Dangers of Totalitarianism in Orwell's 1984

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1984 by George Orwell is an extremely negative outlook on a futuristic, seemingly utopian society. People inhabiting the land of Oceania are enslaved to the government, most without even realizing it. The Party uses its many members to enforce its methods of control on the population. While a bit extreme, Orwell was attempting to warn people about the dangers of totalitarianism. The story focuses largely on the tactics of the Party?s manipulation. The major aspects of the aforementioned control stratagem are the alterations of history as the wishes, the invention of Newspeak to eliminate any chance of rebellion, psychological and physical intimidation, and the use of technology to monitor citizens. The Party changes records of the past constantly to match its needs. If someone commits a crime, they are vaporized, and then erased from any and all historical records. There are no more martyrs, because no one remembers them after they are killed. The government also changes history to make people believe that the Party has been in power since the beginning of man. Using the tactic of doublethink, the population is able to believe this, even if they possess memories from before the Party rose to power. This is an example of mental control. The government also aims to remove any possibility of a rebellious thought by inventing Newspeak. Newspeak is a language set to replace English as Oceania?s official language around the year 2050, because many texts and manuals have to be translated from ?Oldspeak?, or English. Using Newspeak, humans are unable to expand their thinking and knowledge. Rather, instead of inventing a language to extend the limits of human thought, Newspeak shrinks it until it is just enough to grasp ... ... middle of paper ... ...ve two plus two equaled both three and five. Whatever the Party needs it to be, it will be. The year 1984 has long passed, but the novel still illustrates a possibility for the future of society. It still remains a powerful influence in all sorts of literature, music, and social theory. George Orwell envisioned a nightmarish utopia that could have very easily become a possibility in 1949 ? the year the novel was written. He managed to create such a realistic view of humanity?s future, that this story has been deemed timeless. There will always be the threat of totalitarianism, and at some moments civilization is only a step away from it. Orwell hated the thought of it, and 1984 shows that. From his work, readers who live in prevailing democratic society have a chance to consider about these very different political systems, democracy and totalitarianism.

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