1984 by George Orwell Essay
In his 1984 writing, Orwell (p.10) indicates how the societies fight to archive utopianism. There are high hopes that the current settings of the twenty-first century and the predictable future of governance will be sustainable and responsible especially on issues of cultural identity and preservation.
As predicted in ‘1984’ by Orwell (p.10), the current major threat to humanity is lack of enough support for local uniqueness and distinctiveness. People have not yet embraced the need for cultural enrichment in their day-today lifestyles. According to him (p.2), the future holds possibilities for more personal, meaningful and understandable relationship or the need to understand the social cultural settings in a better way. Utopia destiny is a collection of ideas for a sustainable future.
Orwell (p.12), sparks ideas that are more creative and that inspire ambitions for better lifestyles and techniques of governance. Human lifestyle will need less governance by rules and more enhancement of behaviour, unlike the past when people did not exhibit thoughts. This is well depicted from the character of Watson who was an official, whose role was diminished by the totalitarian rule at airstrip one. The situation at England forces Watson to confine personal thoughts to private writings, away from the telescreen (Orwell, p.3).
Most of current work-tools such as the television, surveillance webcams, cell phones and listening appliances relate to the telescreen due to easy manipulation and ability to preach propaganda. These unnecessary political wrangles make officials to behave in a definite and similar manner of thoughts and actions. The type of governance in his writing tries to limit information from publicity, just like the current government. The public in certainly not sure of the way government officials utilize fund allocations.
The government often conceal the required transparency, and citizens never know what the head of state does every day due to limited form of communication. There is however some improvements due to the media freedom thus the reason why we are able to know majority of the details that can affect governance such a good example was the Lewinsky-Clinton incident in the white house.
Recording of thought by state officials such as Watson was a critical crime according to 1984 by Orwell (p.2). Comparatively, the officials fail to reveal information, because they are in accord with reasons and service to the “Big Brother” who in this case is the government Orwell (p.19). The twenty first century government want similar situations where those involved stand in accord with one objective.
Revealing of career-disparaging information is also questionable in majority of the current government systems. There is a close connection between the behaviours of 1984 governance and the current one, since people have to follow defined procedures. They are possibly not as harsh as those of the twenty-first century are but when we break laws, the consequences for our actions are still unsympathetic.
The restrictions as shown in the 1984 by Orwell (p.37), indicates that people were restricted to speaking in the workforce since this would be social interactions. Social interaction is also a prohibited practice in majority of the workforce today. The workplace is not a social situate but a work setting. We can consider the way of life from Orwell writing as despicably over-harshness, but it is very similar to how we act today. Order and efficiency requirement for are common to all social settings.
One of the key reasons why earlier and current governance styles find it necessary to engage doublespeak, is because it is a natural way of realizing slavery into the systems and where total surveillance in put into practice.
Doublespeak in Our Current Social Setting
As Orwell (p.4), puts it, the character Watson works for the government as a propaganda asset whose task is to alter information in support of government actions or claims and still believe in the truth of those claims. Today people still respond instinctively with a similar concept or logic of doublespeak.
Doublespeak is not a confine in the text of Orwell, but is an evident part of our society as well. Good examples include our government fight for peace. U.S. government engagement in war with Iraq on March 19th 2003, due to the assertion by the Bush Administration that Iraq was in violation of some U.N. Security Councils Resolutions among them being in possession of weapons of mass destruction seem ridiculous (Bush, p.1) .
It is not possible to fight in order to enhance peace. Fighting stands in the way of peace and therefore current peacekeeping forces resembles the classical use of doublespeak where Orwell (p.4), bring in the name of ministry of peace in the writing. Arguably, today and future prospective consists of doublespeak in action rather than verbalize. Is our government really concern with the welfare of citizens through defence and need for peace, or is hiding the concept of invasion and attack in their undertakings?
Position of Citizens
Orwell (p.5) presents the patriot act in his writing where citizens are required to forsake freedom, which the government alleges to protect and freedom. The concept is outrageous and lacks meaning. Relinquishing basic human rights to gain freedom is doublespeak. The Orwell’s indication (p.4), that “War is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength” is total doublespeak.
Almost every religion preaches peace and prohibits violence. If our religious practices were for the love of neighbourliness, then it is doublespeak to consider a holy conflict.
Bush, George. “Remarks on Iraq.” National Assembly, 2003. Web.
Orwell, George. “1984.” New York, NY: Signet Classic Publishers. 1977.
Two Non-Existing Worlds Compare and Contrast Essay
People always long to have some perfect life and perfect society, since the ancient times and until now writers from all over the world write about their ideal societies. Two of the most famous works depicting this theme – non-existing worlds -are Utopia by Tomas More and 1984 by George Orwell, though they represent two opposite worlds.
First, I’d like to point out that More’s Utopia became more than the name of his book and his non-existing country, it became a name for every ideal world. People use to say now that an ideal society is Utopia, meaning that it is impossible. Returning to More’s Utopia it is necessary to stress that this book reveals his ideas about the basic principles and laws which should rule in each human society.
More criticizes the laws of the contemporary European society; he highlights that other countries, in the East for instance, have more fair laws; and after that he starts depicting Utopia, where all people live and work in the ideal society. One of the main religious principles in Utopia is “that the soul of man is immortal and that God of His goodness has designed that it should be happy” (More 47). Thus, More states that the main idea of every society should be happiness and satisfaction of its citizens.
On the contrary, Orwell’s people live in “Negative Utopia”, where people live in fear and unjust society. Ruling totalitarian party of Orwell’s society keeps people in fear and ignorance, to make them work for the sake of the party. The majority of people should “always look cheerful”, they should “never shirk anything” and “always yell with the crowd”, because this is “the only way to be safe” (Orwell 122).
It is very remarkable that Orwell’s people only look cheerful, though they are miserable; moreover they cannot express their real needs and wishes, for in that case they will disappear. People of this society are presupposed to feel hatred rather than happiness, they even have “Two Minutes Hate” (Orwell 9), it is during this time all people gather in front of the big telescreen and express their hatred towards non-existing enemy.
In Orwell’s society everything is assigned from the above. People are to do some definite, even mechanic and often useless work, like deleting yesterday news and making out some new ones, which better fit to the new environment. Thus, people were turned to machines lacking any emotions and thoughts. Contrariwise, in Utopia people knew all kind of work and could ask to prolong the term of working in the area they liked.
For example, agriculture is paid great attention and is “so universally understood among them, that no person, either man or woman is ignorant of it” (More 33). People spend some definite period of time in agriculture, and then shift to other areas, for example, trade. People could stay in agriculture more, if they liked working in the field and could do it the best. Thus, in Utopia people could do every necessary work, and they also could dedicate their life to the labor they preferred.
Another remarkable point to consider is the perception of war in both worlds. First, I’d like to consider Utopia where “they detest war as a very brutal thing” (More 64).
Here war is unacceptable, though they have trained warriors; they try to prevent any war. Utopians seek for peace; they understand that the appropriate state of any society is peace, not war. They understand that only peace can bring happiness and satisfaction to the citizens of Utopia. Orwell’s society, on the contrary, lives in war, they constantly have wars, at least the ruling party says so.
They have powerful Ministry of War, where all the issues of war are considered. All Orwell’s people “know that it is necessary that the war should continue everlastingly and without victory” (Orwell 197). In this world, war is not only the state of the society; it is a state of the people’s minds. This state of war is to make people frighten and obedient, fulfilling the necessary work and orders.
At this point I’d like to point out that Orwell and More pertain to different centuries and, thus, different movements and even absolutely different worlds. More lived in times when people believed in human mind, believed that people can and should be happy and live in fair world.
More suggested the ideas of enlightenment in his Utopia, giving reasonable ways to obtain just society. Orwell lived in the world of two great wars, world wars. He saw totalitarian ruling in several societies, he saw technological progress and also saw what human mind can do. Orwell’s book is a piece of social science fiction, where he warns people against the possible future of the whole humanity, if people continue moving in the path chosen in the beginning and in the middle of the XX century.
These two non-existing worlds reveal the More and Orwell’s ideas about the ideal society, though More show how it should be, depicting the ideal and beautiful world of Utopia; and Orwell shows how it should not (but can) be, depicting horrible totalitarian Oceania.
More, T. Utopía. New York: Cosimo, Inc., 2004.
Orwell, G. 1984. New York: Signet Classic, 1981.
George Orwell’s 1984: Winston & Julia’s Relationship Essay
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) is a compelling novel regarding science fiction in the twentieth century. It is written by George Orwell, a renowned writer, and reflects on various aspects of the society at that time. It outlines some elements of how the state could use its power to dominate or influence the lives of people primarily through the aspect of cultural conditioning as the Party can manipulate and control the people through totalitarianism policies.
This can be seen clearly by how Winston Smith’s personality is manipulated to the extent that he is not only integrated into the Party’s image but also comes to adore Big Brother though involuntarily. According to the author, the novel is intended to enlighten society on the kind of society they should desire. This critical essay gives an insight into Winston and Julia’s relationship and its credibility.
Winston Smith and Julia’s Relationship
Winston Smith belonged to the outside Party from Oceania, which represented America and England in reality. He, for an extended period, kept his feelings to himself until the latter due to fear of being punished as the state was ruthless. His rebellion against Big Brother results in his arrest and mistreatment. Julia, on the other hand, is a young, beautiful, and strong woman, a kind which does not in any way attract or interest Winston, and this makes him hate her so much.
However, Julia seems interested in Winston through her acts. At the end of it all, we find Winston and Julia being in love , though they were quite different regarding various aspects of life, most specifically the intellectual capabilities, although they were both rebellious of the Party. Their reasoning, perspectives, and inspirations were entirely parallel due to some differences in age, among other factors.
For example, Winston thought of how the future generations could have a much better life free from the influence of the Party as it was before the Party took over leadership, but Julia could not think of this since she did not know of life before the Party. Julia’s reasons for rebelling against Big Brother were different. She was rebellious just for the sake of being against the Party but nothing much. Their love story started in a very peculiar manner where Julia falls, and Winston offers to assist her just as he would do to any other person.
It was at this moment that Julia gets the advantage of airing what she had longed for a considerable time by giving him a note in which she had written that she loved him. Although Winston had been unreceptive towards women and particularly Julia, he was touched by the words in the note, and their love affair kicked off, although they kept the affair secret for a long time (Brodeur and Orwell 1995).
The love relationship between Winston and Julia in 1984 does not seem genuine and credible due to the circumstances that surround it. There appear that there is no complete love between them, and there is a lack of emotional connection, although they both have the desire to love one another, as one can see through their desire to stay together.
Winston and Julia being in love was founded much on the idea of companionship, absent in the Party’s society, rather than love. The political act of rebellion was the foundation of their affair, and passionate love was lacking.
The existence of the common idea of being against the Party is also a contributing factor towards their togetherness as they can easily confide in each other in their struggle to rebel against the Party and in so doing, avoid being lonely. The love relationship between Julia and Winston did not go far, and they eventually departed as they both betrayed each other, which could have been avoided if they truly loved one another.
They could even end up marrying each other (Katifer 2008). Winston Smith and Julia’s relationship is a good one and makes the novel fulfill its purpose. In the relationship, Julia teaches Winston the idea of love, and the love feeling is then manipulated and directed towards Big Brother.
The connection also brings out the human nature where there is usually a mixture of love, relationship, and betrayal. Loyalty and commitment are aspects that can be linked to the relationship between them, and this differentiates Winston and Julia’s relationship from those that have been influenced by the totalitarian state that was in power during their timeline (Amadae 2003).
Winston Smith and Julia are the main characters of Nineteen Eighty-Four. The plot of the novel, aimed to demonstrate large-scale social contradictions, unfolds around a private story of Winston and Julia’s relationship. The essay makes an analysis of the credibility of this relationship. It is questionable due to the basis on which it is founded. Political rebellion is, however, clearly shown through their relationship, and the society at that time is well depicted. We find the two actors betraying each other even with the knowledge that their staying together would play a significant role in freeing themselves from Big Brother hence proving their rationale.
Amadae, S. M, 2003. Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy: The Cold War Origins of Rational Choice Liberalism. The USA, University of Chicago Press.
Brodeur, K, and Orwell, G. 1995. George Orwell’s 1984. USA, Research & Education Assoc.
Katifer, 2008. Winston & Julia relationship. Web.
Analysis of books “Half the Sky How to Change the World”, “Gulliver’s travel” and “1984” Essay
This paper is based on the books Half the Sky How to Change the World, Gulliver’s travel and 1984. Half the Sky How to Change the World is written by two former New York Times journalists (Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn). Gulliver’s travel and 1984 are written by Jonathan Swift and George Orwell respectively.
Half the Sky How to Change the World is a collection of the authors’ experiences, while still working for the New York Times. Nicholas Kristof has been perceived by many observers as the embodiment of serious journalism because he hails from the elite society of journalism, although this image is in sharp contrast to the ‘slave owner’ image he represents in Half the Sky How to Change the World (The Guardian 1).
The book is based on the experiences of Kristof and his wife as they narrate how they bought child slaves from owners of brothels and later sent them back to their villages.
With the help of other organizations, they helped integrate the girls back to their original homes, but as they explain, this was no easy feat. Half the sky How to Change the World equates modern-day slavery to the Trans Atlantic slave trade of the 18th and 19th centuries because the authors explain that young girls are trafficked all over the world in proportions that greatly outweigh the African slave trade numbers (Kristof and Wudun 4).
Here, they draw a grim comparison of the human trafficking trade to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the 20th century genocide incidences, where human rights violations were perpetrated by the day.
Due to the magnitude of the trade, the authors explain that, the 21st century is characterized by a moral crisis that greatly outweighs any human rights violations of previous centuries. The authors paint a scenario which shows that most of the human traffic trade goes on without any hindrance from authorities or the society because it is ignored.
However, they grip the readers’ attention by explaining that, the human traffic trade is the root of most economic, political and social problems experienced in the world today (though the connection is not evident for ordinary people) (Kristof and Wudun 14). Comprehensively, the book Half the Sky How to Change the World exposes the rot that is human trafficking and tries to expose the severity of the trade and how it affects the world today.
Gulliver’s travel is a book based on the experiences of a sailor who visits several remote parts of the world. Gulliver’s Travel is mainly written to expose human psychology and the intrigues that surround it (Swift 1).
The book exposes the differences among various religions of the world and explains that, these differences are an ironic representation of the human psychology because in as much as people believe they are different, they are very alike. The book also exposes the importance of culture, and how people are worthless or lack meaning without it. Critics have viewed the book as an interesting satire on human psychology but they also acknowledge that the book is a parody of the author’s experiences as a sailor and a surgeon.
The book is based on four parts (or expeditions), where the lead character visits Lilliput, Blefuscu Brobdingnag, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, Glubbdubdrib, Japan and the country of the Houyhnhnms. In these locations, the author is treated as a hero instead of a captive. Comprehensively, the book is a narration of the author’s experiences in these locations. The book has never been out of print since it was first published and it has also been replicated in music and films across the world (Swift 1).
The book 1984 is based on the ills of totalitarian governments by exposing the lack of privacy and freedom in an undemocratic state. George Orwell exposes the extremes of a totalitarian government by explaining that, authoritarian governments control the press and all existing literature in the state (Masterson 2). This can be evidenced from the books assertion that,
“Even the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards. Part of the reason for this was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end” (Masterson 207).
The book goes on to state the moral dilemma brought about by totalitarianism and it further investigates if people were inherently born evil or not.
This paper explores the structure of the above mentioned books, based on their literary comparisons. Several aspects of the books will be analyzed, including their literary comparisons, structure and technique of presentation, authors’ personal experiences and background, contribution to literature and how the books may be perceived by the readers.
Finally, this paper establishes if the books are effective in the conveyance of their messages; or if there is a significant difference in writing styles which complement or obstruct the main presentation of facts.
Complementarily, this paper aims to explain how the three books stand as works of literature and how they contribute to the noble field. In the same context, this paper explains the effect that the books achieve as different works of literature and if there are any special techniques used which make them achieve the desired effects.
Structure and Presentation of Facts
There is a big difference in the manner journalism and professional writing work in the context of the book half the sky how to change the world. This is because the two concepts are based on different philosophies. Journalism is based on the principle of informing the audience about events that occur in everyday life but professional writing is based on several objectives including the above mentioned (Arnold 1).
Professional writing is therefore broad and may even include fictitious elements of writing, which do not occur in the real world. However, journalism is purely based on the occurrence of real events and facts which transpire in today’s society. These are the same premises that guide journalists and professional writers. Indeed, the same principles guided Kristof and Wudunn, except for the fact that, though they were engaged in professional writing. A lot of journalistic influences can be evident in their writing.
For instance, the inclusion of figures in their book is an indication of the dominance of journalistic philosophies in their writing because journalism demands the support of ideas or concepts, with figures (Arnold 1). This practice is upheld in the book half the sky how to change the world because it is a crucial concept of journalism to uphold credibility by explaining the sources of information.
The same principle is also upheld under the premise of supporting facts through figures (and such like tools) because journalism is enshrined in the philosophies of proving facts and concepts. Kristof and Wudunn uphold the same concept in their book because they greatly rely on figures to support their facts. This fact can be evidenced from Wudunn’s assertion that,
“When you hear that 60 to 100 million females are missing in the current population, we thought the number compares in the scope and size and then you compare the slave trade at its peak in the 1780s, when there were 80,000 slaves transported from Africa to the New World, and you see there are now ten times that number of women trafficked across international borders, so you start to think you are talking about comparable weight” (Kristof and Wudunn 15).
The same back up of figures is seen from the assertion that,
“as many infant girls were dying in China through lack of access to healthcare as the up-to-800 protesters who died in Tiananmen. Kristof received a further shock in 1996 when he came face-to-face with girls being trafficked for sex in Cambodia” (Kristof and Wudunn 15).
Here, the strong reliance on figures is undisputed. This is a strategy in factual presentation which is backed by the journalism backgrounds of the two authors.
Half the Sky How to Change the World shares some similarities with the book Gulliver’s travel, based on the same structural and presentation issues. First, the book is similar to Gulliver’s travels because they are both based on experiences accrued from several trips across the globe.
Half the sky How to Change the World is based on the experiences of two journalists who were researching the extent that human trafficking was prevalent in the world. Gulliver’s travel is based on the experiences of Lemuel Gulliver, first as a surgeon and later as a captain of several ships. The literary structure of the books adds to the credibility of their analogies because they are both based on real-life experiences.
This concept adds to their plot, structure and technique because books which have been written based on real-life experiences tend to be highly sought, as opposed to fictional writing (Masterson 2). Also, it is very difficult to argue with facts, as opposed to imaginary concepts.
This argument adds to the articulation of facts and concepts presented in the two books because the authors are better placed to advance their concepts, based on their real-life experiences. Kristof and Wudunn employ their journalism skills to explain the human traffic trade as a true occurrence of the society.
Human trafficking is explained as an ongoing trade of young girls happening in the real world, without any fictitious undertones to it. The lack of a fictitious undertone is a great advantage that Kristof and Wudunn employ in their writing, thereby making it superior to other books (Arnold 2). Readers can therefore be guaranteed that Kristof and Wudunn’s work lack any instances of exaggeration of facts or inclusion of fictitious elements in their work.
This observation is contrary to conventional writing because conventional writers (from a non-journalistic background) normally have too much freedom in their writing and therefore, they are not required to uphold any standards of professionalism (at least regarding the inclusion of facts in their writing).
Often, conventional writers include fictitious elements in their writing, or they partially exaggerate figures to emphasize a given point. The resultant works are therefore bound to have various dynamics in the representation of information. Equally, the same information cannot be reliable for future research or other uses.
Daily Reporting As Opposed To Seasonal Reporting
Considering the earlier assertion that, journalism principles are based on the occurrence of everyday events, as opposed to occasional events, Wudunn is seen to steer her writing towards the same principles when she refers to the plight of young Asian girls who were trafficked for sex. Here, she explains that,
“We’ve thought a lot about the failure to see this. Partly, it is because the news is defined by what happens on a particular day, and a lot of the most important things in the world do not happen on a particular day” (Kristof and Wudunn 15).
Here, we see that Wuddun explains herself from the journalistic point of view by reporting on human trafficking as a daily occurrence rather than a phenomenon. Conventional writers explain their contents based on phenomena as opposed to daily occurrence of events. In the introductory part of the book, Kristof and Wudunn explain that, “Partly that is because we journalists tend to be good at covering events that happen on a particular day, but we slip at covering events that happen every day” (Kristof and Wudun 1).
The inclusion of ‘everyday writing’ elements in “Half the Sky How to Change the World” is therefore a significant journalistic feature of the book which enriches its contents. This fact is shared with the book, Gulliver’s Travels because the lead character in the book also narrates his daily experiences in different islands. The same similarity is however not seen in 1984.
Kristof and Wudunn write their book based on the journalism principle which aims at effecting change within the society. Gulliver’s Travels or 1984 may however be merely based on providing entertainment to the writers or may act as an informative tool. Nonetheless, journalism writing aims at implementing change, or at the very least, initiating it (Arnold 1).
Kristof and Wudunn’s experience as journalists seem to manifest this principle because they expose the human traffic trade, with the aim of initiating a change of attitude within the society which also aims at stopping the trade. For instance, Wudunn explains that, “If you are convinced you have stumbled across an enormous moral outrage; you cannot merely cast light on the subject. You have to do something to stop it. You have to effect change” (Kristof and Wudunn 29).
This assertion greatly affirms the principle of effecting change, which is enshrined in the principles of journalism. Journalism writing is not only aimed at informing people of the events occurring in day-to-day life because from a general point of view, journalism writing seems to demand actions from the stakeholders. Kristof and Wudunn do not shy away from engraving this concept in their book, thereby making it slightly different from 1984 or Gulliver’s Travels.
The Guardian also describes Kristof and Wudunn’s work as “a call to arms, a call for help, a call for contributions, and also a call for volunteers” (The Guardian 12). To affirm the same fact, we can see that, Kristof and Wudunn say, “We hope to recruit you, to join an incipient movement to emancipate women . Just open your heart and join in” (Kristof and Wudunn 145). Indeed, we can establish that, the two authors write the book with an agenda of seeking support for fighting human trafficking.
Considering Kristof and Wudunn have immense experience in journalism, their influence in this field cannot be ignored when analyzing their representation of facts and general information in the book, Half the Sky How to Change the World. It is also difficult to ignore the fact that, most of the information represented in the book is the product of investigative journalism which inspired Kristof and Wudunn to share their experiences about human trafficking in China, India, Japan and Africa (The Guardian 19).
The information contained in the book is therefore a summation of the investigative assignments of the two authors when they were on professional assignments in the above regions of the world. It is equally inevitable to note that, the book Half the Sky How to Change the World is based on investigative writing which is often more interesting, credible and reliable as opposed to information contained in 1984 or Gulliver’s Travels which lack investigative elements.
The Guardian explains that, Kristof and Wudunn read a lot of psychological papers to understand what gets people to join a given cause (in form of donations) (The Guardian 20). Here, it is understood that the two authors used a psychological strategy of individualism, where they highlight the plight of one girl to entice people to contribute towards eliminating human trafficking.
The Guardian explains that, the two authors used findings from previous studies in Africa where people were told to date $5 to alleviate the suffering of a girl called Rokia (in Mali), or contribute the same amount of money to alleviate world hunger in general. This study indicated that, there were twice as many contributions made to alleviate the plight of Rokia as opposed to the number of people who donated money to alleviate world hunger. The Guardian gives an example of another study where it explains that,
“In another study, people were asked to give $300,000 to fight cancer. One group was told the money would save the life of a single child, another that it would save eight children. Perversely, people gave almost twice as much to save just one child rather than eight” (The Guardian 20).
From this analysis, we can establish that, the authors employed investigative elements to write their book because the strategy of highlighting the plight of one girl is widely quoted in many psychological papers as the best tool to use to get people to join a given cause. In reference to Kristof and Wudunn, the Guardian agrees with this fact by stating that, “The authors have followed the lessons of these psychological studies. They do have statistics in the book, many of which are harrowing” (The Guardian 20).
To affirm this fact, we see that the book focuses on the plight of individual girls, like Mai who hails from Southern Punjab and also a victim of a gang rap from a group of men from a higher socio-economic status. The book also highlights the plight of Sunitha Krishnan, whom with the help of a little financial boost, managed to break-free from the human trafficking bondage to start her village school (The Guardian 23).
Over the Blue Moon also affirms that the book is dotted with many individual stories of young girls in Africa and Asia who have overcome insurmountable odds to become champions against human trafficking. Here, it is stated that,
“There is Rath in Cambodia, who escaped from the brothel she had been sold into and now runs a thriving retail business that supports her family. There is Mamitu, who grew up without an education in a remote village in Ethiopia and now trains surgeons in Addis Ababa” (Over the Blue Moon 2).
In an unrelated point of view, conventional writers normally write their books from one location and their information is mainly sourced from one source. However, Kristof and Wuddun employ a different approach in their writing because they sum their experiences from different continents and represent the information in one book.
This approach enriches their work. Though ordinary writers may also be journalists; journalists have an inclination towards investigating their information as opposed to merely reporting other people’s facts, or making up information from their imagination (Arnold 2). A professional writer is however inclined to concentrate on the correct use of words, grammar, syntax and suchlike guidelines of writing.
Throughout the chapters of their book, Kristof and Wudunn cite several case studies to explain their ideas. These case studies are a product of investigative journalism which is done in many parts of the world including Afghanistan, Rwanda, Cambodia, Congo, India and Burundi, so that they represent the gender rights violations that occur across the third world.
It is almost difficult to exclude a specific region of the third world from the findings because most of the countries sampled represent a specific region of this part of world, in one way or the other. Kristof and Wuddun therefore expose more substance to their writing which supersedes 1984 or Gulliver’s Travels.
Considering Kristof and Wuddun hail from a background of concrete journalism, the two authors are very crafty in the way they manage information because they aim to use the plight of women to elicit emotions that spin the audience into taking action about the human traffic trade.
This strategy is part of the principles of journalism which aims to make a change in the society by making people understand why they need to do so. The Guardian affirms that, “Kristof and Wudunn specifically wanted to avoid a numbing effect where readers would become so overwhelmed by the grimness and apparent hopelessness of the lives women lead that they would sink into depression, rather than leap into action” (The Guardian 28).
Random House Inc. also explains that, “Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and Wudunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope” (Random House Inc. 2). These assertions show the employment of journalism tact to elicit emotions from the readers. However, 1984 and Gulliver’s Travels do not bear emotive undertones
Influence of Dual Interpretations and Analysis
Many authors have established that, dual authorship offers several advantages in the development of literary works because it offers some sense of inspiration and challenge to writers who think alike, and even to those who do not (Divito Design 1).
On many occasions, writers who have adopted dual authorship have observed that dual authorship enables authors to transcend their own limitations through collaborative writing. However, in the same context, several authors observe that, collaborative writing offers new challenges to the same idea because authors employing this strategy are likely to experience difficulty which they would not have experienced while working alone (Divito Design 1).
The book Half the Sky How to Change the World is a product of dual authorship between Kristof and Wudunn, but as this section of the paper establishes, the co-authorship element which evident in this literary piece poses more advantages than disadvantages to the overall structure and quality of writing.
Considering the book Half the Sky How to Change the World is a product of an investigative work by two authors, the different voices included by the two authors from their different contributions to the same work improves their quality of writing. This is true because since the literary piece is aimed at exposing human trafficking as a social evil, there is bound to be varying societal and political undertones to the work.
This is evidently true. However, since the nature of the work is highly political and indeed controversial, the inclusion of different voices is bound to improve the overall quality of writing of the study. The collaboration of facts, ideas, figures and concepts by Kristof and Wudunn is a strategy that empowers their overall arguments in the study because if the same arguments were advanced by one author, it would be more difficult to believe the author, as opposed to a situation where there were two authors.
Since Half the Sky How to Change the World is also a call for the world to take action against the gender injustices occurring in the third world, the concept of co-authorship is highly strategic in exposing the gender injustices occurring in the world. Here, it is crucial to highlight the fact that, Wudunn’s input as a woman is highly effective in exposing the plight of women in general because she is female. Kristof could have not achieved the extent of efficiency his wife exposes women issues because of his nature as a man.
This is true because the book mainly focuses on the plight of girls in Africa and Asia who undergo excessive human right abuses such as gender discrimination, female genital mutilation, domestic abuse, rape and other female issues. Wudunn is able to expose this unbearable suffering that the girls experience, better than Kristof.
The nature of the book is therefore supported by the dual authorship of the two writers because the authors are able to achieve a high level of cohesion in exposing the gender injustices occurring in the third world. There would therefore be no better way of exposing gender injustices if the input of both male and female authors was never incorporated in the study.
There are certain instances where male and female issues were deeply explored such that, it would be almost impossible for any author of the same gender to portray correctly the true meaning of the idea. For instance, in a section of the book, it is stated, “The Huichol (a Mexican tribe) believed that the pain of childbirth should be shared, so the mother would hold on to a string tied to her husband’s testicles.
With each painful contraction, she would give the string a yank so that the man could share the burden” (Kristof and Wudun 98). Here, there is a strong attribution of male and female pain which would be explained from a hybrid (gender unbiased) point of view. The fact that Kristof and Wudun are from different genders provide a balanced analysis of the main issues in the book because if the book was written by only one author, there is a high likelihood that there may be gender bias.
The fact that Half the Sky How to Change the World was written by two authors is a great strength of the book because the book contains information regarding various topics regarding human trafficking.
For instance, human trafficking is not only shrouded in gender disregard because it also contains information regarding political insensitivity, societal neglect, economic disempowerment, educational discrimination and such like factors. From this point of view, we can understand that, the inclusion of multiple authors in the development of the book is advantageous to the overall quality of the book because several issues can be analyzed deeply.
For instance, as stated earlier in this study, the book is deeply analytical of the gender issues plaguing women in the third world. Wudunn does an excellent job in highlighting these issues. However, Kristof does an equally good job in exposing the connection that human trafficking share with economic and political dynamics of the third world.
He exposes the economic neglect of women and the resultant vulnerability of the same. He explains that this issue exposes them to human trafficking. The lack of education and abuse of human rights, which is associated with a lack of education is also exposed as a societal problem fueling the human trafficking trade. In this analysis, both authors are able to give their contributions regarding the same.
However, Kristof does an excellent job in highlighting the political tools that enable human trafficking to thrive in the third world. Here, he exposes the fact that, the police, who are mandated to safeguard the rights of the citizens, sit back and protect the ‘pimps’ who steer the human trafficking trade by ensuring that whenever auctions go on, the girls do not escape into freedom (The Guardian 9).
Here, he exposes the contribution that the political wing of the government plays in enabling the human trafficking trade to thrive. Comprehensively, the book contains various issues affecting human trafficking and the same issues are best explained from the different point of views shared by the two authors.
Politics and Morality
Half the skies how to change the world and Gulliver’s Travel share some similarities in the fact that, they are very political books. Half the Sky is political in the sense that, it exposes the political rot that supports human trafficking and child slavery. Moreover, the book points fingers at the governments in the respective countries sampled and blames the authorities for letting human trafficking go on unabated.
Moreover, the book tends to ignore most of the economic and social factors that surround human trafficking and concentrates on the political aspects of human trafficking. Gulliver’s travel is not any different. The book focuses on the European government in a satirical way. This issue (among other political factors) paint the book to have a strong political undertone as is discussed by Swift
“This is the problem with politics in Lilliput: keeping the Emperor happy often means lying, flattery, or hypocrisy. And acting according to a pretty basic moral rule – do not make people slaves – makes the Emperor angry. Politics and morality do not seem to be compatible” (Swift 2).
Moreover, the book exposes the petty differences that exist between religions, and proposes an ironic perspective of human psychology and behavior as ridiculous. In some respects, the book also exposes the optimistic account of human capability. This is explained below
“Gulliver seems to believe that, the degenerate nature of man, (in other words, the tendency of human society to get worse and worse as time goes on) is necessarily linked to politics and the gradual increase of [political] party and faction. The more politics there are; the worse a society is, according to Gulliver’s logic” (Swift 29).
This fact is supported by the book’s reference to human morality as it debates if men are born inherently corrupt, or if moral decadence is part of human nature and an acquired attribute. In fact, Swift views the political nature of the book as the main theme of the book, alongside morality and the arguments between modernity and ancient concepts (Swift 2). The focus on morality is also strongly investigated as a common theme in the book’s plot as is discussed by Divito Design which ponders
“Pre-Houyhnhnm Gulliver seems to believe that the Brobdingnagian King would learn more about morality if he were exposed to a range of the politer countries in Europe. But by the end of the book, he wants to remain isolated from mankind with the Houyhnhnms. Why might a country’s isolation contribute to its moral development?” (Divito Design 4).
From this moral debate (among other issues), Half the Sky how to change the world bears a lot of similarity in structure and technique with Gulliver’s Travels.
George Orwell’s 1984 also share this similarity because its plot revolves around the extremes of politics. For instance, the author explains that, man can be an end to himself by exposing the influence totalitarianism has on the society. In fact, Masterson explains that most of the book, 1984, is hinged on explaining the influence that politics has on the human intellect (Masterson 4). This is the same framework that the author uses to explain that, morality is affected by the extremes of totalitarianism.
To some degree, the author also inclines to share the same view as those expressed in Gulliver’s travels because the author highlights the moral decadence in the society and how it affects the society. George Orwell explains this decadence in the context of totalitarian regimes. Nonetheless, it is important to note that, the three books are strongly hinged on moral arguments regarding the society and about man in particular. This argument is especially vivid in “half the Sky” and 1984.
Contribution to Literature
The book Half the Sky How to Change the World is a great contribution to world literature because it exposes the history of gender discrimination and human rights violations that have been going on unabated in the 21st century. The immense contribution of this book cannot be underestimated because it adds to existing volumes of literature regarding the abuse and exploitation of women, but more importantly, it exposes how investigative journalism plays a huge role towards exposing the human right abuses in present-day society.
This contribution is hereby exposed because most of the global literature regarding the same topic has mainly been done by conventional authors and the dynamism of perspectives such as that exposed in the book is rarely encountered. Moreover, few literature books contain the contribution of two world renowned journalists such as Kristof and Wudunn.
The two authors bring an interesting twist to the understanding of gender abuse and exploitation which is already contained in existing books of world literature. The uniqueness of Half the Sky How to Change the World is hereby exposed because its authors hail from different genders and therefore, they bring a comprehensive insight into the factors affecting gender abuse, exploitation and discrimination in present-day society. Random House Inc. affirms that,
“Half the Sky is a passionate and persuasive plea to all of us to rise up and say ‘No more!’ to the 17th-century abuses to girls and women in the 21st-century world. This is a book that pierces your heart and arouses your conscience. It is a powerful piece of journalism by two masters of the craft who are tireless in their pursuit of one of the most shameful conditions of our time” (Random House Inc. 7).
The books, Gulliver’s Travels and Half the Sky how to change the world can be perceived as books that strive to increase awareness about various issues in the society.
Half the Sky how to change the world can be easily perceived by readers as a literary excerpt aimed at increasing awareness about human trafficking. The fact that the book greatly increases awareness about human trafficking is further supported by the numerous statistics about human trafficking and child slavery in Asia and Africa. The book further goes on to explain how human trafficking comes about and how it thrives in today’s society.
The book formally shows issues like politics and economics and how they support human trafficking/ slavery. Gulliver’s Travels is a form of exploratory book that shows its readers various differences in the political, economic and social lives of various groups of people around the globe. For instance, the book exposes the religious differences that exist among various groups or communities of the world. The author infers that, the differences among the religions described are very petty.
In this regard, the author arouses people’s awareness about the similarities and differences among various religions of the world. George Orwell’s 1984 can however be perceived by readers as a book centered on political action (Masterson 2). The book is somewhat written to expose the dangers of politics by criticizing the political ideology of totalitarianism. The book is therefore strongly inclined to explain the negative aspects of totalitarianism as a political action tool.
This paper exposes the dynamism that Kristof and Wudunn bring to the development of literature and how their book share several similarities with Gulliver’s Travel and 1984. This paper explains that, half the sky how to change the world is similar to Gulliver’s travel because they are written from the authors’ real-life experiences.
However, these two books share their political nature with George Orwell’s 1984. Also from the same analysis, this paper identifies that, the three books share a strong similarity in their structure and presentation of facts, because they are based on factual representation of information. Therefore, they are believable and easy to sell. Comprehensively, we can see that, though the books are based on different ideologies and written about different concepts (or topics), they share similarities in presentation and writing styles.
Arnold, Christopher. Journalism and Journalistic Writing. 2010. Web.
Divito Design. Single Author or Multiple Authors on a Blog? 2008. Web.
Kristof, Nicholas, & Wudun, Sheryl. Half the Sky: How To Change The World. New York: Virago, 2009. Print.
Masterson, Sonny. George Orwell’s 1984 Book Analysis. 2010. Web.
Over The Blue Moon. Half The Sky: How To Change The World. 2010. Web.
Random House Inc. Half the Sky. 2011. Web.
Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels. London: Jones & company, 1826. Print.
The Guardian. Half The Sky: How The Trafficking Of Women Today Is On A Par With Genocide. 2010.Web.
The aspects of human nature that George Orwell criticizes in his work 1984 compared to today’s world Research Paper
1984, is a novel written by George Orwell. The novel predicts a negative utopia of a totalitarian society, which makes use of terror and an authoritarian bureaucracy to exert power over its citizens. The novel has been widely used in academic institutions in an attempt to educate the youth on the dangers of totalitarian communism.
It was used during the Cold War to fight against communism and this has made Orwell to be commemorated by many people as an opponent of the Red Menace. The question on how Orwell’s1984 illuminates the social realities in today’s world has been posed repeatedly. This paper will discuss the aspects of human nature that George Orwell criticizes in his work 1984 compared to today’s world (Orwell, 2002).
The aspects of human nature that George Orwell criticizes in his work 1984 compared to today’s world
Orwell in the novel 1984 represents the modern society be it capitalist or communist. Just like the present world, the nation described in the novel had a police force and an administrative body. According to the novel, when a leader gains absolute control over a nation, he/she becomes corrupted and this is evident in today’s world (Orwell, 2002).
Orwell in the novel 1984 criticizes Stalinism as a form of state communism where the government controls all aspects of its citizen’s life. Orwell in the book criticizes Stalinism with the political leader of his predicted society being represented by Stalin and the nation’s enemy being represented by Trotsky.
The world of 1984 is an example of today’s world that is full of political tribunals, torture-extracted declarations of guilt, secret police force, and labor camps. Orwell criticizes this form of government by stating that it leads to lack of freedom, human rights, and social inequality which results to a depressing life with no diversity.
The community in 1984 is totalitarian with a federal party state that controls all aspects of the people’s life from labor, to customs, to thought, to verbal communication and finally sexuality. This is similar to today’s world whereby bureaucracy produces a tyrannical structure in which one group of persons, that is, the government dominates the others (Orwell, 2002).
Another aspect of human nature that Orwell criticizes in 1984 is the fact that leaders have power over the media. The novel starts with evocations stating, “Big brother is watching you,” (Orwell 6), after which it puts the reader into a cruel environment where television sets are used as surveillance tools by broadcasting only government related issues. Orwell critics this behavior by stating that televisions are central entertainment instruments at home and should not be used as instruments of government propaganda and social manipulation.
The media in Orwell’s 1984 is instrumental in advancing government propaganda and is thus an instrument of surveillance and fear. For instance, in Orwell’s 1984, the government controls television sets by making sure that they have only one channel, and cannot be switched off. Orwell states that “the great majority of the people did not even have telescreens in their homes” (Orwell 77) and this underrates the ubiquity of television screens and their role in recreation, and indoctrination in today’s world.
The role of the media in Orwell’s 1984 is thus different from today’s world where the media functions in privatizing, serializing, and ensuring safety of citizens in their homes. Television watching in today’s world protects persons from political issues while at the same time shaping their contemplations and behaviors. This in 1984, however, disturbs individuals and deprives them of their privacy (Widmann, 2002).
Lust for power is an aspect of human nature criticized by Orwell in his work 1984. This is seen in the sentence “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power….We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing….We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.” (Orwell 217).
Orwell illustrates how lust for power inspires party bureaucrats and how they make use of this power to put down anyone who goes up against their interests. At this point, the reader gets a powerful vision of disloyalty by a new class of people, which is similar to today’s world. To communicate this notion to the people, Orwell uses several literary techniques showing state power and fear (Widmann, 2002).
Orwell’s 1984 book is applied in today’s world to refer to quasi-fascist and authoritarian regimes in the United States, Latin America, and Africa. The brutality of leaders in becoming the most authoritative and evil dictators weakens a nation. For instance, in Orwell’s 1984, leaders use brute force in making their citizens to follow them. According to them “Power is not a means; it is an end.
One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship” (Orwell 218). This is similar to what is happening in today’s world where citizens are afraid of speaking out their minds and leaders end up becoming dictators. This is also evident in communist states where the citizens live in fear of their government and therefore cannot make any utterances against the government (Orwell, 2003).
Orwell in his work equates bureaucracy within totalitarian nations to political oppression and exploitation. He says that transition to a federal economy is inevitable though it concentrates power in the hands of the government.
According to Orwell, a centralized government means more authority and control by the state bureaucracy, which is evident in today’s world. I agree to issues such as Stalinism, lust for power, corrupt leadership, inequality, and dictatorship as brought out in this novel since they are relevant in today’s world (George, 2002).
Similar issues in today’s society that should be reformed
Based on my opinion, the above issues can be reformed in today’s society. Stalinism, corrupt leadership, and lust for power can be reformed by electing sincere leaders. Support from the society is, however, very important in eliminating Stalinism and corrupt leadership and a cross party political consent should be encouraged. Dictatorship, on the other hand, can be reformed by transferring or sharing supremacy with others. The judiciary should check on the excesses of the ruling class to help solve inequality issues.
Orwell in his book 1984, talks of totalitarianism, and the evils associated with this type of rule. He is considered a critic of suppressive socio-economic structures by providing strong condemnations against this type of rule. He further gives warnings concerning what might happen if such trends are adopted in the future.
George Orwell. “Work: Summaries & Interpretations: Nineteen Eighty-Four.” 20 Nov. 2002. Web.
Orwell, George. “Pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair.” Books and Writers. 29 Oct. 2002. Web.
Orwell, George. “1984.” Life Research Universal. 2003. Web.
Orwell, George. 1984. London: Paw Prints, 2008. Print.
Widmann, Richard, and George, Orwell. “Thought Crimes Archive.” 29 Oct. 2002. Web.
Analysis of Enemy of the People and Nineteen Eighty Four Essay
In any society, forces of change deploy incredible efforts to do what is right amid the criticisms and resistance to the change emanating from the preservative forces of governance. Critics of immoral acts such as corruptions in societies are normally lonely. They feel neglected by the people who engage in mal-practices.
Doing the right thing makes the society collectively stronger. Enemy of the People and Nineteen Eighty Four strategically develop this idea. For instance, towards the epilogue of the play An Enemy of the People, Dr. Tom Stockman maintains, “We are all alone…And there’ll be a long night before its day…But remember now, everybody.
You are fighting for the truth, and that is why you are alone…And that makes you strong…We’re the strongest people in the world …and the strong must learn to be lonely” (Ibsen, 1999, p.78). In this statement, Dr. Tom Stockman makes it clear that, even though advocating for truth or morals is a long hassle, finally the truth would set the society free.
The paper uses this assertion together with Dr. Tom Stockman’s closing remarks as the analytical principles. Specifically, it compares and contrasts An Enemy of the People and Nineteen Eighty-Four focusing on how they develop the notion brought by Stockman that those fighting for a change in the society must arm themselves with strength as they face the inevitable resistance from those against the change.
Enemy of the People
Dr. Tom Stockman comes up with an incredible idea that he truly believes will alter the town in which the context of the play is based. He fights for bath changes despite the enormous challenge he faces since the whole town is against him: he is alone in the fight.
Following this resistance, his scientific experiments are widely perceived as wastage of time. In fact, this qualifies the quote by Dr. Tom Stockman when he says, “Remember that you are fighting for the truth, and that is why you are alone” (Ibsen, 1999, p.39) following the opposition he faces from all facets.
However, he stands for the truth, which cannot be upheld by the majority of the people. He is left alone in the struggle. Dr. Tom Stockman is precisely sure that failure to embrace his ideas would truncate into making the town people experience sufferings (Ibsen, 1999, p.39).
On his part, he feels that his self-respect and the freedom he possesses to express himself are negatively impaired. In this context, Dr. Tom Stockman develops the idea that introducing change is critically difficult since the person bringing about the change has to experience instances in which he or she feels lonely since many people are opposed to his ideas of change.
This affirms Dr. Tom Stockman quote that, “You are fighting for the truth…you have to be strong” (Ibsen, 1999, p.78). Therefore, the people could not have just embraced his idea of change since it was the truth, which has to face resistance from the society. However, he garners strength to continue advocating for social integrity through his revelation of the harms that corruption among the town people has on the economic wellbeing of the society.
In his quote, Dr. Stock man said that those who fight for the truth must be strong since the truth makes them strong. It is therefore more of a duty than a trial to stand by the truth. The revelation, as encouraged by Stockman, persuades every person whose fight for a positive change in the society faces discouragement from others. Ibsen develops the theme of social change and the ways of inculcating it in the minds of the town people by presenting democracy in two folds.
In the first place, democracy is presented as tyranny of the majority. Arguably, the force of the majority is essentially a tyrant insofar. In this context, the author sheds light that leaders of people shun from doing what is right and morally acceptable since they must make the people they lead happy (Ibsen, 1999, p.45). Consequently, people aiming to bring change by putting in place mechanisms of making people to do what is right face incredible loneliness because people will hardly accept them.
This argument is in line with what Stockman was advocating for when he encouraged such people to be strong in their efforts to nurture the truth. These people must therefore be prepared to be lonely for the sake of the truth. Hovard evidences a good example of the barrier of doing the right things due to influences and the need to fulfill the desires of the people even if they are wrong.
He does not print a doctor’s report and bath’s report in the fear of upsetting subscribers. On the other hand, Mayor is not willing to make proposals for altering baths in the fear that people may notice some mistakes made in the original plan (Ibsen, 1999, p.49). Majority of the people have an immense fear to take up risks, which according to the doctor, “is not intelligent enough to do what is right” (Ibsen, 1999, p.52).
As evidenced by the words of Dr. Tom Stockman in the quote that those that are willing to fight for change must be able to sacrifice their plight besides being strong and lonely. He says that those who are fearful cannot wage a good fight against the atrocities of the world. Fear of loneliness conforms to the status quo of a character regardless of whether it is right or wrong.
Additionally, Ibsen gives the picture of the manner in which leaders are capable of manipulating masses to fulfill their self-centered interests. For instance, the Mayor and Asaksen control all the meetings. They manage to convince the masses to support the comments of the doctor pertaining to masses’ stupidity (Ibsen, 1999, p.63). Arguably, instead of doing what is right and or allowing the majority to rule directly, threats and ideas of the majority prevent leaders from thinking and acting honestly.
What such leaders fear is being alone. A leader who can bring change to the society must be able to stand for the truth regardless of whether the majority approves it or not. They must be strong even when they are alone in the fight. In the play, a call is made for leaders to consider embracing what is right besides acting in an ideal way so that the truth, and what is right could make the society stronger rather than disintegrating it.
Nineteen Eighty Four
Written by George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty Four can be described as dystopian novel describing the state of the modern society. Unlike the society described in Enemy of the People whose leaders only do what pleases the masses, unfair minded persons living in a totalitarian state characterize the society described in the Nineteen Eighty Four.
Although the author does not directly propose the right ways for proper leading of a society, it is evident that he criticizes the society in which his novel is based when he presents it as being empty, over-politicized, and highly drab (Orwell, 2003, p.21). The entire novel revolves around the story of Winton Smith who works with the ministry of truth.
Through this character, Orwell is able to criticize the authoritarian society besides setting paradigms for determining what is right and what is wrong in leadership. The party to which Smith belongs controls everything in the state. Smith alters the state’s historical record to make sure that the name of the big brother and that of the government are portrayed in a manner that is pleasing (Orwell, 2003, p.59).
In fact, the main concern of Smith is how the status quo would be maintained. This contravenes the need for leadership as an instrument of change. Dr Stockman says that the leaders should not fear being compromised by the majority. Anyone who wants to embrace change should be ready to suffer loneliness for the sake of the truth.
This argument is depicted in the quote, “We are all alone…We’re the strongest people in the world …and the strong must learn to be lonely” (Ibsen, 1999, p.78). To do this, he is suspicious of persons who are faithful to the ruling party that they might be members of opposition parties. For instance, Winton suspects that O’Brien could be a member of fellowship, a party he thinks would act to violate the egocentric quest for his party to remain in power (Orwell, 2003, p.65).
Arguably, Winton and his party are presented as forces, which are resistant to change aimed at depriving everybody of the freedom of choice including the freedom to choose one’s political stands. To Winton, being a member of goodwill while serving in the government is a big threat to the political party, as well as the government he diligently serves. This means that he is reluctant to embrace other people’s opinions to evaluate whether they are significant in influencing and bettering the livelihoods of the masses.
In fact, this argument concurs with the words in the quote by Dr. Tom Stockman that the courageous and positive result-oriented must be alone (Ibsen, 1999, p.78). Similar to the Enemy of the People, in the Nineteen Eighty Four, people who are determined to bring about change in the manner of governance of the societies would face an immense challenge in the process of attempting to alter the perception of people like Winton who are ideally egocentric.
While advocating for a society of equality, it is significant to note that the process would assume many risks and social struggles. According to the revelation by Dr. Tom Stockman, every change must take time before the people accept and or embrace it thus concurring with Stockman’s words, “…and there will be a long night before its day” (Ibsen, 1999, p.78).
Those who are ready to champion change must be patient. However, it is only persons who are committed to change besides being willing to take up the risk would make the society described in Nineteen Eighty Four better by making it embrace diverse opinions of different stakeholders as tools and channels of creating a more equitable society. They must accept loneness.
The leadership depicted in the Nineteen Eighty Four does not welcome criticisms. This claim is why O’Brien, although a faithful member of goodwill, disguises himself as a true follower of the ruling party in an attempt to spy the government. Any criticism is treated as an attempt to disobey the government, something that prompts punishment.
Indeed, when Winston is arrested at the bookshop by secret police, he is taken to the ministry of love “to re-indoctrinate him through torture” (Orwell, 2003, p.32). While this is an acceptable, such an act violates human rights. In fact, Stockman referred to this suffering when he raised the issue of a long night to symbolize the pain, suffering, and the confusion that characterizes the barrier between truth and deception. Such inflictions of pain are used to mask the truth from the sight of the majority.
They therefore accept things at the face value. Unfortunately, it is not critiqued by anybody since people must comply with the state’s demands. The law enforcing agents continued even to intimidate him through infliction of fear. In particular, Winton was “taken to room 101, a place where one’s worst fears are used against him” (Orwell, 2003, p.37). This prompted Winton to change immensely.
He was not strong enough to fight for the truth. He was no one of the strongest people that fights for the truth. He did not wait for the day. The long hours of the night overcame him thus concurring with Stockman’s words. Precisely, towards the end of the novel, he is “a valid member of the society” (Orwell, 2003, p.89).
This implies that he does not oppose or resist the oppression exercised by the government on the citizens. In this extent, it is apparent that Orwell manages to portray what is right and not right within a society through the long struggles of Winton to align his thoughts with the anticipations of the totalitarian government that he serves. However, by doing this, Winton commits a big mistake since subscribing to the prescribed codes of conduct, which are oppressive, amounts to the violation of rights of the masses.
Although the settings of Enemy of the People and Nineteen Eighty Four are different, the authors of these literary works have one noble concern: to address the right way in which the society needs to operate so that all people get an opportunity to exercise their rights without coercion.
In Nineteen Eighty Four and Enemy of the People, the existing forms of leadership and administration do not permit people to make their own decisions. Oppression and instilling of a compliance culture are the order of the day. For the sake of bringing about change in such societies, it is crucial for advocates of change to step in to challenge such regimes. However, the desire of people in the governance, whether in a state or hospital, is to maintain the status quo.
Therefore, advocates of change would essentially face immense opposition hence making them lonely. However, after this struggle, change is acquired. Consequently, people would contemplate and adopt new paradigms for fighting for their rights. In the end, the hard times faced by the advocates of change would be fruitful. Hence, the realization of their dream would end up making them stronger amid the loneliness in the fighting process.
Ibsen, H. (1999). Enemy of the People. New York, NY: Dover Publications.
Orwell, G. (2003). Nineteen Eighty Four. New York, NY: Plume.
Historical parallel to George Orwell’s 1984 Term Paper
The novel explores the various aspects of totalitarian governments through the dismal life that Winston Smith, a character in the novel goes through. He is constantly frustrated through suppression.
Perhaps that is clearly illustrated by the quote that presupposes that whoever can control the past, has power to control the future; while whoever has the ability to control the present, wields the right to control the past. In this novel Winston is actually unable to get off the big brother’s watch who constantly monitors every action undertaken by him on telescreens. Winston’s resentment for the party eventually grows in enormity (Howe and Geoge 83).
The book presents various vagaries of totalitarian states, where a single entity rules over everybody’s daily life without any opposition. Just like in many present totalitarian states, government control can be spotted almost everywhere in this book. This is highly reflected in Winston and many other characters that have no control over their families, aspects of history and even own sex life.
To make it even worse, the government has managed to even interfere in family affairs (Steinhoff 53). For instance, it turned children against their own parents, compelled patrons into doing undignified jobs, control history by completely wiping people out of existence, as well as exploring a determined desire to completely remove all sexual desires from different individuals.
All the things that take place in the book have their own parallels in history. For example, the Cuban missile crisis is a potent example that occurred after the publication. There has also been the Korean War, the division of the Germany by the Berlin Wall, and its eventual destruction.
Through the Holocaust, about 11 million lives were brought to an abrupt end; not through any wrong they did, but basically through what they were. The Nazis persecuted groups such as homosexuals, members of Jehovah’s witnesses, the handicaps, Catholics, political dissidents and many others (Dieterle 25)
One could see that the Nazis persecuted them due to their physical orientations and even religion inclinations. In actual sense most were persecuted due to their failure to suit the Aryan perceived ideal. Adolf Hitler, who was born in 1889, is the one who led the Holocaust. He later died in 1945, the same year that the United Nations was established by several countries committed to the pursuit of peace through cooperation.
Today, most nations of the world belong to United Nations, which is faced with the duty of maintaining international peace and security as well as making sure that friendly coexistence among nations is promoted (Rodden 47). Protection of human rights also falls under it s mandate as well as harmonization many other actions of nations. Though faced with these enormous responsibilities, the UN has been accused of imposing the will of the West on other States. This is exactly what we see in Orwell’s 1984.
There is another organization, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which is an alliance of countries from North America and Europe. These countries are committed to fulfilling the wishes and goals of the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed in 1949. Actually, the initial fundamental goal of NATO was to safeguard the security and freedom of its member states. However, lately its mandate has been seen to be expanding including intervention in external conflicts bedeviling others for fling countries across the globe (Rodden 50).
Compared to the Owellian ‘1984’ one can see that both NATO and UN have far reaching influence on the rest of the world just like the party in ‘1984’.
Totalitarianism has also been exhibited in States like China and even Korea. Though both are totalitarian, the Chinese government has proved less totalitarian with time; its systems of government still wield a great influence. First of all, its system is highly politicized with no clean distinction between the state and society. The citizens have no freedom and live under constant surveillance from the state, which acts as the big brother over its citizenry.
Just like the big brother in “1984”, in these two states there is a single rule by powerful dictatorship. For instance, in North Korea the leader is feared and considered the absolute holder of the truth and actually the one who “protects” and saves his people. The masses are brainwashed through constant propaganda and to some extent there is some indoctrination. These components of totalitarianism create a culture of paranoia among the citizens’ psyche.
Usually, the leader is not selected through popular mandate. In most cases the leaders emanate from several hereditary monarchies. Decent is usually brought down with military might. The government has planted spies to point out any person considered to be exhibiting dissident view (Rodden 66).
Though the American citizens may not have experienced such situations, the novel clearly warns how the totalitarian states smother its citizens. For instance, in the book, we are told of how the Party put stringent control on the people by planting Junior Spies.
These junior spies are children who report to the party and they spy against their parents should they identify any element of “disloyalty to the party”. For instance, Winston’s neighbor becomes the victim of this arrangement when his own children turn him in. In the Nazi Germany we are told how Hitler controlled children and these children were called Hitler’s Youth.
Winston is forced to adjust his movement for fear of constant surveillance from the state. Telescreens were stationed to simultaneously transmit individual actions and intentions. By these, individuals were constantly brainwashed into believing that they were being watched.
Winston, we are told, was even fearful of the posture that he took for he feared what a wrong posture could portend. He also lives in constant fear of revealing his hatred for the government. We are told, “…the smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, and a habit of muttering to yourself anything that carried with it a suggestion of having something to hide,” could put one in trouble. (Orwell 54)
In China and North Korea we have heard of great interference with the electronic media. The state does not allow freedom to information. In fact, the state controls almost all types of information that submitting it to the masses. Indeed, there have been cases of visiting journalists being arrested and accused of spying for their foreign governments.
The party exercises both physical and psychological control over its citizens by instilling fear through this surveillance and psychological terror. The party also uses propaganda to confuse the masses into believing that recent failure is in fact a success. For example, when the party announces an increase of the chocolate in their daily meal, Winston discovers that in actual sense, it was a reduction from the previous day, though many people receive the news with no suspicion.
To further advance the psychological warfare, there are large writings on the streets with the writing, “Big Brother is Watching You” which this serves as a reminder to every body that they do not have freedom.
This idea of surveillance cameras has come under great use all over the world lately. For example, in large avenues in the US and even England there are surveillance cameras all over monitoring everything that people are doing. This is also replicated in countries like China and even North Korea where individuals are spied upon by the government until they no longer feel free in their own country.
Orwell has in first chapters of his work stressed on surveillance. This constant hammering by Orwell is a strategy used to enable him to make the reader see the importance of freedom. Actually one wonders what life would be if one were to be in such a situation. We are exposed to a situation where Winston is forced to associate his movement with awareness that he could be watched by someone.
We are told, “…he set his features into the expression of quiet optimism which was advisable when facing the telescreen” (Orwell 8). The story well demonstrates that facial expressions, body movements and posture are all controlled by the government; the government is exploiting the masses through unfair exercise of its disciplinary power. The suggestion here is that ironically the state is the one that fears the individuals otherwise there is no need why it should so wish to tame the individual through such antics.
The other aspect that Orwell reveals through surveillance is to identify “through – criminals”. In the book, merely entertaining dissenting views could land one into great trouble. In fact we are told that such thoughts were more punishable than crimes such as murder and even theft.
Orwell achieved this by presenting Winston at the beginning of the book writing hateful thoughts about the government in a personal diary. We are further told that even if he did not write down his thoughts or not he would still have committed them. So he went on and wrote “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” (Orwell 19)
Thought – crime in Orwell’s work is punished because it goes against the grain and aspirations of the ruling class. So, Orwell showed that brain processes can be a threat to rogue regimes.
Perhaps, it could be against this understanding that we see the government employing propaganda to make sure that the thought processes of individuals do not reach their implementation stage. Winston is in great conflict as he wonders what to put down in his diary and what to leave out. This also shows the very extent to which state terror has percolated the mind of the population.
In countries such as China and North Korea, the educated are closely monitored by the powers. Idea generation is highly skewed, as there is no medium through which individuals can express their thoughts freely.
Orwell comes into the league of dystopian novelists by appreciating the failure of physical control. He shows that for one to control fully then the mind should be the target. Total control by most totalitarian states has gone to great heights. Faced with the urge to control the mind, most totalitarian governments have employed various schemes to do so.
For example, in North Korea the regime has managed to brainwash the citizens and even the external world that it has the greatest arsenal in its possession. It does this by holding public military parades for the whole world to see. So, Orwell in his work shows that the wish for control by the rulers of these states does not rest at the individual level, but also spreads up to the external world. This is perhaps meant to create an illusion of control since it is not easy to control the external world.
The Marcos regime in the Philippines was full of scandals. First of all, Marcos perpetuated himself in power together with his son and wife by taking control of both political and economic resources of the country.
The kind of power Marcos wielded helped him and his family control the country as he managed to suppress open dissent for a time. It is argued, for instance, that it is this illegitimate hold on to power that pushed him to exercise terror. He capitalized on propaganda, too. It is recorded that Mijares, was Marcos’ chief media propagandist.
This is in line with Orwell in Nineteen Eighty Four presents. Marcos wanted to control the mind and other things; and by this, he employed propaganda to achieve this selfish end (Moustaki 97). We are in fact told how Marcos’ agents plundered copies of a book that had exposed his dealings. He set out to bribe the writer, a former media propagandist, not to publish the memoirs but this could not work. But after being tricked to come back to Phillipines, Mijares was killed in a bizarre incident.
Even the support that opposition got was discreet since it would have been met by the full force. Just like in the book, Marcos dreaded dissident from the party. The ruling party was the vehicle through which Marcos managed to execute his political machinations.
Marcos also employed the use of propaganda like the one “guns, goons and gold” to his advantage. He used state resources as he wished. A crisis would arise out of poverty. This has its parallel in Orwells book. For example, in Nineteen Eighty Four there is intimidation and the threat to punishment.
In Nineteen Eighty Four the party uses psychological control over the members of the society through propaganda and intimidation. The party denied people to have sex so as they could later channel this pent up sexual desire towards fighting those opposing the Party and the Big Brother.
Ironically, it is the very Party that created the very enemies it is trying to fight. Actually in the three nations, the war will not be won since it is difficult for two allied nations to beat the third. Oceania has enemies so that the citizens are united against a common enemy and in essence make them love the Party even more.
The Big Brother does go further and even employ physical control. Winston says that a person’s nervous system could prove the worst enemy to that person. The party makes sure that its citizens are constantly occupied so that they do not have time to engage in any dissent.
This in essence makes them totally exhausted that they do not have time to engage in any dissent (Moustaki 99). To achieve this, people are made to participate in morning exercises referred to as “morning jerks” and afterwards they are made to work for strenuously in the government agencies.
There is a very big parallel with what has been taking place in most communist states. In the Soviet Republic people had to work in timber industry and on the government owned farms. Private ownership of land was prohibited and so people had to rely on government for subsistence. This perhaps explains why to date citizens in the runaway states have detested communism. The same happens in China.
Most people work on farms and industry at low wages and dissent is completely detested by the government. Media is controlled by the government and even some sites are blocked on the internet. Recently there has been an altercation between Chinese authorities and the search engine.
Winston is subjected to physical torture after he defies the party. At last he confesses that nothing can prevent one from stopping physical pain. He feels that physical pain is so powerful that even his deep love for Julia and his hatred for the party could surpass what pain he endured while being tortured. As he was being tortured he was made to believe that even “two plus two equals five”.
Another aspect that is used is the ability to control history. Through controlling the past, the Party manages to control all the information available to the people. Later on, Orwell uses Winston to adjust all the historical records (Rodden 46). This means that through this it could not be established if certain dissidents ever existed.
The Party can justify each actions it commits. Citizens are prohibited from keeping past records or documents. Even photographs were not to be kept. This puts the citizens into a very vulnerable position since they do not have reliable records for any reference. They are susceptible to the government propaganda. In most totalitarian countries there is control of information. Media is controlled by state agents who are told what to write.
Orwell also shows how governments set out to control the external world so that their power may be seen to be acceptable.
One way of achieving this is through constant warfare as seen in Oceania. Orwell exposes us how constant warfare kind of psychologically assures the citizens of the power the party has over them. We see Oceania always at war with Eurasia and Eastasia.
Winston Smith helps the reader understand the regime he lives in. Winston lives in authoritarian regime as a citizen of Airstrip One, in Oceania. According to Reed and Michael (33), Winston lives a cruel and limited life; he is monitored, and forced to submit to the party in all aspects of his life.
In Oceania, individuals who do not embrace the party “suffer the wrath of the Thought Police”. Orwell’s illustrations of the treatment and totalitarian rule that Winston encounters in Oceania parallels the totalitarian regimes right from the early twentieth century to the present. During the twentieth century, the Nazi in Germany and Stalin in Soviet Union espoused much control and restricted their citizens in excising their rights and freedom (Reed and Michael 44).
Orwell illustrates that, the Party monitored and controlled its citizens by using telescreens that could transmit constant streams of propaganda such as the Two Minutes Hate and hate Week, and instilling fear by invoking the Thought Police. Hence, the party employed these strategies so as to stay in power by using extensive psychological manipulation (Plank 17).
Winston views the regularities of his world that is the telescreen, the dilapidated residence complex, the Big Brother and the sad reality of his neighbor and the die- hard party supporters with contempt and sadness (Reed and Michael 54). He has deep reservation about the party and feels there must be hope for a better future, in which personal freedom is guaranteed.
However, children’s strong devotion to the Party makes him worry a lot. In his view, he sees the Party has indoctrinated the young children through strategies such as the Youth League and the Spies, which motivate children to report anyone they perceive as a criminal, even their parents (Brodeur 63).
These influence and control over the young children of Oceania shows the significant degree of control the Party leverage over its citizens. It also provides an analogous situation to similar fascist organizations of the twentieth century such as Hitler’s Youth. Besides, the communist rule in Germany illustrates the issues raised by Orwell in his book (Moustaki 73). The communist rule in most parts of Eastern Europe dampened down hostility and increased violent incidents among the populations.
Besides, the slaughter in Yogoslavia suggested the replacement of the repressed in the same way as elections in former Soviet Union were. In this case, Orwell was an auspicious novelist; the human spirit is strong, spirited and downright recalcitrant (Moustaki 97). This illustrates, people can create laws or instill fear to make others silent,; people can also enact laws which impel love with a neighbor.
Orwell is underpinning a psychological and political reality, which represent the majority embracing the authorial effect that arises as a result of Nazism and Stalinism. When the 1984 was authored, it coincided with political depressions happening across the world. The world was at the stage of fascist and authoritarian regimes that were condemned because of the evil acts of Stalin and Hitler.
Orwell in his work was hilarious. He illustrated that government can trigger fanaticism. Perhaps, it can achieve this for a short- time; however, people evolve to their original form (Orwell and Harod 34). In the present world, fundamentalism has arisen in opposition to the government, not as a result of it. Like capitalism and democracy, government of any nature and fundamentalism trend different rulebooks.
Fundamentalism, akin to capitalism demonstrates a mean to an end; fundamentalism trusts the heavenly kingdom; in whatever case it is represented to them, they will conquer the world, or they think the millennium will come and accomplish everything and will domicile in heaven. However, all states or governments including the oppressive governments, embrace the doctrine of permanence contradicting all fundamentalisms.
Once fundamentalists succeed or conquer, as the case in Iran, the pragmatists and bureaucrats emerge. Orwell, in his book shows the world of constant, organized diversions and trials, shows trials and other challenges to keep people frightened, diverted and obedient. However, experiences learned from governments such as Russia, China and Iran confirm that this is a short term strategy since not all people are convinced, but the instigators or the “leaders tire and cannot continue further”.
The 1984 sees government being managed by corrupt leaders which deprive its citizens of their natural freedom. Hence, Orwell demonstrates the hazards of how unchecked power can be a significant issue in western democracies (Orwell and Harod 74).
In conclusion it can be said that it is only through radical despair that the citizenry of the totalitarian states manage to emancipate themselves. Otherwise the ruling class of such regimes will continue to maintain a stranglehold of the societies they are in rule of.
Brodeur,Karen. 1984 (Maxnotes Literature Guides). New York: Research & Education Assoc., 1995. Print.
Davison, Peter Hobley. George Orwell: a literary life. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1996. Print
Dieterle, Christof. George Orwell’s 1984 and its Implications on the Political System of the GDR. Berlin: GRIN Verlag, 2003. Print
Howe, Irving and George Orwell. 1984 revisited: totalitarianism in our century. New York: Harper & Row, 1983
Moustaki, Nikki. Cliffs Notes, George Orwell’s 1984. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2000. Print.
Orwell, George, Harod Bloom. 1984. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2007. Print
Plank, Robert. George Orwell’s guide through hell: a psychological study of 1984. Maryland: Wildside Press LLC, 1994
Reed, Kit, Michael Spring. George Orwell’s 1984. New York: Educational Series, 1984. Print.
Rodden, John. George Orwell: The Politics of Literary Reputation. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2002. Print.
Steinhoff, William R. George Orwell and the origins of 1984. Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1975. Print.
A Gas Leak Incident in Bhopal in 1984 Essay (Critical Writing)
The three articles are entirely based on events surrounding a gas leak incident in Bhopal, India on the third of December, 1984. However, the structuring of each individual story is in such a way that the three articles end up documenting different aspects of the happenings of the day.
The article Bhopal disaster, 25 years in and the poisoning continues by the Bhopal Medical Appeal explains the effects of the 1984 incident on the residents of the area (Bhopal disaster N.p.). It tells of the stories of how the children born a short while after the gas leak accident came out with serious malformations and how the older residents of the region still have to struggle with the poisoning effects of the gas.
The article titled The Incident, Response and Settlement by the Bhopal Information Center briefly explains the circumstances surrounding the accident and then goes ahead to explain the necessary steps that were taken by the company in question, particularly in regards to investigations on the cause of the leak (The incident N.p.). The last section of the article reveals the compensatory actions taken by Union Carbide India Limited as well as the measures taken to alleviate the suffering of the victims.
The article titled Decades later, toxic sludge torments Bhopal by the Global Sisterhood Network reveals the effects of the gas leak incident particularly on the environment years after the accident itself (Sengupta N.p.). The article then goes ahead to list the woes of the residents of the regions especially because they cannot access clean and safe drinking water, occasioned by the fact that the leakage of toxic material contaminated all the underground water sources.
The assemblage of signs on signifies the pain and suffering of the residents of Bhopal in the shadows of an inefficient and neglectful ruling class. The gas leak itself denotes the lack of disregard for human life that the owners of companies producing such dangerous chemicals have. This is clearly illustrated by the fact that the Union Carbide India Limited failed to take the necessary precautions to ensure that the people living in the region surrounding the factory were protected from such a predictable incident.
The gas leak also denotes poor construction and assemblage of production facilities. This is well illustrated by the sheer fact that there could not have been such an accident if the people in charge of setting up and maintaining the factory took time to ensure that a regular and thorough inspection of the systems was carried out to ensure that such an incident was averted well in time.
The malformations of the children in the region have the connotative meaning of ridicule, rejection, stigma and self pity. These are just some the societal challenges that such children will have to go through occasioned by an incident that they had little or nothing to do with in the first place.
As far as oppositions are concerned, all the articles distinctly present the clash between the rich and the poor. This is shown by the information that the individuals who suffered and still continue to suffer the damaging effects of the recklessness of the societal bourgeois are people who cannot even afford basic medical care.
The articles also show the contrast between the joy of life in a clean environment and the sorrows of living in a polluted area. This is evidenced by the illustration that the residents of Bhopal have to grapple with making a living in an environment still laden with toxic wastes when they had a somewhat fresh and comfortable livelihood before the incident.
The basic organization of a combination of the three articles can basically be summarized into three basic parts. These are the pre-incident, the incident and the post incident. The pre-incident shows the lives of the residents of Bhopal in the time before the leak happened.
The incident part shows the actual leaking of the gas while the post-incident shows the challenges in the lives of the residents of Bhopal in the time after the leak happened. All the three parts have correspondence with each other in the sense that none can happen without the other two and that whichever direction the effects of the incident takes place will always be analyzed in relation to the time before and during the leak.
The three articles have to a great extent elaborated the social contexts in which the story can be placed. First is the illustration that in any society, the individuals with the necessary resources will always use them to make profit even if it means endangering the lives of those without financial authority.
Secondly is the presentation of the fact that the poor will always be on their own and will go to all extents even if it means working in sub-human conditions in order to earn a basic living. Finally, and still going in line with the preceding point is that the poor will almost always blame their woes on the ruling and political class while the latter will tend to ignore the cries of the former.
“Bhopal disaster, 25 years in and the poisoning continues.” Bhopal medical appeal. 2009. BMA. Web.
Sengupta, Sonni. “Decades Later, Toxic Sludge Torments Bhopal”. Global Sisterhood Network. 2010. GBN. Web.
“The Incident, Response, and Settlement”. Bhopal Information Center. 2010. BIC. Web.
George Orwell’s Novel 1984 Essay
1984 is a novel about totalitarianism and the life of a man who tried to escape from an oppressive political regime. The famous British writer George Orwell wrote his book in 1948. Events take place in London, a province’s capital of the state of Oceania in 1984. The world is involved in an endless war, and the political regime called Ingsoc and headed by a mystical Big Brother permanently looks for ways to control the citizens’ minds and private lives. The key figure of the book is Winston Smith, an editor in the Ministry of Truth responsible for propaganda. Winston does not approve imposed norms and rules and hates the authorities, the main aim of which is to punish people who think differently from the official propaganda. Consequently, Winston is arrested, and, under torture, he betrays everything he loved and believed in. This book shows complicated relationships between the main characters and displays several crucial issues, such as propaganda, totalitarianism, and loss of independence.
Summary of the Book
After the end of the Second World War, a civil war began in the United Kingdom. The crisis led to its occupation by a new superpower – Oceania. Many changes have occurred on the political map worldwide. However, some citizens disagree with the existing regime. One is the protagonist, Winston Smith, who works as an editor in the Ministry of Truth. At the same time, he fully understands that he cannot share his opinion with anyone. Orwell (2018) tells readers that “thus he buys an illegal diary in which he pens down his thoughts” (p. 3), which is as dangerous as public disapproval of the ruling political regime. Smith gets acquainted with Julia, and, at first, he thinks that she is following him and wants to reveal his crime. However, after a while, the woman confesses her love for Winston, and they begin to meet secretly. Smith knows that this love story will not end happily as Illegal relations between men and women are strictly forbidden in Oceania.
Smith and Julia turn to an official O’Brien to accept them into “Brotherhood” as they consider him to be one of the members of this opposition movement. However, later, lovers get arrested, and Winston realizes that he was mistaken in O’Brien. Winston is subjected to mental and physical torments, and he is forced to renounce himself and all his beliefs, namely, his love for Julia. Eventually, Smith understands that all this time he was wrong, that now he believes only in the Big Brother and the Party and is loyal to them. This ending demonstrates how the system and totalitarian state can break a person and completely control his or her mind.
He is the main character of the novel, and the author shows readers the whole story through his eyes. Smith is a rational and innermost man with his principles and beliefs. In the beginning, though he hates the authorities, he works at the Ministry of Truth. His primary responsibility is to distort information in the media, according to the demands of Big Brother. Winston starts writing a diary, filling it with his thoughts and memories, but by doing that, he is committing a crime. Illegal relationships between Smith and Julia eventually lead to his imprisonment and irreversible changes in his values and views.
Like Winston, Julia is against the Party and Big Brother. Nevertheless, she differs from him by her pragmatism and cares mostly about the present. She does not think about global problems and tries to harm the Party by committing small crimes. Julia is an active member of the Ministry of Truth. Another difference from Winston is that her rebellion is more intuitive and direct.
This character is a mysterious person as he has super-intelligence and can guess words and sentences before they are said. O’Brien can be regarded as the symbol of dictatorship and totalitarianism and the loyal regime’s servant. He ingratiates himself with Winston, but later, he betrays and arrests him and Julia. After that, O’Brien sends them to jail where inflicts tortures against Smith and destroys his personality.
It is an image of an omnipresent dictator and one of the founders of the Party. However, nobody has seen him, and all the information about this person is hidden (Gilbert & Pitfield, 2019, p. 96). Citizens of Oceania worship him and satisfy all his demands, though they see him only on posters and telescreen, but everyone is sure that “Big Brother Is Watching You” (Sahoo, 2019, p. 447). In fact, Big Brother insists that people love him more than anyone else, even their families.
Themes of the Book
One of the major issues of 1984 is totalitarianism, which presents the type of government where even the head of state is concealed from people. The Party and Big Brother establish total control over people’s relationships, feelings, and even thoughts. The typical patterns of such regime are the overall monitoring and surveillance of citizens through media and specialized institutions as well as spreading mottos, such as “War is Peace” and “Freedom is Slavery.”
Propaganda is a weapon of the totalitarian political regime, the officials of which use it to impose appropriate values and views on Oceania’s citizens through the Ministry of Truth. The main character, Winston Smith, is also engaged in this activity, as his job responsibilities are to oust historical facts by distorted information. The propaganda also invents new concepts, such as ‘Two Minutes Hate,’ ‘Big Brother is watching,’ and other mottos.
Loss of Identity and Independence
Totalitarian regimes often adopt strategies that make people lose their identities and independence. In 1984, the imposed conformism and uniformity in food, clothes, and thoughts demonstrated that the Party and its head, Big Brother, are aimed at suppressing citizens and limiting their freedom. The ruling regime uses all legal and illegal means, such as propaganda, suppression, and tortures, to achieve its goals and subject people to its will.
Even though George Orwell wrote 1984 more than 70 years ago, it remains incredibly relevant in the 21st century. That is why it impresses readers and makes people think about some crucial issues. Orwell foresaw a society in which the authorities would broadcast propaganda to distract citizens from urgent challenges. Nowadays, people seldom notice the existence of total control. Governments and corporations use the Internet and television to limit personal freedom and impose pressing values. Orwell’s 1984 is an earnest and thought-provoking dystopian novel.
Gilbert, F. & Pitfield, M. (2019). Teaching 1984 in the surveillance culture of schools. English Teaching: Practice & Critique, 18(1), 85–99.
Orwell, G. (2018). 1984. Pittsburgh, PA: General Press.
Sahoo, B. (2019). George Orwell and his relevance to the twenty-first century. Language in India, 19(2), 440–455.
Events in the 1984 by George Orwell Essay
In 1948, George Orwell wrote a masterpiece book with the title 1984. In the book, Orwell explores different issues affecting the then society, but it appears that contemporary society is reliving the Orwellian moments. This paper explores the similarities and dissimilarities between the book’s events and the occurrences of contemporary society in 2014. The similarities between the two are more as compared to the dissimilarities.
The first striking similarity between the two eras above is the issue of surveillance by the government. Orwell posits, “…there was always the danger of concealed microphones by which your voice might be picked up and recognized” (148). In contemporary society, the government is watching over people even in their private lives.
Edward Snowden’s unraveling of how the government is following the citizens is chilling. The streets are littered with surveillance cameras, which resemble the microphones mentioned in Orwell’s account. Also, the government can hack into any computer and access people’s lives and so as Orwell notes, “the big brother is omnipotent” (262).
In the Orwellian case, “…in the vast majority of cases there was no trial, no report of the arrest…people disappeared” (Orwell 27). In 2014, people were being killed without facing trial. The predator drones being used to stalk and kill individuals, whether criminals or not, resemble Orwell’s narration.
The endless wars in contemporary society are also evident in 1984. Orwell posits, “Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia” (359). In contemporary society, war has been the rule of the day. The war on terrorism has become timeless, and the United States has been at the center of it. Apart from the war on terrorism, different kinds of wars are being witnessed in contemporary society.
The Crimean Peninsula where pro-Russian militants are at arms with the Ukraine government, the Syrian war in Asia, the Israeli-Palestine war in the Middle East, and the Southern Sudan civil war coupled with the Central African Republic crisis in Africa, are but examples of the wars being witnessed across the world. Orwell speaks of the slogan, “war is peace” (231), and these words resonate well with the contemporary society, because people are looking for peace, but war rules, thus somehow validating the slogan.
Also, Orwell talks of a disturbing trend of newspeak, which “is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year” (68). In contemporary society, which is awash with the social media craze, people are resorting to informal ways of communicating using a language that befits Orwell’s definition. For instance, instead of using ‘are you,’ people use ‘r u,’ ‘ur’ instead of ‘your,’ and most other evolving phrases like LMFAO, NSFW, and IDC among others.
In 1984, the anti-sex league sought to preserve sex as only a procreation activity; however, in 2014, the society has become liberalized towards sexual matters. People are having sex and talking about it openly, even over the media. Also, the totalitarianism that Orwell paints in the book does not manifest conspicuously in modern society as most countries have embraced democracy.
Orwell’s accounts in the book 1984 strike many similarities with the events happening in contemporary society. Edward Snowden unraveled how the current government takes after the 1984 Orwellian outfit, which stalked its citizens wherever they went. Wars have become common in contemporary society, coupled with the newspeak trend that Orwell highlights in his book. However, Orwell’s narration differs from contemporary society in terms of sex and sexuality as explored in this paper.
Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four, Iowa: 1st World Library, 2004. Print.