Thoughts, words and power

In 1984 the language is becoming most important for controlling the minds of the population of Oceania. In Oceania the Party controls everything. The history, the present and the future. They change facts to their liking, they do everything to make you believe that they are the best and that you are living the best life. They destroy or change every piece of history, in 1984 you can’t find any book or article from the time before the party was founded. All you can find are books and articles that are rewritten in Newspeak in a way you can’t think of something ‘bad’, such as love. In the novel it’s the main character Winston Smiths job to change old articles in such a way that when they are published in a newspaper, the party will come out as a good thing. The old articles are written in Oldspeak, or regular English, and he has to rewrite them in Newspeak. With the new language they also control the minds of the population. They try to make it impossible to create your own opinion, most importantly including ones that do not agree with the party’s vision. And they control the future just because they control the rest. But they also use tactics to make sure they won’t lose their power. For example, they impose the individuals an opinion, these are opinions the individuals can have, because the party wants it. They have different activities like the two minutes hate and hateweek. The two minutes hate is everyday for the people working on a ministry. They have this big hall, where they show pictures of the enemy or individuals who are against the party. Then the employees have to shout at the pictures, make themself angry and most of all, they have to show that they are with the Party and against everything the Party doesn’t like.

Now the special about Newspeak is, they managed to make a new language containing just a few words less than Oldspeak. After they created the language, they started to cut it down, every year more words were eliminated. In the time of Winston, they are finishing the language. When that is done, they want everyone to learn the language. They expect to reach a full control of the individuals. They were already started with televisions, they have hung televisions everywhere, almost every house has one and all over the streets are televisions. In this way, the people don’t know if they’re watched, but the thought of the possibility that they are watched is enough to make them behave. But it’s not enough to make them think right, you can behave but think the opposite of what you do. The Party wants to ban that with Newspeak, but the also have the Thought Police. These people live amongst the population, the lower and the higher ranks, and they try to track down people with wrong thoughts, which leads to wrong actions. Winston never saw a Thought Police, until he was the Thought Criminal and someone he didn’t suspect was one.

It’s very difficult to make up a story like this, a story in a whole different world, with a different language. George Orwell managed to do this in 1948, as a warning for what could happen.


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