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12/18/2008 Winston Smith's Escape from Reality George Orwell's 1984, is a gripping novel written post World War Two, that is primarily about the use of control in a war sought country against the good of the people. It depicts a communist society, where the leader of the government has a say in everything, everywhere. Nineteen Eighty-Four ultimately illustrates Orwell's view of a futuristic society based on his past. Having lived through the regimes of Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin, it seems acceptable that Orwell could dream of such a harsh reality. Overall, this novel can be seen as a warning against the quest for power due to the totalitarian nature of the party, the socially constricted setting, and the rebellious desire of the Brotherhood to overwhelm the party. Orwell himself considers 1984 a satiric exaggeration of the abuse of power in a totalitarian society. In the novel, Big Brother is portrayed as the leader of the party and ultimately brainwashes the citizens of Oceania to support his regime. It is the use of power that he has, that causes people in Oceania to believe in him.
People live in wooden dwellings, and due to the fact that the world is constantly at war, people like Winston are unable to escape their present conditions, and are constricted to putting up with the chaos. It is the constricted setting of Oceania that be seen as a warning against the quest for power because people like Winston are unable to cope with their present living conditions. It is the buildup of hatred for their country that causes a need for power. An example of the constricted setting can be portrayed through the use of thought police. Thought police serve one goal, and that is to get into the minds of the people of Oceania and make sure they believe or think the right things. "To dissemble your feelings, to control your face, to do what everyone else was doing, was an instinctive reaction"3. This describes the importance of the thought police, as people instinctively rid their emotions so that they are not caught by them. A key cause of the need for power can be shown through the people's inability to express their emotions.
We are the dead"6. The need for change is essential in the quest for power in Oceania as without a want for change, Big Brother will always maintain total control. Power in Oceania is a key reason as to why the party has not been overthrown. The control Big Brother has on his people is unimaginable and endless. The totalitarian nature, and the constricted setting are the basis of a need for change in Oceania, and the rebellious desire of the Brotherhood is the final push that can overthrow the Big Brother. Therefore, without any of these aspects in the novel, Winston Smith would be unable to bring his dreams to reality, and overcome the control of the Big Brother. 1 Orwell, George. 1984. (Ed. Erich Fromm. New York: Harcourt, 1949) 3. 2 Orwell, George. 1984. (Ed. Erich Fromm. New York: Harcourt, 1949) 16. 3 Orwell, George. 1984. (Ed. Erich Fromm. New York: Harcourt, 1949) 19. 4 Orwell, George. 1984. (Ed. Erich Fromm. New York: Harcourt, 1949) 127. 5 Orwell, George. 1984. (Ed. Erich Fromm. New York: Harcourt, 1949) 20. 6 Orwell, George. 1984. (Ed. Erich Fromm. New York: Harcourt, 1949) 183. ?? ?? ?? ??
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