The book 1984 by George Orwell is about a dystopian society called Oceania. Big Brother is the unseen leader of this society. Telescreens monitor every move of the Outer Party. The party consists of the Inner Party and the Outer Party. The Inner Party is the highest class in society, followed by the Outer Party. The lowest class is the Proles. The Proles are not monitored because the Inner Party considers them ignorant and does not consider them as a potential threat. People are monitored in order to eliminate thoughtcrime (any unorthodox thought). The new language of Oceania is Newspeak. The Party is trying to simplify language to limit thought. The Party also rewrites historical events in order to keep the past in line with Big Brother’s agenda. The main character, Winston, works on rewriting history. Winston and Julia (his lover) are against the government and join an underground revolution. Eventually, they are caught and are brought to the Ministry of Love (an organization that punishes crime by torture and brainwashing). They are separated and tortured. Winston is tortured by a man named O’Brien. Winston is tortured physically when he is beaten and starved. Winston is tortured mentally when he is brainwashed into believing what Big Brother believes. After being faced with his greatest fear, Winston submits to O’Brien and gives up his revolutionary ideals. In the end of the book, Winston confesses his love of Big Brother. Two of the main themes in 1984 are the destruction of language and the power of language. In 1984, Orwell uses Newspeak and the death of language to show that one’s thoughts are directly controlled by the language they use and he who controls the language controls the future.
Newspeak is the official langua…
… middle of paper …
…eing brought down to a very simple level, Newspeak. Thoughts and language are directly correlated. Therefore, when the language is made simple, the thoughts are made simple.
Overall, Newspeak “strips language down to the bone” in order to eliminate thoughtcrime. The party destroys words to destroy thought. Since the words for something do not exist, thinking about that object or idea will be nearly impossible. The party seeks and finds total domination by limiting the language because this would give them control over the thoughts. The party controls the language therefore they control the present. The party controls the historical records therefore they control the past “’Who controls the past,’ ran the party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’” (34).
Orwell, George. 1984. New York: Signet Classics, 1977. Print.