1984 By George Orwell

» 1984 By George Orwell

With Outline Essay Research Paper

1984 by George Orwell

OutlineThesis Statement- This paper will examine how George Orwell wrote 1984 as a political statement against totalitarianism.I IntroductionII Summary of 1984III Roles of major Charters

A. Big Brother

B. Winston

C. OBrien

D. Julia

E. Shop ownerIV Propaganda

A. Ministry of Truth

B. Ministry of LoveV Orwells thoughts on Totalitarianism

A. From life experiences

B. From a writers point of viewVI Conclusion

Introduction Orwell observed that every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written directly or indirectly against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism as I understand it (George Orwell). George Orwell has been a major contributor to anticommunist literature around the World War II period. Orwell lived in England during World War II a time when the totalitarianism state Nazi Germany was at war with England and destroyed the city of London. I know that building said Winston finally. Its a ruin now. Its in the middle of the street outside the Palace of Justice. Thats right. Outside the Law Courts. It was bombed in-oh many years ago (Orwell 83). This reflects Orwells own life experiences as a citizen in war torn England and how he uses this in 1984. George Orwell is famous for two major novels which attack totalitarianism. The first is Animal Farm a satire describing the leaders of the Soviet Union as animals on an animal farm. The second novel is 1984 a story of dictators who are in complete control of a large part of the world after the Allies lost in World War II . The government in this novel gives no freedoms to its citizens. They live in fear because they are afraid of having bad thoughts about the government of Oceania a crime punishable by death. This is the gem in Orwells collection of novels against totalitarianism. This paper will show how George Orwell wrote 1984 as a political statement against totalitarianism. 1984 is about life in a world where no personal freedoms exist. Winston the main character is a man of 39 who is not extraordinary in either intelligence or character but is disgusted with the world he lives in. He works in the Ministry of Truth a place where history and the truth is rewritten to fit the partys beliefs. Winston is aware of the untruths because he makes them true. This makes him very upset with the government of Oceania where Big Brother a larger than life figure controls the people. His dissatisfaction increases to a point where he rebels against the government in small ways. Winstons first act of rebellion is buying and writing in a diary. This act is known as a thought crime and is punishable by death. A thought crime is any bad thought against the government of Oceania. Winston commits many thought crimes and becomes paranoid about being caught which he knows is inevitable (Greenblast 113). He becomes paranoid because he is followed by a young woman who is actively involved in many community groups. Winston is obsessed with the past a time before Oceania was under strict dictatorship. He goes into an antique shop and buys a shell covered in glass which is another crime punishable by death. He sees the same woman following him. Many thoughts race through his mind I wanted to rape you and then murder you afterwards. Two weeks ago I thought seriously of smashing your head in with a cobblestone. If you really want to know I imagined that you had something to do with the Thought Police (Orwell 101). The girl who was following him slipped him a note while at work. The note said I love you(90). They make plans to meet each other and carry on an illegal love affair. This love affair is another rebellion against the government. It goes on for some time. Winston rents a room where he and Julia can be secluded from the outside world. They meet a man named OBrien who indicates that he is another revolutionary. Winston and Julia go to his house to meet with him. OBrien gives than a seditious book to read. Soon after that they are caught by the Thought Police and never see each other again. OBrien becomes Winstons rehabilitator and torturer for the next 9 months. OBrien tortures Winston in stages. The first two stages are to force the partys beliefs on him then learn and understand what is expected of him. In the third stage Winston is made to face what he secretly fears most rats eating his face. After being completely rehabilitated by OBrien Winston now loves the establishment and the government. He is set free. Big Brother is the figurehead of a government that has total control. The Big Brother regime uses propaganda and puts fear in its citizens to keep the general population in line. Big Brother is watching you(Orwell 5) is just one example of many party slogans that puts fear in its citizens. Big Brother uses various ways to catch people guilty of bad thoughts In the world of 1984 the tyrant Big Brother does employ a vast army of informers called thought police who watch every citizen at all times for the least signs of criminal deviation which may consist simply of unorthodox thoughts(112). Winston Smith represents Orwells view on totalitarianism. Winston rebels against the government of Oceania by starting a diary and constantly having bad thoughts against the government. Winston knows that he is doomed from the moment he has his first heretical thought . The tensions of the novel concerns how long he can stay alive and whether it is possible for Winston to die without mentally betraying his rebellion (Greenblast 115). Winston starts writing in a diary for two reasons. The first is that he wants to be able to remember the daily occurrences in the world. In 1984 the memory of individuals is effectively manipulated programmed and controlled from the outside by the party (Kolakowski 127). People dont know what they are consciously remembering and what is told to them. The party had invented airplanes (Orwell 127) is just one example of the partys propaganda and false statements that change every day. The other reason for the diary is so that people in the future will be able to read what went on during Winstons time and to tell them about his daily reflections on his feelings about the party. These are the same reasons why Orwell wrote 1984. He wanted to expose a communist country (the Soviet Union) . The specific political purpose that had aro used Orwells sense of urgency was his desire to explode the myth of the Soviet Union as the paradigm of the socialist state. He also wanted to expose the dangers of totalitarianism which the devaluation of objective truth and the systematic manipulation of the common people through propaganda (George Orwell). OBrien is an informant to Big Brother. He is not who he seems to be. He appears to Winston as a fellow conspirator but actually becomes Winstons torturer and rehabilitator. OBrien and the party cant tolerate Winstons betrayal of the government. OBrien tells his victim : You are a flaw in the pattern Winston. You are a stain that must be wiped outIt is intolerable that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world however secret and powerless it may be. (George Orwell). In fact the party cant comprehend his disbelief and must change his thoughts through torture and brainwash. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves (Orwell 200). OBrien represents the core of communist or totalitarian rule making the victims suffer by using brainwashing to control them. OBrien also tells Winston what he should feel about Big Brother when Winston is at his lowest point mentally and physically. OBriens speeches to the broken Winsto n Smith in the Thought Polices torture chamber represents for Orwell the core of our centurys political hideousness. Although OBrien says that power seeks power and needs no ideological excuse. he does in fact explain to his victim what this power is (George Orwell). Julia is considered a sexual deviant in the oppressed world of 1984. In a normal world sex is free in 1984 its a forbidden act only allowed for reproduction purposes to keep the partys numbers constant. Julia has been sexually active since her teenage years. She had had her first love affair when she was sixteen with a party member of sixty (Orwell 109). Love and sex is not allowed in this totalitarian state so Julia has to look as pure as possible so that she does not show any guilt. You thought I was a good party member pure in word and deed. Banners processions slogans games community hikes all that stuff. And you [Winston] thought that if I had a quarter of a chance Id denounce you as a thought criminal and get you killed off (101). The owner of the antique shop is another example of someone appearing to be what he is not. Orwell uses the shop owner to illustrate a point. Orwell shows that no one can be trusted in a totalitarian country. Someone who appears to be your friend will actually turn you in and have you killed. The shop owner appears to be an old widower who enjoys having conversations with Winston Smith. Throughout the book it can be seen that looks can be deceiving. He is actually a member of the Thought Police and gets a good laugh when Winston and Julia getting caught. Now all he can do is wait for his next victim to enter his store. The Ministry of Truth is a place where history and factssignificant and insignificant are rewritten to reflect the partys utopian beliefs. They thoroughly destroy the records of the past; they print up new up to-date editions of old newspapers and books; and they know corrected versions will be replaced by another re-corrected one. Their goal is to make people forget everything- facts words dead people the names of places. How far they succeed in obliterating the past is not fully established in Orwells description; clearly they try hard and they score impressive results. The ideal of complete oblivion may not have been reached yet further progress is to be expressed (Kolakowski 126). Winston and Julia are workers at the Ministry of Truth. Winston gets more mentally involved in his work than Julia. Winston Smith and his fellows at the Ministry of Truth spend their days rewriting the past: Most of the material you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie (George Orwell). Winston is not as strong mentally as Julia. His work affects him more. The Ministry of Truth is like a totalitarian country because it has ways to scare its citizens. People guilty of crimes are erased from having ever existed. Your name was removed from the registers every record of your existence was denied and then forgotten (Orwell 19). Again people were taken away without any rights. there was no trial no report of arrest (19). The actual purpose of the Ministry of Truth is to spread lies and to have control over its citizens using memory erasing techniques. the distinction between true and false in their usual meaning has disappea red. This is the great cognitive triumph of totalitarianism: it cannot be accused of lying any longer since it has succeeded in abrogating the very idea of truth (Kolakowski 127). These same control techniques are used by totalitarian nations that seek control over there citizens. The Ministry of Truth is a complete contradiction of itself. A Ministry of Truth should not change past occurrences or say people never existed. It should exemplify the truth and not erase records of the existence of people. The Ministry of Love is where all criminals are tortured rehabilitated then set free or killed. As soon as Winston is captured he knows he is going to the Ministry of Love. The Ministry of Love was the really frightening one. There were no windows in it at all. Winston had never been inside the Ministry of Love nor within half a kilometer of it. It was a place impossible to enter except on offical business and then only by penetrating throu gh a maze of barbed-wire entanglements steel doors and hidden machine-gun nests. Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms armed with jointed truncheons (Orwell 8). In a totalitarian state something resembling a Ministry of Love is common place. Its a place where the government can inflict pain on its subjects for crimes big and small. That is how totalitarian nations keep power over their citizens by fear of pain. The name Ministry of Love is a contradiction of itself. Its name shows a feeling of love and warmth but in actuality its the complete opposite. Its a place of hate and pain and is cold and dark. A better name for it would be the Ministry of Hate. George Orwell lived during a time when Europe was in a period of rebuilding after World War II. During that time Soviets gained six nations as satellites. England was helpless and had to worry about their own problems and had to watch the Soviet Union take control of half of Germany. The leader of the Soviet Union Stalin closely resembles Big Brother. They were both larger than life figures in there respective countries. In the Soviet Union you could easily have found large posters with Stalins face on them. The same holds true in 1984; Big Brothers face is everywhere. A famous quote from 1984 is Big Brother is watching you (Orwell 5). Meaning if his Thought Police dont catch you his telescreens and hidden microphones would. In the Soviet Union Stalins K.G.B. sought criminals who plotted against the government. In Stalins regime over 10 million people were killed. In 1984 hundreds of criminals were killed daily. Another aspect of the 1940s were the new broadcast T.V.s and mainframe computers. The new technologies could be used for means of control. Orwell saw communist countries using these technologies for control (George Orwell). This is where Orwells idea of telescreens and hidden microphones came from. Before World War II Orwell had his worst encounter with communists. While Orwell was in the Spanish Civil War he was running away from Soviet communists who were trying to kill him. After that experience he got out of the army and became a writer full time. Another shock to Orwell was when the Nazi-Soviet pact signaled the breakdown and the beginning of the mental and emotional state out of which grew Animal Farm and 1984″(Greenblast 105).

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