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1984 Analysis

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History and 1984

"War is peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is strength."

In George Orwell's 1984, a light is shining on the concept of a negative utopia, or "dystopia" caused by totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is, "a form of government in which political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life..." and any opposing political and/or cultural expressions are suppressed. Having lived in a time of totalitarianism regime, Orwell had a firsthand account of its horrific lengths and negative affects. Within 1984, Orwell derives aspects of the actual government of his time to create, "The Party", "Big Brother", and the "Thought Police". Using these fictional recreations of reality, Orwell's 1984 continues to warn people of the horror of an all controlling government. Relating fact with fiction, Orwell expresses his disgust and fear for a totalitarianism government by creating a "nightmarish" vision of the negative utopia.

Government in the 1930's was what pushed Orwell to write 1984. By looking at the Soviet Union during this time, it could be said that 1984 was modeled after it.

Political trials, torture extracted confessions, labor camps, secret police, and the rewriting of history played a part in the Soviet's government. In 1984, Orwell uses "tele-screens" and "Thought Police" to monitor the people of Oceania. Following the story's protagonist, Winston, the reader can see that everywhere he goes, the party watches him. Everywhere he looks, he sees the figure of "Big Brother". Saying or thinking negatively of the party in any way can be "sensed" by the Thought Police and is considered a crime. When Winston writes, "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER" in his diary, he doesn't refrain from writing it over and over again. "Whether he went on with the diary or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same.

Much like the Soviet Union's government, 1984 expresses the idea of History alteration. Working within the Ministry of Truth, Winston works to alter records of history to fit the Party's standards. Stalin use this concept in the 30's for the same reason as the party; to make the people believe the government was legitimate.

Another aspect



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