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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

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1984 (Signet Classics) by George Orwell
1984 (Signet Classics)

taggart.ella, March 29, 2012

George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1949 as a warning to the human race. Power struggles, especially those in a hierarchy, will be the end of independent, intellectual man. Orwell uses his main character, Winston, to illustrate this fall of man. Winston views himself as a normal Party member, but he has his doubts about it the Party's validity. He lives in solitude as his doubts of the Party increases. He finds companionship through shared idea; the same ideas that will later betray him to the perfect hierarchy. Winston's fall is a message to all readers with an interest in the psychology of political science. All readers looking to inform themselves about government must read this cautionary tale.

London in 1984 is not a part of the United Kingdom as we know it today. It is the capital of a global superpower called Oceania. This country is ruled by Big Brother and the Party and is always at war with either Eurasia or Eastasia. It holds slogans and it's own party speak as important tools for nationality. Winston, a member of the Party's work force. Winston works for "the Ministry of Truth- Minitrue" (4). This component controls the Party's archives. This alteration of history and information is one of the many awful tools the party uses to keep its power.

Those who rebel against the party always rebel through thought. They are captured by the Thought Police and taken to the Ministry of Love. "The Ministry of Love was the really frightening one. There were no windows in it at all. It was a place impossible to enter except on official business, and then only by penetrating through a maze of barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors, and hidden machine gun nests" (4-5). This ministry is the end of all free thought. Misery loves company, and those with ideas contrary to the party are not alone. Their true struggle when they, Winston included, find themselves in a struggle for power over their own thoughts.

The issue over power struggle is well portrayed in this novel. The fictitious setting and government allow for the reader to picture the emotions of the Party members as their government challenges their thoughts. Freedom of thought is the most important liberty humans have. When this is taken away in the novel, emphasis is put on the nature of man's desire for power. This emphasis hammers home George Orwell's concern for the human race.
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