The Novel Nineteen EightyFour Essay Research Paper

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The Novel Nineteen Eighty-Four Essay, Research Paper The novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell, is presented as a warning about a possible, but not inevitable fate for humanity. The society we live in can become the totalitarian state of Big Brother and the Party if we allow it. The abuse of power and dehumanization of mankind are two dangerous prospects. The purpose of this novel is to send the reader a message prompting them to take action in order to prevent this fate and save their society. Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four as a warning for the members of his society as well as the societies of the future. As Warburg stated, “…if a man can conceive Nineteen Eighty-Four, he can also will to avoid it.”(Reilly, p. 21) Orwell wanted to alert us and make us aware

of the possible dangers that could be encountered in the future. Nineteen Eighty-Four is a warning to those who have faith in human progress and in man’s ability to create a world of justice and peace.(Fromm, p.257) The novel pinpoints the dangers in today’s society and proves to us that this faith is a falacy. Orwell warns us that we are not yet aware that our society is following a doomed path leading to a totalitarian state. He wants us to see the hopelessness of this path before it becomes so commonplace that we will be unable to see it at all.(Fromm, p.259) We, today, blindly accept things fed to us by our governments in the same manner that the citizens of Oceania accepted doublethink and the changes in history and records. This warning is frightening when one believes

that it could indeed become a reality. Orwell has written a book about a possibility that people wereunaware of and that most would prefer not to know. Although it is alarming, it is neccessary as a warning and a salvation. This is in contrast to Winston and his comment about Emanuel Goldstein’s book, “The best books…are those that tell you what you already know.”(Reilly, p.22) The society depicted in Orwell’s novel is a possibility that we conceal in the far recesses of our minds, but it is a future that we fear and would prefer to avoid. Our own society is disturbingly similar to the totalitarian state of Big Brother. Doublethink exists today. It is the power to hold two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and accept both of them. When a political

leader expects or demands what we think to be absurd, we go through doublethink; doing something even if we know it’s wrong. We use doublethink in regard to nuclear weapons. We spend vast sums of money and energy building nuclear weapons, but then avert our eyes to the fact that once released, they will destroy half of our own population along with half of our enemies’ population.(Fromm, p.264) Our society is a bureaucracy in which the public is manipulated in order to achieve the political goals of the government and then is betrayed due to ignorance and blind trust. This view of society began after World War I when millions died to satisfy the territorial ambitions of the European powers while under the illusion that they had been fighting for peace and democracy. Despair

about the future of our civilization further sets in with the Depression, Naziism, Stalinist terror, use of the atomic bomb, the Cold War and Vietnam, just to cite some examples.(Fromm, p.259) Big Brother hasbecome the term for overreaching authority. This name has been applied to Hitler and Stalin. In fact, Big Brother in Nineteen Eighty-Four is modelled after Stalin in his physical features, with his dark moustache and piercing eyes. Newspeak is a word for the dehumanizing language of bureaucracies and computer programs. Our own governments use it to manipulate, deceive, and cover harsh realities with soft words.(Cronkite, p.1) The governments of our time are not very different from Big Brother and the Party. The level of power of a government determines its control over the