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Slavery In George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four

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Ignorance is Slavery:
The depiction of communism in George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”

The famed political author George Orwell once said “I write […] because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention . . .” (Orwell 3). This philosophy is at the heart of his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four in which he strives to reveal the dangers of communism through the extreme totalitarian world of Nineteen Eighty-Four. The principal danger which Orwell presents is that “communism [is] not a revolutionary force, but instead [is] a new, dangerous form of totalitarianism” (Rossi 207) in which the government is stifling society to gain control and power at the cost of its citizen’s freedom, and humanity. There are
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This method of surveillance effectively curtails negative social behaviour by keeping the population under constant fear of being watched. The objective of this intense surveillance is to create a modern Panopticon, a prison designed by British architect Jeremy Bentham in the late 1700s. This prison featured a centralized guard tower surrounded by brightly lit cells. Due to the difference in the quality of light, the prisoners were not able to see the guard tower so, “not knowing if they are being watched, but having to assume that they are, the prisoners [adjusted] their behavior” (Jan Kietzmann 135). This method was adapted by many societies including soviet Russia where the people were so afraid of being spied upon that they would only meet their friends in public to avoid being suspected of private conspiracy (Enteen 209). As in communist Russia, the governing body’s manipulation of surveillance is in an effort to ensure that no citizens are doing, or thinking of doing anything contrary to the goals of the party. This omnipresent surveillance has been shown to cut down on crime, however this comes at the cost of the citizens’ freedom and spontaneity, turning vibrant humans into fearful…show more content…
The author manages this by consistently drawing parallels between the state of Ingsoc and that of the Soviet Union. These parallels focus on the dangerous path of dictatorship as both governments they “are not interested in the good of others; [they] are interested solely in power.” (Orwell 301 – 302) Looking solely at the methods of societal control it is evident that Orwell is calling out the communists and drawing the attention of nations to the horror of communist nations as they attempt to control their population. Despite Orwell’s readiness to denounce extreme communism he does not offer any real solution to the issue at hand. He does intimate that maybe the power to overthrow the government lies with the proletariats (89), however he quickly condemns this idea saying that “Until they become conscious they will never rebel and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious” (90) suggesting that if a nation were ever to reach this nightmarish level of totalitarianism they would not even know that they could live differently, and then there would be no
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