Fiction and Reality Collide Through Corruption

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Long before George Orwell wrote 1984, a man by the name of Lord Acton wrote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Orwell expresses a similar sentiment regarding the future of political powers, more specially totalitarianism. A totalitarian society is a government that is overruled by one major power, or person. Although the dystopian novel is merely fiction, Orwell created it as a warning and expression of fears about totalitarianism. Big Brother resembled Adolf Hitler in many aspects. When drawing parallels between the novel and an application of its politics in modern society, it is as though Orwell foresaw the development of numerous dictatorships and corrupt governments to come. The purging of undesirable elements by the governments of both Hitler’s Third Reich and Orwell’s Oceania were done in the pursuit of perfection and power, but both resulted in manipulative, controlling nightmares, which distorted humanity’s perception of reality.
On January 30, 1933, Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany. His government, known as the Third Reich, quickly transformed into “a regime in which Germans enjoyed no guaranteed basic rights” (USHMM 1). Ultimately, his plan was to eliminate all pre-existing politics and make Germany a powerful, unified single-party state. To maintain the upmost power, “the Nazis instituted a policy of "coordination"--the alignment of individuals and institutions with Nazi goals” (USHMM 4). All aspects of society and life were under Nazi control, with the assistance of police force, or the Gestapo. In order to create appeal for the regime's goals and ideals, there was heavy reliance on propaganda. Overall, Hitler’s Third Reich was concerned with preservation of power in order to ...

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Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 warns against a future of “men all over the world [losing] their most human qualities, [becoming] soulless automatons” due to the corruption of modern politics (Fromm 324). The manipulation of truth through propaganda, purging of undesirable elements, and overwhelming desire for power that were expressed as fears in the novel became realities in Hitler’s Third Reich. Both governments imposed oppressive rule in pursuit of a supposed “greater good” but ultimately, the only thing both governments achieved was creating a society of fearful, imprisoned people who lost sight of truth due to the oppressive environments they were living in.

Winston, who strongly desires to rebel against the government and despises Big Brother, speaks of the lack of privacy due to the massive amounts of technology monitoring his every move.
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