at once and accept both of them is known in the novel 1984 by George Orwell as “doublethink.” It is more than just reality control, for it must be preformed constantly and immediately to ensure that all thoughts are orthodox. Doublethink is not forced upon the citizens of 1984, yet it has become an action of everyday life, much like breathing and eating. It is essential to the stability of the Party and all of Oceania because without it, the morale of the people would plummet. In addition, doublethink prevents the true reality of humanity from being understood, which allows the Party to maintain control over all aspects of life. The ability of the word doublethink to portray how the Party keeps the citizens of Oceania under its control makes it the most important word in the novel.
Without “doublethink,” morale in Oceania would be quickly depleted. An example of this is when the chocolate ration is lowered because of war. However, instead of announcing this flaw to the people, the Party announces that the chocolate ration has actually been raised. Winston then correctly notices:
“It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grams a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grams a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it.” (Orwell 58-59) This is a prime example of doublethink for any person of stable mentality would notice the discrepancy between the announcement and facts but the citizens of Oceania not only swallow this lie, but also forget about the past ration. This...


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... the Party nearly unlimited power.
Not only does doublethink represent how the Party keeps its control, it also shows how powerful it truly is. Only a great society could perform such a feat as to have complete control over the minds of all who inhabit its territory. In this sense, doublethink and the Party are permanently intertwined in a symbiotic relationship, for neither could survive without the other. Since none of the actions of the Party would be possible without doublethink, the existence of the Party would not be possible, preventing its members from achieving their final goal of absolute power. Likewise, doublethink could only be implemented by a strong and ingenious government, similar to that of the Party. Therefore, doublethink is the most important word in the novel because it provides humans with the ability to create and maintain a negative utopia.

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