Written Task 2 Categories and Questions
Power and Privilege
- How and why is a social group presented in a particular way?
George Orwell’s 1984 novel depicts a nation under a despotic totalitarian government. The working class, known as the proletariat, is portrayed quite critically through Winston’s descriptions of the slums they live in. The outer party is second to the Inner Party. Throughout 1984, the Inner Party represents overt superiority and power among the people of Oceania through the lavish lifestyle and intimidation by keeping strict surveillance on the people under them. The Inner Party representation demands a robotic degree of obedience and servility due to fear of punishments and deceptive systems such as Thoughtcrime and Newspeak, both mechanisms to control the thoughts of the people, of the Party as well as the known yet silently dangerous topic of brainwashing.
The inner party’s omnipresent supervision rumors of torture for ‘unorthodox’ behaviors secures their elite status. Orwell’s 1984 consistently portrays the working class of the population on edge. The widespread “posters that were plastered everywhere” of inner party’s presence creates tension and deep-seated paranoia of the Thought Police (2). In order for the inner party to govern the people accordingly, they establish built-in telescreens, Thoughtpolice, and spies that guarantee all improper behavior can be terminated before it begins. The part uses telescreens, Thought Police, and the Spies, the youth organization in search for traitors. Government technologies are implanted into every residency, eliminating privacy. This also applies to Winston’s outer party social ranking where he must keep “his back turned to the telescreen” (3). The deep-rooted fear in Winston implies that the doubt circulating his head can be used against him. This dramatic and haunting removal of a person’s existence, “abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word” contribute to the agitated atmosphere (19). The patrol for the inner party even goes so far as to induce fear of their own thoughts. Under strict circumstance, where one’s life and existence can be easily erased, relentless fear of wrongdoing and fear of being watched fills the minds of the entire population and creates the dystopian society, replacing love with hate and happiness with fear, that the inner party pursues to achieve.