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George Orwell’s 1984 and Stalin’s Russia

Powerful Essays
In George Orwell’s 1984, the strategies used by Oceania’s Political Party to achieve total control over the population are similar to the ones employed by Joseph Stalin during his reign. Indeed, the tactics used by Oceania’s Party truly depicts the brutal totalitarian society of Stalin’s Russia. In making a connection between Stalin’s Russia and Big Brothers’ Oceania, each Political Party implements a psychological and physical manipulation over society by controlling the information and the language with the help of technology.

Many features of Orwell's imaginary super-state Oceania are ironic translations from Stalin’s Russia. In Oceania, the Party mainly uses technology as the chief ingredient to implement a psychological manipulation over society by controlling the information they receive. An example of this is the big screen television set up in every person’s home, and the poster all over the city. The giant “telescreen” in every citizen’s room blasts a constant stream of propaganda designed to make the failures and short successes of the Party appear to be glorious. In Winston Smith’s apartment, this “instrument” is always on spouting propaganda and constantly brain washing the peoples’ mind. In actual fact, “It could [only be] dimmed… there [is] no way of shutting it off”. In doing this, the Political Party is in complete control over the citizens’ mind, blasting what they want each individual to think (Orwell, 6). They psychologically stimulate each individuals mind, limiting their ability to think and have a mind of their own. In a similar way, Stalin’s created “The Poster” and The Pravda (the Russian newspaper controlled by the government during Joseph Stalin's regime) to twist and manipulate the minds of people into believing that what they were saying was absolutely right and truth. Using this power, Stalin and his regime would get people to do anything for them. (Basgen, 2010)

The creation of gigantic posters is one of the most psychological manipulating tactics used in Oceania and Russia with the enhancement and help of technology. In Oceania, one could find “A colored poster…with the face of a man… [Whose] eyes fallowed you about when you moved”. The caption in the poster says that “Big Brother Is Watching You” (Orwell, 5). In placing poster like these all over Oceania, people are constrained and restricted to their actions....

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...ince and manipulate the way people act, think, and execute.

Works Cited

Basgen, Brian. Soviet History. Marxists.org 2010. Web. 21 May 2015.

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/index.htm

"Critical Reception." Nineteen Eighty-Four: Past, Present, and Future. Patrick Reilly. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1989. 11-23. Twayne's Masterwork Studies 30. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 5 May 2015.

Franklin, Simon and Emma Widdis, eds. National Identity in Russian Culture: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004.

Orwell, George. 1984. New York, NY: Published by Signet Classic, 1977. Print.

Platt, Kevin M. F. and David Brandenberger, eds. Epic Revisionism: Russian History and Literature as Stalinist Propaganda. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 2006.

Internet Sources Consulted

"George Orwell." Famous Authors. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.

"George Orwell (1903-1950)." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 16 May 2015.

Alder, Peter. "Stalin: Man of Steel." Prod. Guido Knopp. Dir. Oliver Halmburger. Perf. Ed Herrman. The History Channel, 2003. Videocassette. Youtube. 15 Mar. 2013. Web. 12 May 2015.

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