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Conformity Vs Individuality in George Orwell’s 1984

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Individuals attempt to rebel against a dystopian society in order to maintain individualism and unique experiences in the face of forced conformity on the majority. Brought to an extreme in George Orwell’s satirical novel Nineteen eighty-four, he explores the negative consequences and loss of fundamental experiences such as human interaction, and the necessity for unique identity through Winston’s portrayal amongst a dystopic, oppressive regime. Influenced by his context, in which Fascism was on the rise and the Nazis where an overarching power, Nineteen Eighty-Four successfully warns the audience on the effects of totalitarianism, in which strips one’s identity and forces ideological thinking upon a collective. It incites action on the reader to rebel against an oppressive society seeking hope in a nihilistic environment.

Totalitarian powers continually attempt to enforce collective conformity, through various forms of oppression, ultimately eliminating unique experiences and individuality to maintain control. George Orwell continually attempts to mirror the dystopic regime to the Nazis, exaggerating the forced ideologies upon the society and continual propaganda and surveillance ensuring complete conformity. This is Clear through the Symbolic Omni Present Figure of ‘Big Brother’ intertwined with the capitalisation of “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” to create an overarching sense of surveillance and monitorisation, with the regime continually attempting to force conformity through terror onto society, removing the sense of individualism as the influence of the regime alters societies individuals into conforming to their ideologies. Furthermore, forced conformity is cleverly integrated in Winston’s Dialogue “IT was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander in a public place or within a range of telescreens. The Emotive language incorporated establishes the constant presence of monitorisation in which forced individuals to think and behave in a specific way, dehumanising and altering their individuality, stripping their ability to act uniquely. Orwell, through a metaphor is able to portray the complete control, and loss of individuality through Newspeak, in which words are removed “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words” highlighting the control the totalitarian government has over society with the ability to alter the basis of individualism and give all power to the state. Orwell effectively establishes a government in which has the ability to force its ideologies and alter how individuals behave to maintain its power. The clever use of propaganda, oppression and destruction of individualism is a key theme across the novel, hence resulting in the audience questioning their environments and societies to evaluate their individualism and governments influence on their human experience.

Forced conformity by an Oppressive regime forces an individual to rebel in order to maintain individualism and unique human experiences. Portrayed throughout Nineteen eighty-four, the fragile Winston Smith continually becomes invested in a society of free thought, without Big Brother and continually undermines and rebels against imposed collective conformity. Repetition and Capitalisation is used in “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” as Winston becomes progressively aware of the corruption and censorship occurring, Winston immediately becomes invested in purging Big Brother in order to maintain individuality and a unique personality. Winston consistently opposes party regulations as he becomes increasingly aware of the negation if his free thought. Continued Winston becomes involved with a secret affair with Julia in which provokes his sense of individuality and drives his rebellion, in attempt to create unique experiences. “the paperweight was the room he was in, and the corral was Julia’s life and his own” Symbolism is integrated as the paperweight is symbolic of their creation of a unique experience, outlawed by the party, with emotion unchanged by the party. It expresses the need for individuals to create unique experiences and provoke individualism in order to maintain a healthy quality of life and expresses the need for rebelling against those censoring this experience. Furthermore, Orwell establishes how collective conformity will result in rebellion through Winston with imagery when he enacts personal rebellions when purchasing a Diary, writing in a Diary and challenging the contradictory of ‘Double Think’. Its through this Orwell establishes to the audience the need to challenge oppression in order to oppose collective conformity and allow for the maintenance of humanity and unique experiences. Furthermore, Orwell warns the readers about the effects of a totalitarian environment in which alters key human emotions and experiences and diminishes quality of life.

Although, the power of a totalitarian regime is far too great for individual rebellion, ultimately resulting in forced collective conformity on society. The outcome of rebellion against an overarching societal power is displayed through Winston’s torture in room 101. The party ultimately forces him to see that ‘2+2=5’. With symbolism intertwined, portraying how rebellion against an ultimate power will result in forced conformity on the individuals, and the failure of rebellion. Furthermore emotive language in ‘He loved Big Brother’ effectively exposes the fragile nature of rebellion and the futility of rebellion, it is contrasted to Winston’s initial “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” effectively depicts how the state will ultimately quoll all rebellion and force their ideologies upon the individuals looking to oppose the regime. The metaphorical use of the “Bullet entering his head” symbolises the bullet as the party’s ideologies, killing his individuality and sense for unique experience, imposing ultimate conformity upon those choosing to rebel. Essentially Winston dies at that point and his humanity and free though completely stripped. Orwell warns the audience of the effects of rebellion against an all-powerful state, in which will result in the complete destruction of an individual’s emotions and ability for the creation of unique experience.

Thus 1984 effectively attempts to warn the readers on the effects of a totalitarian regime and the ultimate failure of rebellion. IT provides insight into the necessity for rebellion against an oppressive regime in order to instigate unique human experiences and creation of individualism. Although Orwell depicts how ultimately rebellion against an overarching power will result in complete collective conformity, diminishing all sense of individuality and resulting in inability for free thought.

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Conformity Vs Individuality In George Orwell’s 1984. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 28, 2022, from
“Conformity Vs Individuality In George Orwell’s 1984.” GradesFixer, 16 Dec. 2021,
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