Dehumanization In 1984 Analysis

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In George Orwell’s 1984, readers are faced with a cruel, most dehumanizing form of violence: psychological torture. Mind control is the Party’s ammunition as, bit by bit, Big Brother strips man of his very essence. “Nothing was your own,” reads the novel, “except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull” – and in the end, even that has been usurped by the Party. Ultimately, 1984’s antagonist, O’Brien, refuses Winston Smith the right to die an individual by dealing him a punishment far worse than execution: life as a puppet of the Party. Winston is not allowed to die a martyr, for this would be a personal victory and Oceania can only have one victor. In the novel’s closing chapter, a once defiant but now meek Winston sits quietly at a pub, and readers are dealt the novel’s most chilling line: “He loved Big Brother.” This sudden numbness recalls a quote from the essay “Reflections on Violence” by Hannah Arendt: Not rage and violence but their conspicuous absence is the clearest sign of dehumanization…rage and the violence that sometimes, not always, goes with it belong among…show more content…
We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?” By feeling scared and impassioned, these novels insist, we are doing something utterly, incalculably, and vitally right. In 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, readers are asked time and again: what makes us human? It is, as we come to recognize in both novels, the ability to feel — to be impassioned, to be petrified, to be overcome with fury that enflames our very souls. Stripped of our emotions, after all, what separates man from machine? There are forms of life, asserts Orwell, that are worse than death. Life in Oceania – where “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” “Ignorance is Strength,” and delusion is sanity – is, in fact, not life at
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