1984 Totalitarianism Versus Democracy Free Essays

Essay on Democracy Versus Totalitarianism in George Orwell's 1984

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Democracy Versus Totalitarianism in George Orwell's 1984

Winston Smith lived in a world of lies, chaos, and disorder. His uniform was shabby and living space cold and dirty. Changing the past to suit the present was his job where he worked, the Ministry of Truth. One day, he encountered a beautiful young woman of about 26 years of age and instantly fell in love. Little did he know that she would be the one who would end his life. He dreams of sleeping with her but fears that he would be captured by the Thought Police because sex is illegal. During the Two Minutes Hate - a time when members of Ingsoc come together to despise Emmanuel Goldstein, a man who supported freedom and rights - the woman passes a note to Winston. It says for…show more content…

Winston's idea of the perfect society, democracy, is crushed by the power of totalistic beliefs. There are three climaxes in this story. One of them is when Winston and Julia make love in the woods. This is a climax because it signifies that Winston is ready to challenge the political influence on his society. This is considered abhorrent in his society because it believes the government is the sole provider and it functions in the best interest of its citizens. Another climax comes at the end of part two in the book when Winston and Julia are caught together by the Thought Police. This denotes the end of Winston's true personality and the beginning of an implanted one. The last climax is when Winston's thoughts of freedom and character are replaced by the beliefs of the government and acceptance of Big Brother. Incidentally, this is also how the novels ends. The plot is predictable because it evokes anticipation from the reader of Winston and Julia getting caught. The reader continues reading just to find out how they get caught and what their consequences will be. The plot contains "signposts" for the reader that foreshadow what will be happening next. The reader does not have a rough time understanding the plot because it contains no surprises or twists. In all, the plot is straightforward, organized, and leaves nothing unanswered.

The main characters in this book are Winston Smith, Julia, and O'Brien. Winston's

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1984 and the Totalitarian Society  

 

 Living in a society

with limited freedom of expression is not, in any case, enjoyable.  A Totalitarian

society is a good example of such a society, because although it provides control

for the people, it can deny them a great deal of freedom to express themselves.

 The fictional society in George Orwell's 1984 also stands as a metaphor for

a Totalitarian society.  Communication, personal beliefs, and individual loyalty

to the government are all controlled by the inner party which governs the people

of Oceania in order to keep them from rebelling.  Current society in America

is much more democratic.  It contrasts with Orwell's society of 1984 because

communication, personal beliefs and the people's loyalty to the government

are all determined by the individual.

            In order to keep the people of Oceania

in conformity with the desires of the governing Inner Party, the Inner Party

controls several aspects of the people's lives.  Communication, for one, is

controlled for the benefit of the nation.  Newspeak is a modified version of

language that is enforced upon the people in order to limit their expression.

 Syme and Winston, two middle-class workers in Oceania, discuss the concept

of Newspeak.  Syme reveals that he supports the system, demonstrating how he

has been brainwashed by the Inner Party who enforces the system. 

"It's a

beautiful thing, the destruction of words...  You haven't a real appreciation

for Newspeak, Winston...  Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to

narrow the range of thought?  In the end we shall make thougtcrime literally

impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.  (p. 46)"

 

One can detect from this quotation that the people of Oceania, as a group,

have been brainwashed by the Inner Party to use only Newspeak.  Syme, for one,

understands the purpose of it, and he still complies with the system because

he has been trained to do so.  The concept of Newspeak is designed to control

personal beliefs of the citizens by limiting their form of expression as Syme

explains.  But when the governing system is not followed, Thought Police are

used to prevent thoughts that oppose the nation.  "How often, or on what system,

the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork.  It was

even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.  (p. 6)"  There

is no doubt that - through both Newspeak and Thought Police - the system of

government in 1984 has adequately prevented the people from thinking against

it.  When all this surveillance is placed on the people, they learn to comply

with their country and eventually begin to value it automatically.  At the

end of the story, aft

er Winston is accused by the Thought Police of thoughtcrime

and is tortured, he finally conforms to the general thoughts of Oceania.  "He

had finally won the victory over himself.  He loved Big Brother. (p. 245)"

 This quote indicates that the inner party has done everything that was necessary

to preserve Winston's loyalty to the nation.  Even Winston, who at one time

was against his government, has now been "fixed" to support it and love his

leader.  The government of Oceania has gone to great lengths to change Winston's

mind, and as always, they have gotten what they desire.

            America in 1997 is

much different from Orwell's 1984 because, for one, freedom of expression is

a dominating factor in American communication.  In conversation as well as

newspapers and magazines, a variety of views and opinions are openly expressed.

 Censorship is not enforced to a high degree.  As an example, demonstrations

and protests are often held which counter certain governmental policies; laws

or propositions are often spoken out against in public.  The fact that these

rebellious actions are not punished by the government proves that the government

of America is much more lenient than that of 1984.  The expression of such

a variety of beliefs comes from the freedom of individual beliefs.  The thoughts

and opinions of the individual are not maintained by the government; the government

does not have a system to control the thoughts of the individual.  This is

why one commonly sees such a variety of beliefs and ideas spread in advertisements

and media.  For instance, while there are often advertisemen

ts for meat,

leather or fur products in magazines and such, other advertisements often try

to suggest a more humane treatment of animals, therefore contradicting the

idea that animals should be killed for human consumption.  The modern American

government fully allows any given belief of the individual people.  And because

our beliefs vary, our opinion of the government can vary.  While some people

support their nation, others defy it because they have the independence to

do so. Neo-Nazi skinheads traditionally wear an American flag upside down on

their clothing or burn the flag. There is no policing that prevents people

from doing this because the government gives them the freedom.  All in all,

modern Americans have an extremely high level of freedom regarding all forms

of expression.

            The story of 1984 reflects a society that totally contrasts

with America today.  While Orwell's objective was primarily written to exaggerate

the Totalitarian/Communist and other conditions of society surrounding him,

1984 presents an important guide to life for modern Americans.  Just as a major

objective of learning American history is to ensure that we do not repeat our

mistakes, 1984 can give warnings to both government systems and individuals

regarding how society should not be controlled.  The vigorous control system

presented in the book stands as a method by which no American would want to

live.

 

 

 

 

 

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