Choices exist in everyday life, beginning with the time of birth until the time of death and everyone changes life, whether it's by making a beneficial choice or not. In the novel ‘1984’, the Party has introduced slogans to manipulate and control the minds of citizens while putting ‘thoughts from the Party’ about what is important for them and what is not. In other words, this slogan shows that citizens should accept these truths. ‘Ignorance is strength’ made the Party remain in power because of the following: the less the people know the better as they will not raise questions, the citizens are made to think what the government wants them to think, even in today’s society.
‘Ignorance is strength’ means that the least the citizens know the better because they will not be able to contradict the Party or raise questions against them. The Party calls any thought that goes against them ‘thought crime’, which “does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death” (pg.28). When in reality, people may simply think what is factually true, not what the Party says is true. Besides, there is no way people can contradict the Party without seeming to be wrong. “We control life, Winston, at all its levels” (pg.269) – this statement shows that the strength of the Party relies upon the ignorance of the citizens. It’s easy for that the Party to convince citizens to follow them.
The Party is clever in preventing some information to get to the people because, ironically, knowledge is personal strength while ignorance is the Party’s strength. Without knowledge, citizens must be obedient. O’Brien states it as a ‘fact’ that anything the Party says or holds to be the truth: “Whatever the Party holds to be the truth is the truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party” (pg.249). The citizens were made to only see the reality upon what the Party dictates and there not to be a truth, rather than what the Party indicates as the truth.
In today’s society, citizens are individual choices change from time to time, but certain choices change the individual's life and everything around it. The same goes for the government which hides specific information from the people it is serving. The citizens ‘are under the eyes of the police’ simply because you are on the same street, and the officers make the choice of finding out who the car owner is by plugging your plate number on their system. Although the government is making us think a certain way, “They can’t get inside you” (pg.290). Everyone in life is faced with good and bad choices that can either have a good outcome or make a turn for the worst.
In conclusion, in the novel ‘1984’, the Party forces citizens to follow anything it rules, no matter how illogical it is. Therefore, this ironic slogan shows the reality hidden behind it. Therefore, the ‘ignorance is strength’ phrase strengthens the image that reality is distorted to remain in power. Essentially, in the case of the Party, it is the element of mind control that prevents people from rebelling. As the Party controls everything people think and feel, nobody can conceive of the idea of rebellion because it is not within the dictates of what the Party wants them to think.