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The Role Of Deception In George Orwell’s 1984

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“Narcissists try to destroy your life with lies because theirs can be destroyed with the truth.” We are all encouraged at an early age to tell the truth. Told that we can better our lives if we follow this single rule. Yet deception and lies still creep into our lives. We're each lied to 10 to 200 times a day, and tell a lie to others ourselves on an average of 1 to 2 times in that same period. In George Orwell’s world of 1984, there is no such thing as truth. Facts aren’t facts, apart for when they’re manufactured to be facts. The Party basically deceives all. So the question is; why does The Party lie? Why do people still lie even though they know that it’s wrong? Because these actions aren’t reserved for politicians or world leaders, we all own them. Lying, deception and false appearance is usually connected with the want for power and control, the belief that no one will find out, and avoiding punishment, which are evident in 1984. What are they really hiding from you?

We’ve all heard the saying that power is a dangerous thing. That it corrupts the best and attracts the worst. According to my article, it’s something that all humans naturally want and makes people do insane things to get it and maintain it – including deception. The Party shows extreme treachery to maintain it’s power and authority, as they have realized that people are more easily willing to follow and exhibit emotions towards a single individual than an organization. Thus, creating Big Brother – who is the supposed supreme leader of Oceania, leader of The Party, an accomplished war hero, a master inventor and philosopher, and the original instigator of the revolution that brought The Party to power – deceiving the people of his existence, big brother is the guise in which The Party chooses to exhibit itself to the world. The Party uses the image of Big Brother to administer a sense of loyalty and fear in it’s population. The image of Big Brother appears on telescreens, coins, and on large posters plastered all over the city with the slogan “Big Brother is watching you.” While big brother isn’t real, the idea of Big Brother is sufficient to keep the people living in a state of fear. Big Brother is merely a convenience that suits the goals of The Party. The Party falsified the people of big brother to maintain power as it prevents people from rebellion because The Party has invented this omnipotent being as their leader, making them feel as though if they misstep they will be punished, instilling fear so that The Party avoids as many bricks in the road as possible, sustaining authority.

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How many times have you deceived because you thought that you would get away with something? This is what all liars think, they falsify because they think that no one will find out. This is especially true for The Party since if someone does find out they go through extreme means to extricate them from society and re-engineer them into the person The Party wants them to be – oblivious to the lies and believing in every word they say. So they continue to lie because if someone does find out, they will handle it. Also In Chapter 7, Winston writes of his hope that the proles, the working class, will rebel and change society. Due to their majority, Winston is sure that if the proles become conscious of the fact that they could improve their situation, they could overturn The Party. But they aren’t aware of this and don’t find out about this so, the party continue to deceive since they’ve been deceiving them for this long and they haven’t found out yet. If deceptions are accepted by the masses they become reality, and the people’s don’t question it.

“I thought I was only going 80km/h officer” claims the driver speeding at 120km/h. “My phone died so I had no idea that I got home 3 hours after my curfew”, says the teenager. According to my article, avoiding punishment is the most frequent reason people tell serious lies, regardless of their age, whether it be to avoid the speeding ticket or being grounded. Apart from The Party lying to it’s citizens they are also deceiving themselves as well, out of the fear of punishment. It is made clear by The Party that you are punished if you are deemed unfit, if you have even the slightest thought against The Party, or if you know the real truth. Through the vaporization, telescreens, thought police, the ministry of love, its citizens are made afraid that if they see past their lies they will be punished thus they deceive themselves, they force their mind to believe The Party. What they’re doing to themselves is similar to what O’ Brien was doing to Winston at the end of the book. Winston didn’t want any more punishment so he forced his mind to see The Party’s reality. My article also talked about an experiment that was performed as well, where a psychologist and his team asked 306 online participants to write a persuasive speech about a fictional man named Mark. They were told they would receive a prize depending on how effective it was. Some were told to present Mark as likable, others were told to characterize him as unlikable, the remaining participants were told to convey whatever impression they formed about Mark. To gather information about Mark, the participants watched a series of videos, in which they could stop observing at any time. For some viewers, the early videos presented Mark in a good light, and they gradually grew darker. For others, the videos went from dark to light. When encouraged to present Mark as likable, people who watched the likable videos first stopped watching sooner than those who saw unlikable videos first. The former did not wait for a complete picture as long as they got the information they needed to convince themselves of Mark’s goodness. So, they deceived themselves of part of Mark’s reality, they ignored things that weren’t of their objective, the things they didn’t want to see, essentially deceiving themselves of Mark – and in the same sense, the citizens of Oceania are deceiving themselves if the lies told by the party.

In conclusion deception underlies the whole narration of 1984 since its very beginning, showing a kind of imposed and false reality which hides the real one, in which common people are not conscious of, lost in a world deprived of every truth to the point that they even lack the sheerest means to tell what is true from what is false. The party deceived the populace for power, and because no one will find out and it’s citizens deceive themselves for fear of punishment. Sometimes people forget, sometimes people omit, but when lying is a deliberate strategy the consequences can be catastrophic, as shown in 1984.

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The Role Of Deception In George Orwell’s 1984. (2021, September 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from
“The Role Of Deception In George Orwell’s 1984.” Edubirdie, 29 Sept. 2021,
The Role Of Deception In George Orwell’s 1984. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 Feb. 2024].
The Role Of Deception In George Orwell’s 1984 [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 29 [cited 2024 Feb 26]. Available from:
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