The Dangers of Totalitarianism

1302 Words6 Pages
1984, a book by George Orwell, offers an alternate reality for what the future could have been. The concept of a totalitarian society is but a far off, if not long dead, ideal. In the past totalitarianism was not just an ideal but an actual living, breathing menace to people of the late 1940s. Totalitarian governments would go to horrific lengths in order to sustain and increase their power. In the novels 1984, by George Orwell, and Anthem, by Ayn Rand, propaganda, class distinction, and naivety are explored in fictional societies. Orwell’s and Rand’s stories are based on dystopias and the individuals of those societies who dare to stand out. George Orwell uses Winston Smith, the timidly rebellious protagonist; The Party, the ruling government; and Big Brother, the face of The Party; and Ayn Rand utilizes Martyrdom, the sacrificing of oneself; Naming, a process using words and numbers as a means of identification; and Collectivism, everyone is the same and refers to themselves as we, to illustrate how dangerous a naïve working class, spin and propaganda, and an unacknowledged class distinction can be in a society. A naïve working class is dangerous because the inability or unwillingness to question authority condemns the working class to suffer the full extent of the ruling class's oppression. In 1984, Winston Smith is a minor member of the ruling Party. He hates the totalitarian control and enforced repression that are characteristic of his government. It has been the object of modern tyrannies to deny man this sense of responsibility, and gradually to eliminate all feelings. The working class of Oceania is ignorant and, as such, are blindly loyal to the government. The residences of Oceania have terrible smells. Orwell describ... ... middle of paper ... ... with their own thoughts. Works Cited Orwell, George. _!984_. Austin: Harcourt & Brace, 1977. Rand, Ayn. _Anthem_. 100th ed. New York: New American Library, 1995. Read, Herbert and Harold Bloom. "1984." Bloom's Modern Critical Views: George Orwell;. Bloom's Modern Critical Views. "23 March 2005". EBSCOhost. p25-27, 3p. EBSCOhost. "3 April 2011". http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=6982cc7c-d6f5-41a1-9965-e42d8024e481%40sessionmgr114&vid=1&hid=106&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=lfh&AN=16493082. Bloom, Harold. "Introduction." Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations: 1984. Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations. "28 March 2005". EBSCOhost. 1987, p1-7, 7p. EBSCOhost. "3 April 2011". http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=2ed5dd42-8ef8-4b0f-b5c2-4f1ec4f9b214%40sessionmgr104&vid=1&hid=106&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=lfh&AN=16524927.
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