How the Government Manipulates Citizens in George Orwell's 1984

Essay by Roxygirl85High School, 11th gradeA, February 2003

download word file, 1 pages 5.0

Downloaded 44 times

In the world of George Orwell's 1984 the government (the Party) controls every aspect of citizens' lives. The novel takes place in London, England, which is known as Air Strip One. The reader sees the world through the eyes of Winston Smith, a rebel member of the Outer Party. The party is led by the revered, all knowing Big Brother. Winston's world is full of constant war and telescreens watching his every move.

One way the government manipulates its citizens is based on a fear factor. The government uses thought police to monitor everyone and report anyone doing, acting or saying anything outside the respected boundaries. The citizens are bombarded with propaganda posters stating, "Big Brother is watching you." The citizens also know that their every move is monitored by telescreens, which keeps them too scared to engage in illicit behavior. The very few who do, like Winston who stars a diary, know they will be caught.

Everyone in the novel has a role in society. The Party has done away with family and religion; there are no distractions for its citizens. The government also manipulates its citizens by teaching doublespeak. This is the idea of having two opposite ideas in one's mind and believing both. For example, the national slogans are, "War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength." The Party's ministries are even named in doublespeak. The Ministry of Peace wages war, the Ministry of Love is a jail, and the Ministry of Truth, where Winston works, makes up lies and re-writes history. The government also tries to manipulate public opinion by diminishing original thought. They do this by having the official language be Newspeak. This is a language that constantly loses words instead of gaining them. Orwell believed that if a government...