Psychological Manipulation in 1984 Essay

Psychological Manipulation in 1984 Essay

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Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell, is a superb novel with outstanding themes. One of the most prominent themes found in this novel is psychological manipulation. Citizens in this society are subject to ever present signs declaring “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” (Orwell 1). Along with psychological manipulation, physical control takes place. The Party not only controls what people in Oceania think, but what they do as well. Technology is another important theme. Without the constant telescreens, microphones, and computers, the Party would be all but powerless. Big Brother is the main figure of the Party. The main symbol that drives these themes is the telescreens. It is representative of the party always watching and controlling everyone at all times.
Psychological manipulation the Party uses on the citizens is one of the first themes Orwell exposes in this dystopian society. The Party maintains this manipulation by constantly overwhelming citizens with useless information and propaganda.
And when memory failed and written records were falsified—when that
happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life
had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist,
any standard against which it could be tested. (Orwell 82)
Winston Smith, the protagonist, is having a frustrating conversation with an old man about life before the Revolution. He figures out that the Party has purposely set out to weaken the people’s memories in order to make them unable to challenge what the Party claims about the present. If there is no one who remembers life before the Revolution, then no one can say that the Party has failed. In reality, the Party has failed by forcing people to...


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...of Nineteen Eighty-Four are not going to be forgotten any time soon. Psychological manipulation is quite possibly the most realistic of the themes. In conjunction with psychological manipulation is physical control. The Party is a totalitarian government and controls every aspect of life. Technology is yet another important theme. Technology is what gives the Party their power and influence. Big Brother, the symbol, as well as the telescreens are motifs that help drive the main conflict.

Works Cited

Knapp, John V. “Nineteen Eighty-Four” Critical Survey of Long Fiction. Ed. Carl Rollyson. Hackensack NJ: Salem Press Inc, 2000. 2451-2452.

Magill, Frank N. Ed. “Nineteen Eighty-Four” Masterpieces of World Literature. New York NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 1989. 582-585.

Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. New York NY: Penguin Books Inc., 1977.

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