Literary Analysis of 1984
Government control over specific parts in the lives of the civilian population should be handled very cautiously or grave consequences are to be had. The overlying principle of 1984, by George Orwell, is that if government control is not regulated somehow, then several years down the road, privacy will be non-existent to the average person. Winston Smith finds himself in a country where the government controls all aspects of his daily life. His journey from hating “The Party” to loving it shows how dangerous this type of control could be.
Although many other ideas of varying subjects could be taken from this book, the most prevalent is the idea of total control of a country over its citizens. Everyone in the country works for the party and has to deal with poor living conditions, disgusting food and the constant fear of being convicted of “thought-crime.” This gravest of all criminal acts is punished by torture and quite often death. The actual crime is committed when party officials think that by ones actions, movements, or habits that might point to a disloyalty to the party. Every citizen fears it. Winston is in constant worry of being taken away in the night. He explains that if you think you might be convicted of thought-crime that it is inevitable that you will eventually be caught. Winston begins talking with a woman about a possible overthrowing of the party. They are with one another as much as possible. They use clever means of covering up their relationship, but the two agree that they will eventually be convicted.
It is difficult to think of a place where relationships and hobbies are almost certainly eliminated. Propaganda is everywhere. There are television type screens at all places, and banners of an almost enigmatic figure named “Big Brother” everywhere. A popular phrase on some of the posters is “Big Brother is watching.” He is made out to be some kind of friend that is always watching over your shoulder. The party uses propaganda in all aspects of life. The country is always at war, and it seems as if increases of chocolate and cigarette rations are always being increased. Winston knows better, as he can recognize that only a few minutes after a broadcast tells of a decrease in 5 grams of chocolate, that another broadcast comes on telling of how thousands of people are marching in other cities thanking Big Brother for the recent increase in chocolate rations. The party brainwashes its citizens constantly with disregard to their value of life.
The entire time I read this book, I couldn’t help but to think of some kind of communistic nation and how they are run. For instance, it is illegal to write anything that is derogatory to the party. It is interesting to also note that the party has complete control over what is read, watching and listened by every citizen of the country. The idea of the government running all businesses is an idea made popular by communism. For this reason, I believe that of the chances of a government described in this book ever happening in this world are greater in that of a country ruled by communists. This idea also reinforces my support of America’s policy towards communism. Some would argue that America is more prone to have total control over a civilian’s life. This probably won’t happen in my lifetime, but the possibility will always be there. Also, in most forms of communism, the common people suffer while high members of the party live in relative luxury. They have better cars, food and drink. This is the same in 1984. The resemblance of communism and “The Party” are conclusive and very apparent.
As the world progresses as a society, it is important to keep in mind the lessons taught in this book. While moving forward, we must try to not also move backwards at the same time. The first move towards a government such as described in this book might consist of the formation of a singular party instead of Democrats, Republicans and other Independents. It would be followed by the ousting of the President and the abolishing of the constitution and Congress simultaneously. The citizens of the United States have an obligation to be aware of our government’s actions. If we continue to teach the youth of our nation about such matters, our legacy as a democratic nation will live on.