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Insiders and Outsiders in 1984 Essay


A government can indirectly affect experiences in a persons life that shape his or her actions, thus indirectly creating distinct groups between insiders and outsiders. As a child, Winston experiences a tragedy in which his mother and his sister had been sacrificed (Orwell 760) and taken away by the Party. The sorrow eventually grows into a manifestation of hatred that propels Winston to rebel against the party. The memory of his mother forces Winston to become an outsider that hates the Party, rather than an insider that loves the Party. On the other hand, children are subject to the dogma of the government. They are put into the organization called Spies and ripped of any tendency whatsoever to rebel against the discipline of the Party (756). Instead, they worship Big Brother and report any compromising remarks by their parents to the Thought Police. The children equal the future, and as long as the Party controls them, the Party realistically obtains an absolute control of the nation for the future. The children become virtually completely obedient and insiders to the Party and the Partys purpose. The Party also subdues the proles, the ordinary citizens, with fear, but as Winston says, if there was hope, it must lie in the proles (783). The government never helps them, and so they seek to topple the Party and reinstate a new government. Peoples experiences become changeable by a government, and the experiences themselves alter peoples personality and future self, grouping them together as outsiders or insiders.

Governments actions invoke beliefs that determine whether the people become classified as either insiders or outsiders. When Winston writes Down with Big Brother (753), he knows that every record ofhis one-time existence would be denied and then forgotten (753). Winston holds the belief that the Party attempts to control everyone and dispose of the existence of disobedient citizens, and his belief leads him to rebel against the Party. As a result, the Party carefully watches him. In addition to Winston, Julia becomes an outsider because of her belief that individuals should sexually rebel and stay alive. By having sex to rebel against the mind-controlling Youth Movements talks about pro-creational sex, Julia goes against the Party because sexual privation induces hysteriaand could be transformed into war-fever (822). Sex poses danger to the Party, and because the Party outlaws it, Julia becomes an outsider. Unlike Winston and Julia, Parsons transforms from an outsider who hated Big Brother to an insider after staying in the place where there is no darkness (757). The place Parson transforms in refers to the room in the Ministry of Love in which torture alters peoples beliefs. Parson originally holds the belief that evil exists inside the Party, but he changes his beliefs to a pro-Party stance, even going as far as to thanking the Party for saving him. A governments actions results in different individuals to possess different beliefs and altering those beliefs allows a power-hungry government to create groups of outsiders and insiders.

The government not only indirectly determines the classifications of people, but it uses a direct method by altering language used in speech and texts. The Party continues to convert English to Newspeak as a way to narrow the range of thought (773). By eliminating words that incite rebellion and hatred, the Party differentiates between people. Those that speak Newspeak continue to survive, but those that express no interest to speak the revised language are classified as outsiders and disposed of. Controlling language also initiates the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in ones mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them (865), a concept called doublethink. By creating a seemingly correct illusion that contradicts the truth, the Party displays absolute power as creators of reality. As, for example, the party tells Winston that Two + Two = Five, the Party makes him doubt his own memories and put full faith in the Party. As a result, the Party transforms outsiders into insiders, and the Party again weeds out inconvenient people. Along with doublethink, altering the language in historical documents follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make itFor when it has been re-created in whatever shape is neededthen this new version is the past, and no different past can ever have existed (865). The Party can form a new past to control the present and the future, and in doing so, all people readily believe the revised versions in order to continue being accepted into society and loved by Big Brother. Insiders and outsiders become categorized by the actions, including the alteration of language, by a dominant and higher authority, which, in this case, is the Party.

Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. George Orwell: Animal Farm, Burmese Days, A Clergyman's Daughter, Coming Up for Air, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Nineteen Eighty-Four. New York, NY: Octopus/Heinemann, 1980. 741-925.

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