1984, A Dystopian Novel
The novel “1984” by George Orwell, is a quintessential dystopian novel. A dystopia is a vision of society in which life is typically characterized by human misery, poverty and violence. A dystopian society have an oppressive societal control and the illusions of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. The novel 1984 takes place in a totalitarian state of Oceania that would make even dictators like Hitler and Kim Jong Un grin with envy.
In a dystopian society, citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance. A great example of this, in 1984, would be the telescreen. The telescreen is a “futuristic device” used to survey the citizens of Oceania at all ...view middle of the document...
One of the main propaganda used by the government is the “Two minutes”. The two minutes hate is used to brainwash the citizens into identifying who the true enemy is. Even though the “enemy”, Emmanuel Goldstein, speaks about freedom and peace, he is portrayed as the bad guy, someone you must hate. Goldstein represented what the party did not want their citizen to become. Goldstein was also used to create fear of the outside world. To create an illusion of a perfect society however, they held production announcements. Even though the production itself was decreasing, they announced that the production was increasing. The phrase ‘our new, happy life’ recurred several times throughout the announcement. The word victory is also used in many things such as victory coffee, victory gin, victory cigarettes ,etc., to create an illusion that they are winning and they are better than the outside world.
Moreover, the thing that makes 1984 a dystopian novel is the restriction on having an independent thought. In Oceania, it was obviously illegal to go against the Big Brother but It was also illegal to even have a disbelief in the Big Brother. Any thought other than the party’s concept is classified as “thoughtcrime”. The research department creates “newspeak” to narrow the freedom of thought to make the thoughtcrime literally impossible.
In conclusion, Winston Smith, the protagonist of the story feels trapped because he is being surveyed at all times and he has no freedom of any kind. Since Winston is in charge of destroying the records in the records department, he seems to have some Ideas of propaganda which made him question the existing political systems. He then decides to start a diary as a first real act of rebellion against the government.