Identity in 1984

2487 Words10 Pages
Identity, in today’s society, is often taken for granted. We have the ability to be anything we wish to be and act in any way we wish to act, but in the novel 1984 by George Orwell, identity is not taken for granted because it does not exist at all. Winston Smith, the narrator, lives in a dystopian society based on the idea of totalitarian government rule. This government is known as Big Brother. In order for Big Brother to stay in power, a few things are necessary: identity cannot exist; everything and everyone must be uniform; the past must be controlled in order to regulate the present; and the people must constantly be practicing the ideas of Newspeak and Doublethink, a form of control the government holds over the people. By enforcing these simple laws and regulations, the government is able to keep a tight grip on its people, with few ever releasing themselves from its grasp. Winston Smith on the other hand, seeks to know the truth behind the government, he is constantly questioning everything and repressing all the ideas forced upon him. Winston “seeks truth and sanity, his only resources being the long denied and repressed processes of selfhood” (Feder 398). All identity is gone in this place called Oceania, and for the sake of Big Brother and its continuous control of the people, it will never exist again. In 1984, the absence of identity strips the people of all creativity and diversity, as well as takes away any chance the society has to advance as a people or in the area of technology. Oceania lacks any form of diversity whatsoever; the citizens all live in the same dingy buildings, wear the same plain clothes, eat the same terrible food, and are constantly monitored by the government via the telescreens found in eve... ... middle of paper ... ...Ministry of Love, once said, “The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power” (Orwell____). All Big Brother wants is a continuous flow of power, and they will stop at nothing to get it; even if it means wiping out all the identity and diversity in the millions of people in Oceania. Works Cited Feder, Lillian. "Selfhood, Language, and Reality: George Orwell's 'Nineteen Eighty-Four.'" Georgia Review: 392-409. JSTOR. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. Grossman, Kathryn M. "'Through a Glass Darkly': Utopian Imagery in Nineteen Eighty-Four." Penn State University Press: 52-60. JSTOR. Web. 4 Nov. 2013. Varricchio, Mario. "Power of Images/Images of Power in Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four." Penn State University Press: 98-114. JSTOR. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.
Open Document