1984 Thematic Statements Essay, Research Paper
The thematic statements chosen from the novel 1984 have a lot to do with the policies and way of life in the George Orwell novel. They reflect the story’s bleak image of life and the type of world that Winston lives in. Three of the thematic statements chosen are the names of chapters in The Book, and are the main phrases of the Party.
The first thematic statement and Party phrase is “War is Peace.” (Pg. 26) This applies to the novel because in that society war is important because it creates jobs. If war ended the standard of living would drop. This statement applies only to this novel. In life I feel that war has never been peace and it never will be peace. War is never portrayed as peace in television, movies or books. Orwell makes the society of Oceania seem even more cold by using this as one of the Party’s main phrases. This must have been Orwell’s goal when he wrote such a phrase.
The second thematic statement and Party phrase is “Ignorance is Strength.” (Pg. 165) This applies to the novel because it promotes the thought that all people should blindly follow Big Brother without thinking at all. The people are stronger as a large group who does not question Big Brother. This statement in some ways applies to life. It almost has the same meaning as “what you don’t know can’t hurt you.” The thought that stupidity helps one through life is a hard idea to accept but in some ways is true. Sometimes in life maybe it is the right idea to just go along with the group instead of using your own judgement. This is a troubling thought, but one that may occur more often then people would like to believe. In the movie Pleasantville there was a town where all the people were very na ve and didn’t know about such things as sex and alcohol. The town was then introduced to this and the town went down hill. This is an example of where ignorance was a strength. In the novel Girl of the Limberlost a young girl lived in the country and had no knowledge of material items. Then the girl went to high school and was introduced to money, fashion and other material items. The girl was happier before she knew of material items and therefore her ignorance was a strength.
The third thematic statement and Party phrase is “Freedom is Slavery.” (Pg. 165) This applies to the novel because nobody in Oceania understands what freedom is, and if it were offered to them it would probably hinder them. These people are use to a life of being constantly watched and looked out for, if this was changed many of the people would probably find it hard to cope. In life this statement can apply. If one has freedom but does not have the maturity to handle this freedom it could be thought to be slavery. In the movie The Shawshank Redemption the character Brooks finally gets parole but when he gets it he realizes he doesn’t want it. Brooks was so used to being told when he could do everything and having a controlled life that he could not handle freedom. After being free for a few days Brooks hung himself. To Brooks, freedom was slavery. In the novel In Cold Blood freedom is slavery for the characters Dick and Perry. These two men have to worry so much about being one step ahead of the law that it is almost not worth it anymore for them to be free. Their freedom was not a real freedom, it became a job just to stay free and therefore it became slavery.
The final thematic statement is taken from a meeting between Winston and O’ Brien. O’ Brien tells Winston that ” Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.” (Pg. 205) This is another thematic statement that seems to apply only to this novel. In life reality is everything around us, everything that we can see and even feel. In the novel O’Brien is telling Winston that there is no reality because the Party is capable of changing yesterday’s reality or the reality of years past if it suits them. This creates an atmosphere of severe uncertainty in the novel. Orwell does a very good job promoting this feeling.
The thematic statements in 1984 are ones that show the mood of the novel. They show that the Party has power over everyone. They show that what the Party thinks is what everyone must think or they will be punished. Even though some of these statements may seem absurd nobody would question what the Party said. This shows the absolute power the Party has in the novel 1984.