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The Party in 1984
The importance of literary works cannot be gainsaid as far as the growth and development of any society is concerned. This is especially considering that literary works are primarily based on the ideas of their authors about the societies in which they live. More often than not, literary works are crafted in an effort to criticize the ills of the society and the aspects that cause these societies to lag behind. On the same note, the authors, poets, playwrights or artists often aim at planting ideas in the minds of their audience as to how things should be done in an ideal world. It is, therefore, no wonder that literary works have been the basis for varied social changes in different parts of the world. Needless to say, different composers have known varying degrees of success, with some of them attaining the aspect of being somewhat immortal as their works continue to be relevant in different generations. Of course, the topics for such literary works can range from love, revenge, romance and even politics. While varied authors have crafted timeless literary works, George Orwell arguably comes as the best among the 20th century writers. This is especially with his book 1984, a novel that depicts the story of Dystopia where a hierarchical system called “Big Brother”, alongside The Party control and represses all people in complete despotism. While the effectiveness of The Party in maintaining control may be credited to varied things, surveillance and propaganda remain to be the source of its strength and effectiveness.
Set in dystopia, 1984 revolves around the life of a young man named Winston Smith who is fighting against the oppression of the state in Oceania, a place in which the Party undertakes the examination and scrutiny of every person’s actions at any given time using the ever-watchful Big-Brother. Winston dares to show his opinions in a diary and goes ahead to pursue an affair with a brunette called Julia. This defiance of a ban on individuality is considered a criminal deed, which can attract the wrath of the state. Of particular note is the fact that the Big Brother, in particular, enforces complete control over the privacy and thoughts of individuals though the placement of microphones and cameras in every place ad punishing all people who attempt to challenge The Party or Big Brother, or even have contrary thoughts (Orwell, 1990). The antagonists, in this case are The Party, Big Brother, as well as O’Brian who works in the Ministry of Love for the big Brother and who couples up as a member of the inner party. After learning of the rebellion of Julia and Winston, O’Brian sets a trap for them within a period of seven years and ultimately manages to break both of them.
The Party is extremely dependent on the media as the latter is an extremely powerful manipulation tool thanks to the wide exposure of the public to it and even the trust that the public places on it. The media pedals a number of lies in order to confuse the public. For instance, it continually makes reference to the Ministry of Truth, Peace Love and Plenty, whereas these are separate ministries. Indeed, the Ministry of Love comes across as “the really frightening one” as it is the place where suspected criminals are questioned and tortured (Orwell, 1990). The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with warfare, while the Ministry of Truth undertakes the falsification of records. The Ministry of Plenty cooks up some economic figures that would convince the public about the health of the economy although there exists enormous shortages of almost every other necessary commodity thanks to the war (Orwell, 1990). While the titles may be blatantly ironical, the writer underlines the manner in which the media may be used to suppress opposition through filtering information. The Party knows that a dissatisfied public may rebel against it, in which case it diverts the attention of the public from the negative aspects of warfare using the media. The media only uses language that has positive or neutral connotations when making any references to the ware, thereby succeeding in soothing a public that is otherwise resentful. A case in point is the fact that the media does not report that 20 or 30 bombs are falling in London every week, rather it brings good news about victories. The telescreens state “Our forces in South India have won a glorious victory. I am authorised to say that the action we are now .............
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