Totalitarian Society In 1984 By George Orwell

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Social control is generally a societal and political system where it regulates an individual’s or group’s behavior. Leading to agreements to the rules of a given society, government, and/or social groups. The novel 1984, by George Orwell, is based on the social issues against the dangers of a totalitarian society. He explains that Wilson Smith, the protagonist suffers from maintaining his personality as he is recreated to follow and obey the Party’s image as he loves big brother. What the party does is maintain complete social control and manipulate the people in Oceania. They punish the people who rebel against them to keep their power intact. Smith then snaps into reality and tries to break free and learn the real and true history instead of what the government has created to control its people. Verses today, social control has become easier in most parts of our world in our modern society. But unlike the United States, North Korea today is a great example of a totalitarian dictatorship, just like in the novel 1984.

One way of having social control over the people in Oceania is surveillance. Surveillance is monitored through the city all day, every day. They use mechanisms, such as televisions, thought police, and microphones to watch people very closely. “The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it he could be seen as well as hears.” This is the main source that the party uses. So the voices they pick up can then be traced back to the party. Microphones are hidden and placed in trees and other parts of society. They see and hear everything at home, work, in buildings, and in public areas. “How often, or on what system, the Thought police plugged into any individual’s wire was guesswork. It conceivable that they watched in your wire whenever they wanted to.” The thought police are spies who catch anyone who is suspected to commit thought crime, political and personal thought that goes against the party. They have people’s children as spies to listen in on everything and betray others when in need. Our society is similar to an extent to the 1984 novel. Today in the 21st century we have changed dramatically with the way we function. We have many gadget devices such as GPS, cameras, and audio recordings that are monitored and run by the government. Security cameras are necessary and used to help prevent any criminal activity. It helps states the specific date, time, and place of the recordings. When having security cameras and audio recordings people must have any signs to notify people that they’re being watched and heard. Unlike 1984, the party uses footage of their people without their consent.

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The media in Oceania has an impact on reshaping society’s minds. The party has various ways of controlling the people. The Ministry of Truth is ironically involved with lies. Ministry of Truth is the main source of manipulating people’s opinions. Its print media is an easy way to trick the people by printing what they want on books, saying what they want on radios and films. They supply with every thinkable information, orders, and performances. “Concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and fine arts;” An example is Winston’s job at the Ministry of Truth. The department he works at is the record place. It’s where he alters any type of literature or documentation so that they can occur at the same time with the present ideals of the party. “Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones.” Basically any type of literature or documentation changes in Oceania. “This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to the newspaper but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, left, film, soundtracks, cartoons, photographs”. Today media is a very powerful and main tool we use in our society, like Oceania. Such as the internet, television, radios, magazines, and newspaper we use it to communicate to reshape the public opinions views. It helps our society get stronger together. Many different people like to use media as a platform to enlighten and educate others. Which makes sense because we live in a country where it’s okay to spread what you think as long as it’s nice and is done in a respectful way.

Propaganda in 1984 was all over the city of Oceania. Propaganda is ideas spread widely that could harm or help a person, group, or movement. It’s sort of a manipulation that moves throughout the media. It’s an effective way to get people’s attention to go against or for the cause that is promoting. At the beginning of the novel, it starts with Winston walking in the building passing by this big poster. It read “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, the most intimidated and known poster Oceania had. “ The poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption beneath it ran.” This poster tells the people that big brother is watching you at all times. This is a symbol of power because everybody looks up to him and listens. This reminds me of how North Korea is. North Korea is a totalitarian dictatorship in which the authority is exercised absolute power and has control over everybody. Their leader Kim Jong-Un is in control of the country as of right now. What he does is have a huge movement of strong propaganda. What the posters do is promote the loyalty of the leaders. And the people actually believe and think that the leaders over the years have been good to them. Another example of propaganda is the two-minute hate. The two-minute hate in the novel is a daily activity that everyone must attend in Oceania. They watch a film for two whole minutes, hating on their enemy. It only portrays the bad parts of their enemy to the country. This is similar action that North Korea does. The leader makes everyone watch and learns the bad things that their enemy does. From being an elementary kid to an elder you are taught to love your leader and hate your enemy. The United States is one example, is portrayed as an evil country that dislikes North Korea.

Overall both the novel and in today’s society, we have social control. Social control is what Oceania goes through under the power of the Parties. In the novel, it’s more strict whereas here in the United States, there isn’t really any control over the people in a negative way. The social control is harsher in the novel and in North Korea. They both reshaped their citizen’s minds and beliefs in what the leaders what them to think. They both want to have reality itself by taking control of things. Having that power to do whatever they want to keep their immortal legacy.

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Totalitarian Society In 1984 By George Orwell. (2021, August 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 8, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/totalitarian-society-in-1984-by-george-orwell/
“Totalitarian Society In 1984 By George Orwell.” Edubirdie, 16 Aug. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/totalitarian-society-in-1984-by-george-orwell/
Totalitarian Society In 1984 By George Orwell. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/totalitarian-society-in-1984-by-george-orwell/> [Accessed 8 Aug. 2022].
Totalitarian Society In 1984 By George Orwell [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Aug 16 [cited 2022 Aug 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/totalitarian-society-in-1984-by-george-orwell/
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