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did not materialize within the time period that he foresaw, the human greed for power has led to increasing government control of civilian life – simply visible in a more discreet and subdued form. Paragraph 1: GOVERNMENT CONTROL IN 1984 - Topic sentence: The government in George Orwell’s 1984 maintained its power through extreme totalitarianism, including the control of ideas and the truth, invasion of civilian privacy, and population management. control of ideas, truth 1984: Ministries (i.e. Ministry of Truth) produce and censor all documents; Thought Police monitors ideas ■ Lack of legal rights Ministry of Love: eliminates trials – truth of arrests and crimes hidden forces citizens to love Big Brother, betray loved ones forcefully, but secretly, eliminates “criminals” ■ manipulation of public opinion propaganda: Two Minutes Hate doublethink, Newspeak: limits ideas that can be expressed; intended to impose only positive attitudes upon thinker the Party can never be wrong (hold two contradictory thoughts in head) promotes anti-solipsism – instead of only believing in one’s self and one’s thoughts, the population was made to believe in only the Party and the Party’s ideas invasion of privacy 1984: telescreens, bugs and microphones (espionage) ■ purpose: maintain loyalties of all citizens to Party (i.e. Maintain status quo) ■ “’I didn’t want to say anything in the lane,” she went on, “in case there’s a mike hidden in there’” (Orwell 99). ■ no safe place—even Mr. Charrington’s house (a supposed safe haven) was bugged ■ Thought Police – not even minds are free ■ Young Spies recruits children to help the Party, turn against parents/friends population control 1984: population control to maintain loyalty to Party ■ sex as procreation only – not pleasure marriages without children are sometimes separated only proles acknowledged to have sexual instincts love and eroticism removed from sexual act ■ almost never see citizens of other super-states (other than as political prisoners, slaves) ■ Junior Anti-Sex League/Young Spies ■ People kept busy and distracted with community activities to channel sexual repression into loyalty to the party Literary device: anti-utopian/dystopian imaginary place where people lead dehumanized, fearful lives ■ dehumanization: repression and control of natural instincts such as sex, free thought ■ fearful: paranoia pervasive, interminable (“he had set his features into the expression of
quiet optimism which it was advisable to wear when facing the telescreen” (Orwell 8)) characterized by oppressive state control (i.e. authoritarian or totalitarian government) ■ Party controls all aspects of life through four Ministries
Paragraph 2: GOVERNMENT CONTROL IN MODERN SOCIETY Topic sentence: Though modern nations haven’t reached the extremism of Orwell’s government, many of the controls on information, privacy, and choice initiated by current administrations mirror dangerously those depicted in his dystopia. control of literature/media ■ manipulation of public opinion propaganda: political campaigns banned books from libraries in People’s Republic of China, some of the largest media companies are agencies of the government (CCTV, People’s Daily, Xinhua) certain taboos (ex: not allowed to question Communist Party of China) current Cuban regime very restrictive of media Castro’s regime maintains monopoly of information, confiscates property of independent media invasion of privacy ■ monitoring of public communication ■ “I Spy” purpose: to maintain security of nation (i.e. to maintain status quo) government tap into telephone wires, e-mail messages “Since 9/11…has eavesdropped—without warrants, or permission from the courts— on about 500 Americans a day” shows less obvious manipulation/control of citizens, but clearly prevalent ■ though not exactly the same as Orwell imagined, technology has progressed to the point that telescreens and hidden microphones are possible (and do essentially exist) today population control ■ cultural stigma against sex: East Asian societies, religious (e.g. Muslim) ■ government control: e.g. China – limit on family size/number of children ■ sexual oppression in Nazi party desired population control/modification (to maintain “purity”) --> party remains in power ■ genocides preserve current groups in power Armenian: justification (propaganda) as liability, threat to security Rwandan: prevent a rise of power of another ethnic group similar controls: Hutu Ten Commandments – no intermarriage, more rights to one group propaganda: hate-radio broadcasts to arouse population to violence ■ “Saboteur” Mr. Chiu simply argues with a police officer immediately apprehended, thrown in jail deprived of a trial, civil rights falsification of past/information (seen by witness reports) similarly to Winston, Chiu was not killed—only forced to admit he was wrong
Works Cited Orwell, George. 1984. New York: Penguin Books Inc., 1949. Thomas, Evan and Daniel Klaidman. “I Spy.” Teen Newsweek 23 January 2006: 4-5 Jin, Ha. “Saboteur,” The Bridegroom. New York: Vintage International, 2000.