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Gasparyan 1 Zoro Gasparyan Professor Vana DerOhanessian English 114B 4 April 2014 Invisible Privacy Ever since the

evolvement of the human race, our predecessors have established different forms of space, and throughout the centuries this space has been occupied throughout the means of power and control by us descendants. Over the years, it has become evident that space was acquired by dominant countries competing over weaker territories, making it a primary component for gaining power. In the novel 1984 by George Orwell, Winston Smith is a victim of a totalitarian government under the rule of Big Brother. Winston grew up in London but cannot seem to remember how society was before Big Brother exercised total control of the people in Oceania. As the novel progresses, the protagonist, Winston Smith, sets out to challenge the limits of the Party’s power, only to realize that its ability to enslave and control the society dominates his perseverance of manipulating the Party. In Michel Foucault’s “Panopticism,” a social theory of discipline, punishment, and surveillance, there is a recurring theme that echoes the use of power and authority to gain control of an individual or an entire population. Relevant to 1984, a country that exercises dictatorship and exploits the space of its people is communist North Korea. In a totalitarian country, space is manipulated by a powerful figure who essentially indoctrinates its own people, subjects them to persecution and terror, and uses systematic and forcible pressure to establish dominance and sovereignty. George Orwell’s novel was first published in 1949, which was the time of despair and oppression in the communist countries of Soviet Russia, China, and North Korea. During that

Gasparyan 2 time, the horrific World War II was taking place. The United States responded to World War II by trying to abolish dictatorship in countries like Nazi Germany and Fascist France. The United States drafted about thirty million of its young men to go to war. Their involvement in the war made them realize the cruelty of the dictators and how much control they had over its people. Orwell wrote this novel as a prediction of the future of human civilization. Since totalitarian governments still exist, the novel 1984 is very relevant to present times, as if history is repeating itself. 1984 is a political novel that presents the dangers of a totalitarian government. George Orwell portrays a nation in which the government controls and monitors every aspect of human life to the extent that even having a disloyal thought is against the law. He also mentions how the space the people in society are held in affects their behavior and causes them to be vulnerable to the powerful government. The Party uses a number of techniques to control its citizens by psychological manipulation, physical control, control of information and history, and technology. The Party does an effective and successful job in brainwashing the people, but using violence to keep the people in control left even a greater impact in society. The people of Oceania experience constant fear, since they were told that even committing thought crime would result in the Thought Police to come after them and punish them. Winston also emphasizes how the Party has constant surveillance over the people with an instrument known as the “telescreen.” These people do not have any form of privacy because the Party placed “telescreens” to see and hear every individual wherever they go. The government is constantly invading the people’s space. Winston works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth. His job is to alter historical documents so there is no evidence of any historical facts or information. It is apparent in 1984 that violence is the most effective technique to obtain space and power. Winston Smith

Gasparyan 3 finds himself captive in the totalitarian space and he becomes one of Oceania’s citizens to be deviant to Big Brother’s enforced rules and laws. Winston’s main characteristics are his rebelliousness and his fatalism. The amount of effort Winston puts into his attempt to achieve independence and freedom ultimately emphasizes the Party’s devastating power. George Orwell produced the novel 1984 to alert the Western nations that are still unsure about how to approach the rise of communism. Communist countries and other totalitarian countries to this day acquire land to further enhance their power and expand their nation. Throughout history, the reason for most of the wars that happened was because opposing countries were competing for land and territory, since it brings more space and power to the nation. Usually the more powerful and dominant nations acquired the land from the weak and inferior nations. In 1984, since the records have been changed, Oceania is in constant competition and war with Eastasia and in an alliance with Eurasia. Stated in the second part of the novel, Goldstein mentioned that wars are essential for Oceania to maintain fear and submission towards the Party (Orwell, 199-200). The Party shows endless determination and courage since Oceania strives for triumph and total control over Eastasia throughout the novel. Acquiring land and expanding territory is not sufficient enough to have greater power, since there needs to be some form of organized order to control a space inhabited by millions of people. In order to grant complete authority over space, Winston discovered a scheme in the Party’s manipulation process of the people in Oceania. He knew that the people of Oceania were brainwashed and psychologically manipulated to have patriotic thoughts and views toward Big Brother and the Party. The Party established a form of totalitarian space which made it possible for them to have complete control over the entire population of Oceania and made it nearly

Gasparyan 4 impossible for anyone to commit any thought crime towards Big Brother or revolt against the government. Winston noticed that the Party gained full support from the citizens of Oceania by being in constant war with another country. This act forces power inside the nation and gets the people to develop patriotism towards their nation, whether or not they have any type of freedom. Big Brother used one of the most effective methods to gain full support from the people of Oceania, by lying and misleading the supporters by telling them that everything they are doing is for their nation and for their own good. The Party used war as a disguise to bring the country together as a whole and attack the opposing country, while simultaneously controlling the people in every way. It also gives the Party an advantage over the citizens of Oceania by taking away all the love and affection towards one another and only giving the right to demonstrate that towards Big Brother. Big Brother’s posters are everywhere people step foot in, which constantly institutes people to admire and cheer their supreme leader. The lowest class members in society, known as the proles, are helpless and incompetent individuals who comply with the standards the Party set and do not ever think about rebelling against the Party. For the proles, Big Brother is their God and supreme leader, and they respect Big Brother with full support. In addition, the presence of the Party in Orwell’s novel has a heavy influence on the children, where they learn quickly that their parents are capable criminals who can be a threat to the Party. Since children are young and haven’t had much experience in society, they are easy to deceive and control, causing them to be vulnerable to the nation’s corrupt government. These children become spies for the government and develop full support and patriotism toward the Party by unveiling their parents for the crimes they have committed against the Party. This idea of Junior Spies is similar to Hitler’s Youth that prospered in Nazi Germany, in which children monitored their parents for any sign of deviation

Gasparyan 5 against the Nazi government. Therefore, there is constant fear in the citizens of Oceania, the inmates of Foucault’s social theory, and citizens of North Korea because they know that they are under continuous surveillance which unconsciously allows them to make mistakes when doing something in the space they are in, especially when they know the consequences are hostile. The use of violence is a common and widespread method known to be effective for establishing power and authority over a certain something or someone. Violence can correlate with fear; for example in the novel 1984 when the Thought Police commits a violent act against a deviant, then a bystander will have fear of being a deviant as well. According to Orwell, violence has been exercised in the space in room 101, where patients are strapped to a chair and given electric shocks to their bodies if they do not give a satisfactory answer or they are confronted with their biggest phobias (Orwell 262). It is inhumane and unjustifiable for the government to exercise such torture to establish control and power. Fright and persecution are one of the most effective and persuasive ways to get an advantage over someone, and it is present in both 1984 and “Panopticism.” Orwell and Foucault emphasize the effectiveness of causing fear in an individual and directing them to their leader’s will by means of capturing the individual when they least expect it. Foucault discusses how the inmates are under constant visibility because of the central tower in the middle of the circular architecture, but cannot be seen by the inmates. “The more numerous those anonymous and temporary observers are, the greater the risk for the inmate of being surprised and the greater his anxious awareness of being observed” (Foucault). If the individual is unaware that he or she is being watched, then it allows the individual to act in their normal state. Constant surveillance guarantees the function of power and serves as a disciplinary mechanism.

Gasparyan 6 Torture and severe punishment has not yet ceased to exist in some countries. For example, North Korea is a country that punishes anyone who commits a crime against their space by placing them in lethal concentration camps. “The emerging portrait of the North Korean penal system suggests a vast machine that processes large numbers of people engaged in illicit activities for relatively short periods, but which exposes them to terrible abuses while they are incarcerated” (Stephan, Noland). It is surprising what space can do. Unfortunately, the communist country of North Korea which is now under the rule of Kim Jong Un, exercises its power by using violence to prevent any harm towards the government. North Koreans do not have any freedom and they aren’t allowed to leave the space they are in, but are forced to engage in showing respect towards their supreme leader and be ethnocentric about their nation. The dictator also takes away human rights and treats them unfairly. One might argue that in a communist country, it is in the best interest of the individual that everyone in society is equal and there isn’t any competition. However, history and present times has proved that the people in society aren’t safe, aren’t motivated, and do not have freedom to do anything in a confined space. A totalitarian state is established when the complete submission and property over the country belongs to one or a few individuals. Totalitarian governments and countries haven’t ceased to exist to this day. Powerful individuals or governments still continue to manipulate space and have total control of the citizens of that nation. In George Orwell’s 1984, a totalitarian space is established by enforcing laws to keep the control the people and keep them organized. Foucault argues that an effective way to not alter the behavior of the inmates but is to have constant surveillance on them in a well-lit setting. North Korea continues to use oppression and violence to maintain authority of

Gasparyan 7 the space they established. Space inspires power and control, and continues to play a huge role in our lives, acting as invisible privacy.

Gasparyan 8 Works Cited Foucault, Michel. "Panopticism." Trans. Alan Sheridan. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Vintage, 1995. 195-228. Print. Haggard Stephan, and Marcus Noland. "Economic Crime and Punishment in North Korea." Political Science Quarterly (Academy Of Political Science) 127.4 (2012): 659-683. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Apr. 2014. Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. London: Penguin, 2008. Print.