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1984 Literary Analysis

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The Nature of Control Is it the common human nature to feel power over others? A totalitarian government seeks to utilize its message of confinement and authority to control the many aspects of life. In the novel 1984, Orwell portrays totalitarianism through psychological manipulation, physical control and the control of language. The totalitarian party manipulates and invalidates the minds of the outer party and proles. Orwell describes the surroundings of Winston, showing totalitarianism, writing: The black-mustachio’d face gazed down from every commanding corner.

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BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes looked deep into Winston’s own. Down a street level another poster… uncovering the single word INGSOC. In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a blue- bottle and darted away again. It was the Police Patrol. Behind Winston’s back the voice from the telescreen was still babbling away. The telescreen received and transmitted… any sound Winston made would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision with the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard.

2) The Party is scrutinizing the citizens of Oceania’s every movement. When Orwell describes the poster and refers to the captions “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, this portrays the omnipresence of the Party; trying to operate and consume the minds of the outer party. They not only make the outer party believe and worship Big Brother; however they make them fear him too. “The telescreen that receives and transmits… any sound” overwhelms the minds of the people living within the flats. Citizens are continuously reminded of the party; so they are conditioned to act differently.

Their minds are constantly being manipulated to a state of being corrupt. To emphasize the psychological manipulation from the party, Orwell refers to the Two Minute Hate writing: In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People were leaping up and down in their places and shouting at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the maddening bleating voice that came from the screen. The little sandy-haired woman had turned bright pink, and her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a landed fish.

Even O’Brien’s heavy face was flushed. He was sitting very straight in his chair, his powerful chest swelling and quivering as though he were standing up to the assault of a wave. The dark-haired girl behind Winston had begun crying out ‘Swine! Swine! Swine! ’ and suddenly she picked up a heavy Newspeak dictionary and flung it at the screen. (30) The outer party is forced to take part in an “activity” of screaming and shouting at the face that stands for everything the party admonishes. The Two Minute Hate illustrates the extent of control.

The totalitarian government manifest the ideas of hatred of Goldstein; to an extent of picking up the “Newspeak dictionary and flinging it at the telescreen. ” Forcing them to take part of the Two Minute Hate will make them believe more and more in Big Brother; by oppressing their minds and thoughts. They are forcing them to double think; two opposing thoughts that contradicts one another. The party not only controls the people through psychological manipulation, but also with physical discipline.

The dominions of the party are also oppressed with common, physical control by the Inner Party. The narrator explains the physical control through the beating of Winston, saying: With the first blow on the elbow the nightmare had started. Later he was to realize that all that happened then was merely a preliminary, a routine interrogation to which nearly all prisoners were subjected. How many times he had been beaten, how long the beatings had continued he could not remember… sometimes it was fists, sometimes it was truncheons, sometimes it was steel rods, sometimes it was a boot.

There were times when he rolled about the floor, as shameless as an animal… (247) The party mutilates the prisoners to “skin and bones”. They punish Winston to a point to where he rolls about the floor, “as shameless as an animal. ” The party won’t stop bruising the prisoners until they truly love Big Brother. The recurring abuse and torture becomes a “routine” to Winston. The dominions of Big Brother will not stop exploiting the heretics until they gain complete control. When O’Brien is catechizing Winston, Orwell writes, “No!

Not merely to extract your confession, nor to punish you. Shall I tell you why we have brought you here? To cure you! To make you sane! Will you understand, Winston, that no one whom we bring to this place ever leave our hands uncured” (261). The Party doesn’t merely want the people to love Big Brother halfheartedly; they want the citizens of Oceania to be devoted to Big Brother fully. They think that the prisoners are insane and that they themselves are the ones who are “sane”. Through the eyes of the party, in order to control the millions of citizens of

Oceania, the totalitarian government finds it necessary to re-educate the heretics. To die hating Big Brother would be freedom. The party limits the common human nature of feelings, thoughts and ideas through the control of language. When Syme is speaking to Winston about the eleventh edition he says: Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thoughts? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.

Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings ribbed out and forgotten. Every year fewer and fewer words and the range of consciousness always a little bit smaller. Even now, of course, there’s no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. The revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. (54) Language is the central importance in human nature. It structures and limits the ideas of expressing oneself; a verbal expression. Orwell portrays totalitarianism through the control of language.

To limit the thoughts of the outer party and proles, the party tries to eliminate many words used to express ideas and emotions so that one cannot commit thoughtcrime. This idea is expressed in the Language Newspeak. Syme speaks to Winston about the principles of Newspeak, saying: By 2050, earlier, probably – all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron – they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be.

Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like ‘freedom is slavery’ when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness. “(56) The party is trying to manipulate and control language: not only seeking for complete unexpurgated worship and love for Big Brother, however also seeking for complete power.

The totalitarian government overwhelms the minds of one’s independent thought. Language is corrupt, thoughts are vital. The totalitarian Government is trying to utilize its message that, “orthodoxy means not thinking- not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness. ” To believe or to have faith in Big Brother is to unconsciously not think. The orthodoxy belief of the Catholic faith is God. The present Catholics have not seen God however, many believe in God solely through faith.

Values previously set by faith leaves unconditional thoughts upon the oppressed so much that their faith in big brother is unquestioned and automatic. Orwell depicts the common human nature of totalitarianism and oppression through psychological manipulation, physical control and the control of language. In 1984, the party tries to utilize and manipulate the minds of the outer party and proles for complete worship and power. Orwell portrays this book as a warning to readers that the common human nature of people is to control, obtain power and be worshipped.

Cite this 1984 Literary Analysis

1984 Literary Analysis. (2016, Sep 28). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/1984-literary-analysis/

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