1984 Mind Control Compared To Society Today

Essay, Research Paper

Renee Brindo-Vas

Period 6 / March 8, 200

AP English

The Normality of Mind Control

Mind control is more common then many people think. Take Television, for

instance. Most people won’t admit that commercials and TV shows influence them, but

of course they do. People buy cars, peanut butter, and soda because of the advertising

they see in newspapers adds, magazines, and billboards. Many people don’t realize that

the information they receive is chosen by someone else. Someone else controls how

much information you get about this political scandal and that new cleaning product.

The novel 1984 by George Orwell deals with government corruption and mind control.

In this novel, it is the “party” that decides what the population of Oceanea believes. By

reading this novel, people are more likely to question their government or higher power

and not assume that they are always in the right. The “party” of the novel 1984 can be

compared to many mind controlling aspects of the modern world.

The novel 1984 is about a society that is built into three different classes of

people: the inner party members, the outer party members, and the probes. The inner

party members control the information the other classes receive and live in luxury while

the rest of the population lives a miserable life. This society is built on the idea that a

constant war will create a lower living standard and therefore leave more food, money,

and comforts for the inner party members to hoard.

The inner party of Oceanea has so much power of the minds of the people that

they are able to convince them that their memories are false. The inner party is

constantly changing documents and changing history to their need as of the moment.

One day they are at war with one country, and another day they are at war with another

country, and that is the way it has always been. This may leave readers to wonder how

much of the history they have been taught is truly what happened. The United States

government has most definitely left out information of high school textbooks that

wouldn’t be good for the general people to learn. This does not mean that the United

States government is as an extreme example as the Inner Party of Oceanea. It simply

means that people should keep an open mind and not always accept everything that is

taught to them.

The people idolize “Big Brother” a figure which may never even have existed and

will probably never die. The main character of the novel, Winston, is smart enough to

realize that the society in which he lives is corrupt. Winston rebels by falling in love

(marriages must be approved and sex is looked upon as work). Winston’s wife refers to

sex as “our duty to Big Brother.” In the end, after Winston has gone through the actual

physical brainwashing, he has been taught to accept everything he is told and whole

heartedly supports the government. In the beginning of the novel, he hates everything

that Big Brother stands for. In the end, “He loved big brother.” This example shows how

much power the government has over the minds of the people. They have taken the fun

and creativity out of everything imaginable. And then there is the modern world, which

idolizes the fast lives of movie stars and supermodels. Does this mean that everything is

just a joke, something to believe in for the benefit of others? Of course not, but it does

mean that any intelligent person could understand that many things that the American

culture idolizes is just plain silly.

This novel is an extreme example of government corruption and mind control. It

does make the reader think that maybe humans are more gullible then they realize. This

is enough to make one paranoid. Anyone who comes from a society full of mind control

such as the media, cults, gangs, fashion, and even “Big Brother” is liable to think twice

about the reality in which they live after reading 1984. Hopefully, George Orwell novels

about the normality of mind control has influenced readers and will continue influencing

readers into thinking for themselves.


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