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Freedom is Slavery in 1984 Essay


Freedom is slavery.

As mentioned in the novel 1984 by George Orwell. How can one man build a bridge or anything large on their own? The answer: he cant. In order to build these constructions he would need help; thus making the individual powerless. It seems to me, that from INGSOCs point of view, individual freedom weakens the individuals mind by making it impossible to do anything grand. Therefore: to do anything grand, one must join up with others whilst suppressing their own will and personal freedom. The only freedom a person has in Airstrip One (which is the new England page 247) is the freedom to submit one self to a larger group. Therefore fulfilling the law of the sentence mentioned at start.

The dystopian setting in this story is brought about by higher authorities. Dictatorships, if you will. The society of ideal perfection cant be imagined where there is no room for acceptance and individuality the more influence authorities gain, the more they tend to design people the way they want (also seen in the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley). It seems like the person/organization named Big Brother is completely in control of the citizens even down to their very own thoughts. In this specific extract, the main focus lies at the act of interfering with a persons daily life. Its being illustrated how the gap of freedom and perhaps also self understanding is being distanced by the means of interference in Winstons daily life.

This story is told from a third person narrator; although it seems obvious that the point of view is Winstons (the protagonist of the story). Through his eyes we are able to experience what seems like a totalitarian society how individuals are being dealt with by the advanced dictatorship.

This setting doesnt remind me of our society today in any way. Perhaps North Korea is the country coming closest to the definition. But even then, North Korea would still seem distanced in achieving the status that Oceania possesses. Perhaps Big Brother can be set in perspective to Kim Jong-il the very present, all-knowing/god-like being to the citizens he/it rules.

Nevertheless this society does seem a lot like the Stalinist Soviet Union and/or Hitlers Nazi Germany. Again citizens worshipping a leader comes to mind. My guess of what the so-called Thought Police (- notice the word Thought as mentioned earlier in this assignment; even your thoughts can be criminal) depicts could be either the Gestapo or the NKVD. Also; I could imagine the society in 1984 being full of propaganda which was also to be found in the totalitarian regimes of Hitler and Stalin.

At last, this society could be set in perspective to the long and oppressive totalitarian regime Mao Tse-tung led in China.

- Newspeak

This is a fictional language supposedly developed by the Ministry of Truth. It seems to me, that it is a language with simplified vocabulary and perhaps grammar. It would suit any totalitarian regime perfect, because the dictatorship would be able to make alternate thinking impossible. The ability of controlling ones thoughts.

Apparently, the basic idea is to remove negative tones from the language (like its being done with the ministries). Therefore resulting in a reinforcement of the total dominance of the state. I could imagine the act of propaganda coming in handy at this particular situation; removing any words or phrases that reflects the ideas of things like freedom, revolution and so on.

The only thing that comes to mind is Maos so-called The Big Leap Forward. This politic resulted in brainwashing the Chinese citizens into thinking Mao would bring an advanced and cheerful dynasty to the people; all though it resulted in the exact opposite.

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