When a community begins to form, so do its beliefs and forms of power. George Orwell author of 1984, paints an imaginative future and prescient governmental power and its norms. Orwell uses Winston Smith, the prominent character of the book, to showcase the outcomes of government manipulation may have on people’s’ morality.
Winston who lives in Oceania where “The Party” abuses its total power by controlling people emotions and mentality.However, this disturbs Winston who defies party and is eventually provoked into becoming a “rebel”. He recognizes that he is on the point of no return; therefore, he blindly marches forward in the hopes of defeating the Party. Winston’s defiant nature is quickly extinguished after he is caught and tormented for committing subversive acts.
Winston changed as he becomes a devoted challenger of Big Brother. Winston’s imposed values and ideals demonstrates humanity’s need and next pursuit of freedom. In Oceania, The Party is viewed as all powerful; it imposes its authority and worry over its inhabitants with the assistance of technology. Everything from street corners to Winston’s own home is monitored.Telescreens are used to monitor the minds and movements of its inhabitants.
“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.But at any rate they could plug in your wire when they wanted to…”(3). By not knowing when or where they are being watched or which words are being listened to, all trace of privacy and freedom of speech is annihilated from their lives. The telescreens are used as a tool of manipulation and power as opposed a way of communication. Additionally they show propaganda from the Ministry of Truth to support the Party’s operation and power. The Party additionally uses the media as a tool for manipulation.
Items such as posters, slogans, and classified ads display messages which include “Big Brother is watching you” and “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is strength”. These slogans, in addition to presenting Big Brother as a figurative symbol, collectively work to complete the manipulation and management of its inhabitants.The altering the records and reminiscence of Oceania also is an example of political enforcement.Record books constantly replicate The Party’s ideology which forbids people from keeping souvenirs such as pictures and documents from their past. As a result, the citizens have unclear memories in their past and willingly trust the Party and what they choose to tell them. “Who controls the past controls the future:who controls the present controls the past” (34). By controlling the past, the Party ensures the manipulation of the future,through false records, the psychological independence of the people is managed. By stealing humans privacy, manipulating and manoeuvring their lives, and providing altered history, The Party is capable of exploit its power.
Winston, a person with a moral sense and morality has no other choice but to fight for his ideology. Big Brother, a symbolic discern for power, upsets Winston’s morality. Despite being a member of the Party, disagrees with the Party’s practices. At first, Winston demonstrates his defiance with the use of a diary to write down his thoughts. “Down with Big Brother” (18).
At this moment, Winston expresses his feelings true feelings toward The Party. He is aware that having or expressing thoughts in opposition to Big Brother is viewed as a Thoughtcrime in Oceania; nevertheless he also knows that he can’t sit back and accept their philosophy. “Thoughtcrime does not entail death: Thoughtcrime IS death” (28). Winston is extremely careful when writing in his diary; he’s paranoid about being caught and places himself far away from the telescreen hoping he won’t be seen. This action demonstrates his unwillingness to truly accept the Party and authority. Another equally critical offence towards the Party is his love affair with Julia. Perfectly aware about The Party’s stand on pleasurable sexual activity, Winston, cannot and does not suppress his desire for her. He additionally discovers that he isn’t always the best one with those forbidden feelings.
“Not merely the love of one person, but the animal instinct, the simple undifferentiated desire: that was the force that would tear the Party to pieces.” (126). By knowing that he isn’t by myself in this “battle”, Winston is even more committed and empowered to retain his opposition to the Party. He is aware to act cautiously in effort to maintain his affair without being caught, Winston rents a room above Mr. Charrington’s shop. Another rebellious act is Winston’s communication with O’Brien, a leader of The Party.
Winston bases his trust of O’Brien because of the voices in his dreams, the eye contact between them at hate conferences, and when O’Brien turns off his telescreen while the two meet. “He told her about the strange intimacy that existed, or seem to exist , between himself and O’Brien, and of the impulse he sometimes felt simply to walk into O’Brien’s presence, announce that he was the enemy of the Party, and demand his help. “(152). Blindly, Winston reveals his views to O’Brien, hoping that in the future, others may even join in the defeat of the Party. O’Brien convinces Winston that he’s a member of the brotherhood; Winston eagerly joins. The authority that the Party enforces over Oceania’s citizens seizes Winston’s morality and increases the momentum of his rebellious acts. Unfortunately, a greater power than his is watching his every move..
As Winston continues his treasonous acts, he realises there’s no way out; his optimism for a higher destiny has him blindly fall into shark-infested waters. Winston realizes that writing in his diary it’s only a matter of time before the ThoughtPolice captures him. ” Whether he wrote DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, or whether he refrained from writing it, made no difference. 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. He had committed—would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper—the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it.
” (19). Intellectually, Winston realizes that he’s going to likely get caught. His affair with Julia boosts his ego and so he maintains the wish that other rebels will unite with him in opposition to the Party.
Completing his dream of defeating Big Brother, Winston turns careless and his acts towards The Party take him down a risky lane leading him into torturous effects. Winston allows himself to take pointless dangers, even trusting O’Brien. Unknowingly, the room he rents above Mr. Charrington’s store to meet with Julia is under surveillance.
Mr. Charrington, a member of the Thought police, makes use of the telescreen to capture Winston’s sexual affair with Julia. As a member of the Thought Police, it’s his obligation to turn them in, and he does. He has the two arrested and they’re sent to the ministry. Winston’s carelessness now looms over him. In his eagerness to find others who detest the system, he depended on O’Brien who led him to trust that he shares his hatred for Big Brother. However, Winston quickly learns that O’Brien’s intentions are quite different. When Winston is caught, O’Brien visits him to “assist” him through this wretchedness.
Winston’s misplaced trust is exploited when O’Brien preys on his biggest fear. He is taken to room 101 where he’s tortured physically and mentally with his revulsion: rats. Winston’s fortitude collapses, converting his perspective.
“Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother” (298). Winston’s bodily pain and mental discomfort help him embody the unquestionable power and understanding of The Party. The irony is obvious: Winston’s willpower to defeat Big Brother is defeated… by means of Big Brother. In Winston’s pursuit to achieve independence, he struggles in opposition with the absolute power of the Party, as a consequence demonstrating the struggle among him and his authorities. In Oceania, the Party controls the human beings physically, mentally and emotionally in an effort to preserve their supremacy.
But, The Party’s abusive energy subverts Winston’s morality, cause him into rise up. Once commenced, Winston realizes that he can’t come back from his rebellion, despite the fact that, intellectually he recognizes that his war should cost him much more than his freedom. He is driven to continue. Winston’s fervour for change comes to a direct halt after he is caught and punished for his disloyalty to the Party. A changed man becomes a loyal supporter of Big Brother.
Orwell’s 1984 is a daunting journey of a man’s fight for freedom of notion and expression. In 1948, the year the book was written, was considered a futuristic view of society. Nowadays, a number of these events have already become a reality. Be careful Big Brother is indeed watching!