Nineteen Eighty Four Essay Research Paper A

Nineteen Eighty Four Essay, Research Paper

A Grim Prediction of the Future Nineteen Eighty-Four was written between the

years of 1945 and 1948. Orwell got the title from switching the last two numbers

of the publication date. In Orwell`s criticism of a perfect society, his book

became known as one of the greatest anti-utopian novels of all time. The book`s

message is so powerful that some say it went so far as to prevent the sinister

future from realizing itself. Althought the book starts out as the story of a

neurotic, paranoid man, it quickly turns into a protest against a quasi-utopian

society and a totalitarian government. The book appears to be a satire at the

start, similar to books such as Gulliver`s Travels?, or Huxley`s Brave New

World?, but all too quickly the reader will ??discover, quite unpleasantly,

that it is not a satire at all.? Nineteen Eighty-four is not simply a criticism

of what Orwell saw happening in his national government with the coming of

English Socialism, but a warning of the consequences of contemporary

governmental practices, and what they where threatening to bring about. Perhaps

the book seems so bleak because the events in the book are a somewhat logical

projection from current conditions and historical environment that Orwell

observed in 1948. Perhaps people would be more comftorble with the book if they

could rule out in their minds the possibility of the profecy becoming a reality.

In a critique of his own work, Orwell called Nineteen Eighty-Four A work of a

future terrible [sic] because it rests on a fiction and can not be substantiated

by reality or truth. But perhaps this future is realizing itself more than

Orwell thought it would. Orwell, more than likely, would have made note of, but

wouldn`t be astonished by, the fact that in 1983 the average American household

spent over 7 hours in front of the television every night. The number is even

greater for those households which currently subscribe to a cable service. Those

families watch television for more that 58 hours a week. That is more that 2

days straight without sleeping, eating, or going to the bathroom. He also wouldn`t

have passed by this magazine advertisement that could be seen in 1984: Is Big

Brother watching? If you are tired of Government, tired of big business, tired

of everyone telling you who you are and what you should be, then now is the time

to speak out. Display your disgust and exhibit your independence, Wear a ??Big

Brother Is Watching? tee-shirt. $10, Canadians remit us dollars. Big Brother is

Watching LTD. Neenah, WI. This advertisement makes one wonder if there is really

a group dedicated to the rise to power of someone called ??Big Brother??. No

true reader could ever pass off Winstons experience with indifference. You have

to have some kind of sympathy for a man, even if fictional, who can not remember

his childhood, or for that matter, even his mother. That is certain to strike a

nerve with almost anyone. In addition to this constant pain of loss, the reader

will also have to vicariously live through lengthy episodes of of other

psychological pains, and physical pain. The reader will also be forced to endure

the pains of society as ??The Party?? turns children against parents,

friends against friends, and although ther reader will discover the beauty of a

love between a man and a woman, ??The Party?? will eventually destroy that

too. While ??The Party?? is an important theme, two other themes are far

more important. The first is the distruction of language. By eliminating more

and more words from people??s vocabularies, ??The Party?? eliminates the

ability of people to unite or conspire against the government. However, they are

also eliminating the possibility of conceiving original thought, which has

catastrophic effects. The ultimate goal of ??The Party?? is to reduce the

language to only one word thereby eliminating any thought at all. The second

important theme is the elimination of the past. This is the main character,

Winston??s, job in the ministry of truth, to make sure that ??The Party??

always looks right about every decision it has made in the past. This quest for

total power by ??The Party?? is an excellent dramatization of Lord Acton??s

famous apothegm, ??power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts

absolutely.?? ??The Party?? seems like it won??t stop until it controls

the minds of everyone under it??s power, and has complete physical and

psychological surveillance on all people at all time. This is exemplified in the

fact that the government can look back at you through your television, or

telescreen as it is called in the book, and the governmet has set up telescreens

almost anywhere you can go. While they don??t have telescreens in unpopulated

country sides, they have gone through the trouble to place hidden microphones

disgused as flowers in those areas. and while there are real no laws, the

thought police can spy on your thoughts at anytime, and can arrest and kill you

on a whim. This policy is mythical. It is not really used for punishment, but to

scare everyone else into being good citizens. No other work of this century has

inspired people with such love of liberty and hatred of tyranny. Humans have a

basic desire to be free and not controlled. Therefore, to Orwell as to the

Utopian reformers, the adoption of the governmental doctrine, socialism, was

less an economic decision and more a moral decision. Nineteen Eighty-Four is an

expression of Mr. Orwell??s irritation at many of the facets of English

socialism. It is also an expression of his moral and intellectual indignation at

the concept of totalitarianism, where a country is ruled utterly and completely

by a group of few. Another critic says that the book is not a criticism of

English socialism at all, but a warning of the consequences of the contemporoary

political paths we are following, or were at the time the book was written. The

bombs in Nineteen Eighty-Four symbolize Orwell??s pent up rage about

everything in the political world from the disasterous state of unemployment of

the 1930??s, to the ignorance of the leftist intelligensia, stupidly justifing

Stalinism. Some literary critics have attributed the book??s extreme grimness

to Orwell??s declining Health, and surmise that his pessimistic views

illustrate his collapsing spirit. Whatever his inspiration or motivation, almost

fifty years after its first publication, Nineteen Eighty-Four remains one of the

great novels of this century.


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