Big Brother Essay, Research Paper
The quote “I know how but I don’t know why” reflects George Orwell’s motive for writing 1984, which is to show a society that is ruled by rigid totalitarianism and to present the objectives behind the governments originator and rulers.
Throughout the book Orwell shows how the lives of the Outer Party and Proles are controlled from life till death. The main character Winston Smith is a member of the Outer Party which purpose in life is to work for Big Brother. Big Brother is divided into 4 divisions of government, the Ministry of Truth responsible for education and news, the Ministry of Peace responsible for war, the Ministry of Plenty responsible for the economy, and the Ministry of Love responsible for law.
Winston works in the Ministry of Truth and his job is to change the past. The people of the Outer Party live in terrible conditions; their homes are small old flats. A descriptive example of the living conditions given by Winston is “Never quite enough to eat, one never had socks or underclothes that were not full of holes, furniture had always been bad and rickety, rooms underheated, tube trains crowded, houses falling to pieces, bread dark-colored nothing cheap and plentiful.” Inside their homes are telescreens, which cannot be turned off, they are monitored and scrutinized for each and every move they make.
The members live in constant fear of the Thought Police which purpose is to seek out members of the Outer Party that are disloyal in any way even by thought. Even though it is quite impossible not to think bad thoughts of Big Brother while in their situation. Party members could not do anything that suggested a liking for solitude. Even they’re spare time there are after work voluntary activities, in spite of the fact that refusing the participation at these activities is even dangerous because that could be seen as disloyal many members see them as mandatory. “Could not trust anybody in fear that they would report you to the Thought Police and have you vaporized” is an example given by Winston. The children are taught in school, to report it to the Thought Police when their parents have unorthodox thoughts. Parsons who is Winston’s neighbor and coworker appears to truly believe Party claims Winston assumes Parsons will never be vaporized however Parsons is turned in to the thought police by his children.
The Proles make up 85% of the population and are regarded by the Inner Party as animals. Their purpose was to continue from generation to generation, working, breeding and dying without any rebellious impulses. “They were born, they grew up in the gutters, they went to work at twelve, they married at twenty, they were middle-aged at thirty, they died, for the most part, at sixty” is a description of a proles life given by Winston. Another description given by Winston is “They were only concerned with heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and, above all, gambling.” The proles are not educated and only 40% can read. They were not difficult to keep under control because the Thought Police would move among them spreading false rumors and marking down and eliminating people who were possible threats of becoming dangerous. They are also controlled by the change of history in which it is made that Big Brother is always right. If Big Brother is always right and always provides what was expected and more then they won’t have reason to be unhappy with the government. They’re lived in fear of rocket bombs that could strike anywhere at any time and kill them and destroy their homes. The rocket bombs were supposedly from the enemy that the party was at war with but Winston believed that the Inner Party launched them. Winston also believed the in order for Big Brother to fall the proles must rebel.
Throughout the world there are three nations or Superstates, there is Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. The three superstates are constantly at war but neither has the power to overcome another even if it were two against one. The natural boundaries protect each superstate and the boundaries remain the same except for disputed areas that control passes from state to state. The disputed areas value is cheap labor the people are slaves and “they pass from conqueror to conqueror, expended like coal or oil in the race to turn out more armaments or capture more territory.” The constant war also gives the citizens something to get their hate out on such as whomever Oceania is at war with at the time. Throughout the above the “how” is shown, a totalitarian government that has control over all aspects in life to make it irresistible by the people under it.
The “why” is the purpose of Big Brother, which is for the Inner Party to never lose their opulence or power. Big Brothers goals can be summed up in their mottoes. “WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
Orwell shows the reality of IGNSOC’s goals. “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH” is the basic idea that ignorant people are content people. The Outer Party is kept ignorant because the truth is adjustable, and the Proles are kept content with fruitless liberties. “FREEDOM IS SLAVERY” compel insecurity into the individualist. It implies that as an individual you will suffer, as a group you are liberated. “WAR IS PEACE” leads people to believe that war is a good thing when in reality it is only good for the government that they should believe this.
The Inner Party realizes that throughout history a society divides itself into high, middle, and low classes. Historically the people in power are either, overthrown and killed, exiled, conquered, or in rare circumstances just lose their power. For each government all types to date have failed, some with more chance of failure than others. If the people are not content with their government given time it is overthrown. It does not have to necessarily be the fault of the type of government that fails but the people in power that runs it. In this situation the Inner Party has taken extreme measures to hold the people under them down. They have taken the totalitarian government to a new level by making the people ignorant of the past present and future. The Inner Party has the best the world has to offer. They have food, drinks, homes and luxuries that rest of the society doesn’t even know about The Outer Party could be considered middle class only because their jobs are more important that the proles in working for Big Brother. They are essentially the force that keeps the powerful grip of Big Brother in place, even though they don’t realize it. Without them The Inner Party would have to run Big Brother that is first off not possible because they are about 7 times smaller in population than the Outer Party. Also it would defeat their purpose of being the upper class by having to do rigorous work. The Inner Party has created Big Brother to hold power and keep the best for themselves. They are always having new techniques of control implemented into the society. For instance the rewriting of language so there isn’t words to describe thoughts of unhappiness with Big Brother.
It is a government that at one point decided to make changes, to shape their power and wealth to be everlasting. 1984 is the expression of a mood, and it is a warning. The central theme of 1984 and furthermore why George Orwell wrote it is, if we don’t watch out 1984 will find us.