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George Orwell: The Novel 1984

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Over the past few decades, George Orwell has been considered a neo-conservative enthusiast regarding the Cold War. In my contention, the cold war was pursued by three world superpowers, very similar to those that appear in Orwell’s novel, 1984. The novel was a mordant yet brilliant “attack” on totalitarian trends within modern society. It is also clear that Orwell was strongly against communism and the regime that was The Soviet Union. In 1984, there are three giant superpowers, nation blocs, or parties that are named: Oceania (run by North America, the United Kingdom, and South America), Eurasia (the European Asian continent), and Eastasia (China, Southeast Asia, and most parts of the pacific). The novel follows a man named Winston, whom works for “The Party” of one of the superpowers, Oceania. Although Winston doesn’t believe in the party’s views, Winston has figured it would be more beneficial to join the party rather than to resist them; an Orwellian take on “if you can’t beat them, join them.”

These superpowers are always at war; always in shifting alliances, and coalitions against one another. The war is kept in accordance with a treaty between the three superpowers, agreeing that conflict zones must be outskirts of the blocs, since fighting wars within the heartland of each bloc might actually destroy their nations and their own power consolidated within them. The pointless war is fueled by unremitted campaigns of hatred and fear against the “shadowy” foreign blocs they coexist with. To bring about this indispensable deception on a massive scale, a tremendous development of regimentation, propaganda, thought-policing, and mental terrorism must be commonplace in order to ensure that the population falls in line. For example: specifically, ministries of propaganda are entitled the Ministry of Truth within the novel. They use a “2 + 2 = 5” logic where the upper echelons of the elite assume totalitarian control that dictates every aspect of the population’s life, including what is absolute. However, the elite does not want the everyday citizen to just simply conform. They want the everyday citizen to be absolutely immersed by the regime, and wholeheartedly treat everything the regime says as gospel.

The Supreme Leader of Oceania often referred to as “Big Brother” is supposedly a decorated war hero, an innovator, a master philosopher, and a lead revolutionary in the uprising that brought the Party into power. The Party uses Big Brother’s image to instill loyalty and fear within the population. Big Brother’s appears on the currency, on TV screens, and on posters that are plastered all over the city with the tagline “Big Brother is watching you.” The citizens are told that this entity is the absolute leader of the nation, but Winston can never determine whether or not he is actually real or just an idea. Regardless, Big Brother symbolizes the entire Party in its public form, asserting its will over the Oceanic people like some sort of divine force. Furthermore, Big Brother is similar and can be compared to Adolf Hitler is referred to as some sort of god to the German people with slogans like “Hitler Over Germany,” as well as millions of posters and swastika banners littering cities in German cities like Berlin, and Nuremberg. Big Brother also symbolizes vagueness and occult mystery in which the higher ranks of the Party present themselves.

In the novel, Winston is immensely frustrated by the oppression and total control over his everyday life, which prohibits free thought, sex, and all expressions of one’s individuality. The “Thought Police” is the omnipresent police force in the Novel that cause a great deal of fear throughout Oceania. Again, they can be crudely compared to The Nazi Schutzstaffel, or the SS police force that roamed throughout Germany and most of Europe from 1939 to 1945. Their job was to ensure that all liberal, communist, or capitalist ideas were squashed for they threatened Hitler’s grasp over the nation. With this in mind, in the novel, the Thought Police are a constant concern because a lot of free ideas are considered treasonous and can lead to one’s arrest. They are also always patrolling to ensure that nobody is given an opportunity to discuss the ethics of the Party’s totalitarian control, or potentially discuss revolution. The constant fear of the Thought Police is quite affective because a vast amount of Winston’s and a lot of other people’s decisions are made in the paranoia of how the Thought Police would respond if they make the wrong decision, and they busted him for it.

When the Party cannot keep the populace blind in their hatred toward a single nation, the war is shifted to a new one. Following the shift would be a fresh set of violent hate and fear campaigns. In short, this perpetual war-mongering mechanism is used by the elites in each nation to fasten a totalitarian collective rule upon the population. During the Cold War, the United States fulfilled a similar philosophy by engaging in fear campaigns of unremitting hate campaigns towards the Soviets, including some widely known themes like the “windows of vulnerability” and the “Missile Gap.” There was also a lot of vaunting that insists that Americans were proud of their capacity to “overkill” communism and the rising Russian threat. Although we had no black-uniformed police force pushing this ideology, the population acted like they were the police force to each other. Patriotism was on the rise, and there were lots of suspicions that some of their fellow Americans were “commies” (communist sympathizers), or a spy. Some people were actually detained and tried for treason but were innocent of the crimes.

Communism and capitalism are very different ideologies with the tendency to contradict each other. Furthermore, there is no doubt that both sides of the spectrum have fanatical idealists that wish to see their own ideology triumphant. With the addition of nuclear weapons being added to the equation, it can make one question if looking for likenesses between the two ideologies would be a better compromise than destroying one in order for the other to survive.

Bibliography

  1. Dean, Mike, and George Orwell. 1984. Harlow: Pearson Education, 2008.

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George Orwell: The Novel 1984. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/george-orwell-the-novel-1984/
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George Orwell: The Novel 1984 [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 29 [cited 2022 May 17]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/george-orwell-the-novel-1984/
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