Effects of totalitarianism on society

How would a world be where a person can’t express his feelings or develop his talents? A world without privacy and without freedom of the individual? A world where you are under surveillance from your birth to your death and you can’t even trust your own children. 1984 is a perfect example of a world like this, 1984 is a novel written by George Orwell. In 1984 the world is divided in three totalitarian super states: Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. The story takes place in Oceania which is in continuous war with the other states. A big state ruled by Big Brother, the big leader, and by the Party, the elite of the society who controls every single thing. In 1984 we see through the eyes of Winston Smith, a citizen of London, Oceania and isn’t happy with how life goes in this world. So how is a world without any freedom and total control over the mind of people?

The world in (George Orwell) 1984

“BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”[1], the main party slogan of Oceania which makes clear that every action you make is all seen by Big Brother, the big leader. In Oceania the people are controlled by cameras and microphones everywhere. You don’t have any privacy. Most of the people in Oceania are completely brain washed by the continuous propaganda which is based on false news, a new language which reduces the capacity of using words in a double sensed way named Newspeak and indoctrination.

Winston works in the Records Department where he changes newspaper articles of the past which don’t go together with the present thought of the Party. The Party is always right that explains the party slogan “two plus two make five”[2], if everyone believes in it, does that make it true? And if you don’t think that is true you get caught by the Thought Police similar to the Stasi (DDR) or the Gestapo (Nazi-Germany). This secret police takes victims of thought crime and tortured them to sane them of their thought. And next to the state spy-devices your own family, colleges and neighbors are spying on you. Winston is a man with another vision. He is sick of being suppressed and begins writing in his diary how much he hates life, how life could be without the Party, his hate for Julia because she seems as a spy but he is attracted to her and his interest in O’Brien who is leader of the Inner Party and seems a person who Winston could connect with. Writing a diary was illegal and so was his love affair with Julia who he gets in contact with. The joy of this love makes him hating the Party even more. He hopes by joining the Brotherhood, a secret rebel group, to be able helping with a rebellion in the future and a revolution for freedom. Julia uses sex as a rebellion in a world where enjoyment is suppressed. These two individuals are different than the mass. They think, have hope and react to natural impulses.

So what do you have in this totalitarian cruel world?
“A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself.”[3]

[1] George Orwell, 1984, Part 1, Chapter 1, pg. 5(1949)

[2] George Orwell, 1984, Part 3, Chapter 4, pg. 220(1949)

[3] George Orwell, 1984, Part 3, Chapter 3, pg. 212(1949)

Total word count without footnotes: 549


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