1984 Totalitarian Form of Government

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Last updated: June 2, 2019

When we think about the world we live in today we know that living under a democratic society like we are now is perhaps the best thing for us.

But when writing 1984 George Orwell was trying to convey the message that we should avoid a totalitarian form of government in our society. Unfortunately for us we have fallen into a type of totalitarian government that is maybe not as extreme but still has its consequences. Living under a totalitarian government rule takes away privacy and manipulates people’s minds into thinking that everything that is done is for their own good.The reason for Orwell putting emphasis in the technology aspect of 1984 is to show just how invasive a totalitarian government can be. When Orwell has Winston say, “Day and night the telescreens bruised your ears with statistics proving that people today had more food, more clothes better houses, better recreations,-that they lived longer, worked shorter hours, were bigger, healthier, stronger, happier, more intelligent, than the people of fifty years ago” (George Orwell 64), this asserts how technology plays an important role in a totalitarian form of government.Today we may not have telescreens bruising our ears with false information but we certainly have the government who can lie to us whenever they want because they are the ones in power and the ones that take part in controlling the information given out.

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Another important point that Orwell makes is that even the emotions of the people of 1984 were controlled by the telescreens. “He had set his features into the expression of quiet optimism which it was advisable to wear when facing the telescreen” (Orwell 8).The people of this society were so controlled by the government that they even had to fake their emotions if they did not want to be accused of going against the ideals of the government. Though we are not necessarily forced to fake our emotions we are being watched and monitored 24/7. The government knows and can hear all of our conversations. Furthermore, when Orwell incorporates the idea of getting rid of the past in order to control the future, he warns that this is something that may happen in the future. There were huge printing shops with their sub-editors, the typography experts, and their elaborately equipped studios for the faking of photographs. There was the teleprograms section with its engineer, its producers, and its teams of actors specially chosen for their skill in imitating voices” (Orwell 38).

Through erasing the past the government of 1984 is making the people believe that their way is the only and best way.Orwell is conveying this example of erasing the past in his novel in order to address the things a totalitarian government will do in order to keep its people under control. Today our government can make up lies too since they know that we would believe anything they say. They can take advantage of us thinking that all they are trying to do is what is best for our country. Even though some people may argue that living under totalitarian government rule is good since the people are being protected and the government is just trying to do what is best for them this is not the case.By scrutinizing our everyday lives all the government is doing is taking away our individualism and privacy.

If we want to avoid having an extreme totalitarian government completely controlling our everyday lives like the one portrayed in 1984 we should let our government know that there is a line between trying to keep us safe and invading our lives. Living under a totalitarian form of government takes away the privacy of our everyday lives and natural rights we have.


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