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Who Controls the past, controls the future - Who Controls the present controls the past - What might George Orwell have meant to say when he said this?

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Introduction

Question: Who Controls the past, controls the future. Who Controls the present controls the past. What might George Orwell have meant to say when he said this? George Orwell, a large figure of literature, was an anti-communism, and against totalitarian tendencies. Therefore, in 1949, he published a book, 1984, warning about the future. A prediction of the future? Fear is a characteristic built within the human being, which at the time was the future and in whose hands it would be? In this novel, George Orwell's vision of the world is deeply shocking, as domination of a certain 'Party', controls everyone and everything. They control what we (the public) see, hear, touch, smell, and even think about. History is a vital part of human existence and as illustrated well in the book, the past is 'nature alterable', and if done so, will be true 'from everlasting to everlasting'. ...read more.

Middle

manpower, they may as shown in the book, undergo military action, and overthrow the world, in order to obtain a single ruling dictator, which will continue to rule, therefore controlling the future. The party did control the present at the time therefore they had the capabilities of oppressing it as they wished. Every piece of literature, rewritten every photo reproduced, in order to fit their fictional stories of economical success, and military victory. By creating a positive and successful image of the party, they gained the back of the people as the only version of the passed accessible to them is the parties biased fictional, false past. Moreover another idea brought into the novel was 'doublethink' this was that 3 + 3 = 7. ...read more.

Conclusion

Similarly, this is the case at present, in the 21st century, whereby one dominating nation, controls, the media, including subliminal messages, two-way television, newspapers, computer viruses (which cause a threat to all information systems). These could have a global impact, and cause us (the public) to abide by that nations rules, regulations, and follow all views of that nation. This manipulation of the human mind, is a very dangerous concept, as world domination, could result easily, through the influence of the people's political and ethical views, in order to win them over to their side, or in other words brainwashing. Therefore, Orwell was warning from the effects that could result from the totalitarian policies arousing at the time post World War II, which are still in the process of completion. However, Orwell, did add a great deal of exaggeration within the book, as in reality, the effects and beliefs will not be as embellished as stated within the novel. ...read more.

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Response to the question

This answer is a strikingly profound response to the novel. The candidate shows a clear and deep understanding of the intentions of the Party's mantra "Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present, who control the past". ...

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Response to the question

This answer is a strikingly profound response to the novel. The candidate shows a clear and deep understanding of the intentions of the Party's mantra "Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present, who control the past". There is plentiful evidence of the candidate taking time to elaborate on the mantra to ensure full understanding for the reader of their essay, and they then go on to answer the question more explicitly, showing how Orwell intends to solidify the totalitarian dystopia of The Party's oppressive rule as a means of controlling of the history, and what it means for the present and future.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis here is excellent,. The candidate shows deep-set knowledge and critical understanding of Orwell's fictional mantra, appreciating the harrowing realism of the novel that are alive even today towards the end. This particular section I would dispute is not absolutely necessary, so other candidate should not feel discouraged if they cannot include this, but it will help the candidate's answer stick out among hundreds of other similar essays. Where this answer excels it's it's sensitive critical understanding of the rule The Party instates on it's civilians.

Where it is not so impressive is the glaring error which sees the candidate write "Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the future, who control the past", although this is not hugely detrimental to the essay. There is also a minor irk in that they write: "Moreover another idea brought into the novel was 'doublethink' this was that 3 + 3 = 7." If stating an example, they should explicitly say so, and I would advise therefore to use the example in the novel ("2 + 2 = 5"). The wording in the statement the candidate gives suggests that all doublethink is believing 3 + 3 = 7; this is not a definition of doublethink - it is merely one very simple example given by O'Brien. Candidates should watch how they exemplify something so complex.

Quality of writing

Quality of Written Communication as a whole is pretty good, however the punctuation in particular can really make this essay a struggle to read. The answer is riddled with comma splice (unnecessary use of commas) - too many to list here. The candidate sometimes substitutes full stops for commas lending to grammatical nightmares, or simply puts commas where they aren't needed, which breaks up the flow of the otherwise very well-written sentences to a snail's pace, really detracting from the impact of such a good essay. The disjointed nature also loses the fluidity of the writing, making the answer seem less knowledgeable than it actually is because of the drip-fed chunks of half-sentences. This is something that really needs to be addressed as it hugely prevents this essay from achieving the A grade it's capable of.


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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 04/07/2012

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