1984 Doublethink Analysis

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George Orwell was inspired to write a dystopian novel, 1984, which is about a totalitarian government and its possible horrid effects on humans, by his experiences in the Soviet Union, the shift of literature after World War II, his attendance in the Indian Imperial Police force, his socialistic views, and British society. The story first introduces the main character, Winston Smith, as a "rebel". He is not outwardly against the Party - the communist-like government of the country Oceania - but conducts secret acts of treason, such as writing inside a journal, having sexual intercourse with a later character, Julia, and attempting to join the organization against the Party: the Brotherhood. Winston works inside the Ministry of Truth, one of…show more content…
Throughout the novel, the concept of doublethink influences the population of Oceania, and, in the end, Winston. Doublethink occurs when one manipulates a mind to believe two paradoxical events or thoughts are both true. The finale of the novel, when Winston is tortured and mentally violated to accept this new way of thinking, demonstrates how someone's mental state can be forcefully deteriorated, no matter how powerful the resistance to this change is. When O'Brien abuses Winston to the point of insanity, Orwell is trying to prove how dangerous a totalitarian government can become, if adopted by a country; O'Brien is the government, and Winston represents "'[…] the spirit of Man'" (270). Some themes that appear throughout the novel are as follows: extensive mind control, the significant difference between the wealthy and the poor, and restriction of love. Mass mind control is evident in a multitude of scenarios, and is clear when the population of Oceania always accepts what Big Brother states when large changes are…show more content…
Whilst inhabiting this imperialistic country, Orwell witnessed the Purge trials (Shelby, Berkow). During these trials, many socialists - Old Bolsheviks - including Orwell, feared prosecution for their political orientation (Encyclopaedia Britannica). BBC declares that "[Orwell] was forced to flee in fear of his life from Soviet-backed communists who were suppressing revolutionary socialist dissenters" (BBC). During these trials, the secret police (NKVD) tortured socialists until they "confessed" (Encyclopaedia Britannica). This unfortunate system was incorporated into Orwell's novel as the Thought Police, and the torture methods conducted near the end of the book and hinted to throughout the literary work. This influence forms the majority of the fear and torment of the Thought Police and what could happen if one were taken at night to be tortured for rebelling against the Party, no matter how little the offense. An example of a small offense is when Parsons, a moderately important character, is found by his daughter sleep talking "'Down with Big Brother'" (233)! It can be inferred that Orwell was influenced by these trials through the similarities produced in this paragraph: torture and ridiculous reasons for the

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