The Threat of Love in Totalitarian Regimes as Depicted in Orwell's 1984

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Love is the foundation and the weakness of a totalitarian regime. For a stable totalitarian society, love between two individuals is eliminated because only a relationship between the person and the party and a love for its leader can exist. The totalitarian society depicted throughout the Orwell’s novel 1984 has created a concept of an Orwellian society. Stalin’s Soviet state can be considered Orwellian because it draws close parallels to the imaginary world of Oceania in 1984. During the twentieth century, Soviet Russia lived under Stalin’s brutal and oppressive governments, which was necessary for Stalin to retain power. In both cases, brutality and oppression led to an absence of relationships and love. This love was directed towards Stalin and Big Brother, and human beings became willing servants of their leader. The biggest threat to any totalitarian regime is love, or the lack of it. As Orwell said, they key danger to the system is “the growth of liberalism and skepticism in their own ranks” (Orwell 171). For example, in the novel it was the desire of the Party to eliminate love and sex, in order to channel this pent-up passion towards the love of Big Brother. Similarly, Stalin used propaganda and extreme nationalism to brainwash the peoples of Russia. He channeled their beliefs into a passion for Soviet ideals and a love of Stalin. In both cases, love for anything but the Party is the biggest threat to the regime. The stability of the Party and Stalin’s regime directly depended upon loyalty to the government above all else. By drawing upon the close relationships between the two Orwellian societies, we can examine just how dangerous love is to the Party. Stalin united his people through a common love. Similar to George Or... ... middle of paper ... love for someone separate from the Party makes the Party vulnerable, because the passion that existed between the two formed an alliance between lovers, as opposed to allegiance to the Party. In a totalitarian state the goal of the party is to brainwash humans so that the only emotion they have is towards the government and its leader. In both 1984 and Soviet Russia, we see totalitarian societies that eliminate human qualities such as thoughts and emotions. In both cases, the societies function best without love because they have full control over their people. Thus, the existence of love and relationships is the most detrimental thing to a totalitarian regime. Works Cited Orwell, George. 1984 a novel. New York, N.Y: Published by Signet Classic. Print. Runyan, William McKinley. Psychology and Historical Interpretation. New York: Oxford UP, 1988. Print.
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