George Orwell’s 1984 Totalitarianism
Table of Contents
Social control is, basically, a community and political system that regulates the behavior of a person or group. The novel “1984” by George Orwell is built on significant concerns against the perils of a totalitarian system. He depicts that Wilson Smith, the leading character, experiences the loss of his individuality as he lives to conform to the rules of the party because he appreciates a Big Brother. The party exercises total control over society and manipulates people in Oceania. They penalize those who revolt against the Party’s ideas in order to maintain their authority untouched. Later, Smith returns to reality and attempts to escape to freedom and find out the genuine and truthful history instead of the one distorted by the government to keep control over its people.
Population control through surveillance, wiretapping and thought police
One of the methods of total monitoring of the population of Oceania is surveillance. Surveillance is conducted throughout the city every day, continuously. The authorities employ innovations such as televisions, thought police and wiretapping to track all people’s considerations, actions and lives. “The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it he could be seen as well as hears.” The thought police are spies who expose anyone they suspect of carrying out a thought crime, a political and private opinion that runs against the ideas of the party. They manipulate ordinary children as spies to eavesdrop on families and betray relatives when necessary. Our community is in some ways resembling the novel “1984”. In these times, we have drastically altered the way of our routine life. We have many gadgets that are controlled and operated by the state. Surveillance cameras are essential and utilized to avoid any crime activities. If there are observation cameras and audio recordings, any signs should be installed to inform people that they are being monitored and listened to. In contrast to “1984”, where the Party uses video recordings of its people without their permission.
Media as a basis for totalitarian impact on society
The mass media in Oceania also builds social opinion. The Ministry of Truth paradoxically represents the epitome of lies. Its printed press is a convenient way to deceive people by printing what the government needs in books, advising what the system needs on radio and in movies. An illustration is Winston’s work at the Ministry of Truth. The department in which he is employed is a location of the record, and it is there that he distorts any books or documents to fit the current ideals of the party. “Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to the newspaper but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, left, film, soundtracks, cartoons, photographs”. Currently, mass media comprise an immensely influential element that we implement in our society. We use the Internet or television to express personal or public thoughts. This is an apparent thing, because we live in a society where you can voice what you believe, provided that it is expressed with consideration for others.
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Propaganda as a mandatory element of totalitarianism
Propaganda in 1984 was present in every corner of Oceania. Propaganda is a massively disseminated belief that can direct an individual, a society or a movement in any direction. It is a kind of manipulation that gets into the minds through the media. From the start of the novel, the events are described with Winston entering a building, passing by a prominent poster, the most terrifying and famous poster that Oceania has ever had. “The poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.” This is a symbol of power because everybody looks up to him and listens. Another element of propaganda is two-minute hate. The two-minute hate in the novel is an ordinary thing that everyone has to complete in Oceania. People attend a movie for two minutes feeling hatred towards the enemy. Such movies only portray the critical characteristics of the opponent necessary for the state. The leader makes everyone watch and recall the destructive things that their enemy does. From childhood to old age, everyone is instructed to love their leader and hate their enemy.
In general, both in the novel and the modern world, we represent a controlled society. However, in the novel it is more brutal, whereas here in the United States there is clearly no control over people negatively. The social rule in the book re-educated the thoughts and beliefs of the citizens into those that were in the most beneficial interest of the government. The totalitarian regime of the country in the novel wants to own the present by seizing absolute control of everything. Possessing such power, they can achieve whatever they demand to ensure their eternal rule.