1984 Essay Research Paper In 1949 the

1984 Essay, Research Paper

In 1949, the world was a substantially different place than it is today. Thirty-five years

from now, in the year 2035, one can only imagine what changes will have taken place in

society. Thirty-five years ago, in 1949, George Orwell’s vision of the world as it would

be in 1984 was horrific. Orwell describes his vision in his book Nineteen Eighty-four.

“Nineteen Eighty-four depicts the horrors of a well-established totalitarian regime of

whatever type with great power and skill and force of imagination.”

The definition of totalitarianism is a system of government in which one political

party aims at total control over the lives of people, as by employing a powerful secret

police, restricting meetings and assemblies, and censoring publications. Orwell’s Nineteen

Eighty-four portrays a well-established totalitarian regime even from the beginning of the

book. “The thing that he[Winston] was about to do was to open a diary. This was not

illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was

reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a

forced labor camp.(9)” This shows how the totalitarian government tried to obtain

complete control over the lives of people. The people are not afraid of defying law, they

are afraid of their own government’s secret police. These people are also afraid to meet

with a member of the opposite sex. They would be targeted by the secret police for

punishment for such an offense. “But the physical difficulty of[Winston and Julia] meeting

was enormous. It was trying to make a move at chess when you are already mated.

Whichever way you turned, the telescreen faced you.(92)” Winston was afraid of being

seen talking to Julia. He could hardly imagine a place with no telescreens or hidden

microphones for them to talk. The party controlled their lives.

Furthermore, another critic, Alfred Kasin, describes the book as “an extraordinary

experience…overwhelming in its keenness and prophetic power.” Orwell’s Nineteen

Eighty-four depicts keenness in such a way that not many other books do. Nineteen

Eighty-four is a cleverly written book that always keeps you wondering what will happen

next. When the event does happen, however, it is never what you had expected to

happen. Orwell’s vision also had prophetic power. Orwell must have made people who

read his book before 1984 ponder the future. Some people who read his book before

1984 might have even been scared of what was to come. It also has prophetic power

because Orwell somewhat predicted the future. In some countries at the present time,

people are being controlled by their governments. Not necessarily by totalitarianism, but

Orwell was on the right track.

Kasin also comments that “I hardly know which to praise more – Orwell’s insight

into the fate of man under totalitarianism, or his compassion for him.” The fate of man

under totalitarianism is that man will not be capable of independent thought outside of the

party. Man will also have little or no freedom to carry out normal activities as he did

before the revolution. Winston Smith was an immense enemy of the party. “His[Winston]

pen had slid voluptuously over the smooth paper, printing in large neat capitals- DOWN

WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER…over and over again, filling half

a page.(19)” After the special police had apprehended Winston, they put him through

vigorous interrogation and physical torture. Eventually, they were able to change

Winston. not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. When Winston was released by

the party he was turned into a party supporting man that has no more independent thought

that doesn’t concern the party. “Then almost without pause he[Winston] wrote beneath it:

TWO AND TWO MAKE FIVE.(228)” Winston did this only because it was the wishes

of the party. He was completely changed.

In conclusion, Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four depicts a well-established

totalitarianism regime. Nineteen Eighty-four is a clever, keen story that has much

prophetic power. Orwell recognized the fate of man under totalitarianism years before it

even happened. A government should not be allowed to control the thoughts of its



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