The Individual Vs Big Brother Essay Research — страница 2

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following excerpt: ?When you make love, you?re using up energy; and afterwards you feel happy and don?t give a damn for anything. They can?t bear you to feel like that. They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. If you?re happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother, and the Three-Year Plans, and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?? In other words, sex allowed individuals to construct a world on their own, apart from the totalitarian control of the government. This was therefore unacceptable to the Party, because one had to be completely devoted to the Party and its cause, and any deviation from this was considered treason. Thus, the

ability of individuals to momentarily disjoint themselves from the rest of society through their actions was disallowed. This further crippled the concept of the individual by barring people from taking part in ?unorthodox? actions. The true culmination of the battle between conformity vs. individualism occurs when Winston is captured by the Thought Police. This happened at the hands of O?Brien, whom Winston believed was a member of a secret underground society with the task of overthrowing the Party. For a while, he was led by O?Brien with that premise, but in fact he himself was a member of the Thought Police. Thus, Winston is taken to the Ministry of Love, the section of the government which is responsible for keeping the firm order of the Party. Here, Winston is broken down

through torture and brainwashing, piece by piece into a hollow person, and rebuilt into a mindless follower of Big Brother, filled with love and admiration for him. But why? Why would a government go through the incredible expenditure of energy to rehabilitate all those who had gone against their doctrines? The answer comes from O?Brien; considered as a tormentor, protector, inquisitor and friend by Winston. The reason for his forced rehabilitation is revealed in this powerful explanation by O?Brien: ?We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us: so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture

his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instant of death we cannot permit any deviation. [?] We make the brain perfect before we blow it out.? (bolded text added for emphasis) Therefore, the despotism of Big Brother took it upon itself to ensure that there was a complete homogeny of thought. Any deviation from this, and the Thought Police were bound to capture and extinguish one?s erroneous thoughts through torture and a gradual wearing down of your individualism. This only

explains the doctrine, however; what of the reason behind it? O?Brien later explains this in the following passage: ‘The real power, the power we have to fight for night and day, is not power over things, but over men.’ He paused, and for a moment assumed again his air of a schoolmaster questioning a promising pupil: ‘How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?’ Winston thought. ‘By making him suffer,’ he said. ‘Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world

we are creating? (bolded text added for emphasis) Therefore, the Party seeks the ultimate power: the power over the minds of all of its citizens. As a result it uses various forms of torture, such as electro-shock therapy, to brainwash any deviants that stand in the way of the Party?s ultimate ideal of a puritan landscape of thought. It is this desire for complete power, and the horrifying practices carried out, which ultimately prove the incompatibility between the individual and the Party. Thus, the concept of the individual is incompatible with the ideals of the Party. This is proven by the following facts: the criminal nature of Winston?s unique thoughts, and the writing thereof; the unlawful acts he carried out due to his unorthodoxy, such as maintaining a secret and