Nineteen Eighty Four Essay
The State of Oceania was a place where society was controlled by the
government especially the lower class. Since the lower class didn't really have a life
and weren't educated, the government knew it would be very easy to control them
in three distinct but powerful ways. The Inner Party which is the government,
controlled the people of Oceania by telescreens, doublethink, and propaganda.
These three methods are so powerful in making the lower class believe that
Oceania is at war with Eastasia. Big Brother is the Inner Party leader and,
Emmanuel Goldstein is the Enemy of the Party.
The first and far most compelling method in controlling the people is the use
of telescreens. They are screens placed in the walls of almost every building and
Ministry in Oceania. You are constantly being watched and informed by what is
happening outside of Oceania. They are used for showing the enemy Emmanuel
Goldstein who is the principal figure on the daily Two Minute Hate. The main
focus of the telescreens is the image of Big Brother. Big Brother is always shown
on the screen to make the people believe that Oceania is winning the war. Big
Brother is the leader of the Inner Party, and Emmanuel Goldstein plays the role of
keeping the citizens fearful that they might do or say, or even think, something
harmful to the State and the Party. The telescreens attempt to control the intellect
and emotions of its citizens. The telescreens prove the emotional loyalty to Big
Brother, who alone has the power to create and to destroy anyone he wants. The
people know that every move they make is being constantly watched by the
telesceens and if committing a thoughtcrime they will be punished immediately.
"A new poster had suddenly appeared all over London. It had no caption, and
represented simply the monstrous figure of a Eurasian soldier, three of four meters
high striding forward with expressionless Mongolian face and enormous boots, a
submachine gun pointed from his hip. From whatever angle you looked at the
poster, the muzzle of the gun, magnified by the foreshortening seemed to be pointed
straight at you. The thing had been plastered on every blank space on every wall,
even outnumbering the portraits of Big Brother."1
The telescreens are such a power tool in controlling the people. What ever the Inner
Party wants the people to see and believe can be easily placed on the telescreen and
watched day after day. They can play with your minds and brainwash you before
you realize it. The truth lies in the mind of every person and the telescreen is the
best form of controlling the mind of every individual.
The second method the Party uses to control the people of Oceania is
Doublethink. Doublethink is a way of thinking in contradictory terms at the same
time. Its purpose is to deny citizens of Oceania any possibility of questioning rapid
and hypocritical chances in policy. It therefore gives the government the power of
control the minds and thoughts of the people. Newspeak encourages and enforces
doublethink. The purpose of it is to discard more and more words and meanings
until rebellion is not possible because there is no word for it. To convince everyone
in Oceania that war is the best state possible for them, the state developed the
slogan WAR IS PEACE. Everyone sees the slogan as perfectly logical because they
have become so conditioned to it. The next slogan FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
makes the people think that deviation from orthodox thought and expression
enslaves the man who allows it. The people know how dangerous it is to question
and learn. There the slogan IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH was developed.
"It need hardly be said that the subtlest practitioners of doublethink are those who
invented doublethink and know that it is a vast system of mental cheating. For by
using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of
doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always
one leap ahead of the truth"2
The last method the Party used to control the people of Oceania is
Propaganda. The ability to alter the past as it appears in newspapers and change it
to what you want it to say today is a key method in controlling the minds of the
people. the way that the propaganda is handled is so effective for the Party. What
the party states as truth now has always been true and will be true forever. What it
states as truth tomorrow has, likewise always been true and will always be true.
Realizing intellectually that the people are being manipulated by the propaganda is
such an excellent method against the people. Propaganda controls a person
intellectually, physically, and emotionally. These people not only see to believe but
believe to see.
"The part starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished. Every record has
been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been
repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, and every date
has been altered. The process is continuing day by day and minute by minute.
Reports and records of all kinds, of newspapers, books, pamphlets, films, sound
tracks, and photographs all had to be rectified a lightening speed. History has
stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always
The ability to control the way people think is one of the biggest advantages you or
a government could have over someone. Everything is done your way and not
someone else's. To have control over someone you must change the way people
think. These ways examined show us that it is possible and can be done to humans
by three intelligent methods. The first is Telescreens, always showing who's in
charge. The second is Doublethink, change the way people think physically,
emotionally intellectually. And lastly propaganda, altering the past to make people
believe everything they see and hear is true. With these tools you have the power to
change any person you wish.
1. Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty Four. New York: Penguin Books, 1950
2. Webcom, John Coles Notes. Toronto: Coles Publishing Company, 1995
1 Goorge Orwell, Nineteen Eighty Four (New York:Penguin Books
Incorporated, 1950), p.123.
2 George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty Four (New York:Penguin Books
Incorporated, 1950), p.177.
3 George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty Four (New York:Penguin Books
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