1984: The Control Of Reality For Control Of The Masses Essay, Research Paper
1984: The Control of Reality for Control of the Masses
3 KEY POINTS:
1. The Party Controls History
2. The Party Controls the Conditions of Human Psychology
3. The Party Controls god.
How The Party Controls Reality:
How does the party controls history?
How does it affect the present?
How does scarcity affect human psychology?
What role does Big Brother play?
State Topics: The Party Controls Reality to control the people
It controls History, Psychology and god.
Paragraph 1: History: Explain Revisionism
How it affects the present
Paragraph 2: Psychology: Artificial Scarcity: Affects human behavior
Maslow Theory of Human behavior
Paragraph 3: God: Big Brother has taken the place of God: Omnipotent and
Omniscient, and under the control of the party
Among the many themes express in the novel 1984 by George Orwell the
most interesting and frightening is the concept of creating an alternative
reality to control a mass population. The Inner Party stays in power by shaping
the thoughts and opinions of the masses and it does this by creating a reality
where everything suits whatever it is the party needs to be believed. This is
accomplished in three ways. The first is revisionism or the act of changing
facts such as history so that the Party is always made to look good and mobilize
popular opinion against its enemies. The second way the party creates an
artificial reality is through artificial scarcity. There is no need for the
constant warfare but if the need no longer existed for the construction of the
tools of war that productivity would instead be put towards the manufacture of
goods which could actually raise the standard of living. Finally the Inner
Party controls the masses by creating an all powerful omnipotent being whom they
contr ol and can say or order whatever it is they need.
Much of the success in creating the Parties artificial reality and thus
controlling the people was due to the Parties ability to control history through
a process called revisionism. This work is done in the Ministry of Truth, in the
Records section, were Winston is engaged. Daily, people like Winston, destroy
old documents and create new ones to cover policy changes. In addition,
everything printed before 1960 has been destroyed by the Party. A good example
of this is the work which Winston has to do in the Minitru one day. His order in
Newspeak reads: “time e.12.83 reporting bb dayorder doubleplusungood refs
unpersons rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling.” (46) in Oldspeak: “The reporting
of Big Brother`s Order for the day in the Times of December 3rd 1983 is
extremely unsatisfactory and makes references to non-existent persons. Re-write
in full and submit your draft to higher authority before filing.” (47) A former
higher Inner Party hero, praised in one of Big Brother’s speeches, has
mysteriously fallen out of favor, and has probably been vaporized. It is not
enough that the Thought Police has made him disappear. He must be removed from
the records. According to the Party he has never existed – he is an Unperson.
This process of continuous alteration is applied not only to newspapers, but
also to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks,
cartoons, photographs- to every kind of literature or documentation which might
hold any political or ideological significance. In this way every prediction
made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence. All speeches,
statistics and records of every kind must be constantly brought up-to-date in
order to show that the predictions of the Party were in all cases right. With no
past to compare things with, everybody is satisfied with present-day conditions.
Changing the records maintains the infallibility of the Party and the Big
Brother, removing facts from the records and any hint that the Party was ever
wrong about anything. By controlling the past, the Party controls the present
and thus the reality of the present. The past exists only in the written records
and memories controlled both by the Party. This is the explanation for the last
slogan of the Party: “Ignorance Is Strength”. Which means that the Party keeps
the citizens ignorant by constantly changing the truth and reality, and
destroying all data that could prove the situation otherwise.
The Inner Party’s power to create an artificial reality is also largely
due to their understanding of the underlying principles of human psychology.
Through artificial scarcity, which was created by the constant warfare, the
productivity of workers was used to create goods such as the floating fortress
instead of goods which could actually raise the standard of living thus causing
a shortage in the amounts of boots and coats available. Therefore the people
were more worried about keeping warm and having enough food rather than think
about their lives or the political system. This directly relates to Maslow’s
theory on human behavior where human needs are ranked in a six level hierarchy
where food and shelter come first and political thought comes only at the fifth
and sixth levels.
Finally one of the most important aspects of the Party’s reality is Big
Brother. Big Brother is infallible and all-powerful. Every success, every
achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all
wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, come directly from his leadership and
inspiration. Nobody has ever seen Big Brother in person. He is a face on the
wall, a voice on the Telescreen. According to Goldstein, the Big Brother will
never die and is the guise in which the Party chooses to exhibit itself to the
world. Big Brother is a god under the control of the inner party. He can be
made to say anything and what he is made to say directly propagates the Party’s
own agenda. Big Brother also acts as a focusing point for love, fear and
reverence, emotions which are more easily felt towards an individual than
towards an organization. Big Brother is also effectively omnipresent. “Big
Brother On coins, on stamps, on the covers of books, on banners, on posters and
on the wrapping of a cigarette packet- everywhere. Always the eyes watching you
and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or out
of doors, in the bath or in bed – no escape. Nothing was your own except the few
cubic centimeters inside your skull.” (29) This further creates the illusion
that Big Brother is god and who would try to usurp the divine?
The nightmare reality or irreality that Winston must face is under the
complete and utter control of the party. They control history, the mind and
even god and there is simply no way that their hold on reality can be broken.