In the year of 1949, George Orwell saw a possible future from his reflection of the totalitarian regimes of World War II and experience in Spain as well as Russia, especially with Stalin. This would culminate into the novel known as 1984, in which the Party and their leader – Big Brother – have complete control of the nation known as Oceania, where everyone is under constant surveillance by the Thought Police. The story is set in London which has decayed just as much as the people’s souls and minds, shown as a “negative utopia”.
Just before the end of the novel, the protagonist known as Winston Smith is being tortured by the Party operative O’Brien until he adheres to the Party’s mentality, admits crimes he has not even committed, broken inside, and has only “love” for Big Brother. The government wants completely control and so must assert their power upon people such as Smith. So this is where the motif known as doublethink becomes truly clear. It is the idea where one believes one idea yet another at the same time which contradicts it as with a lie and believing it is not a lie showing conviction as if it were true.
Now, given is another example is where Smith is tortured which is the Ministry of Love. Here O’Brien tells Smith, “Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind,…only in the mind of the Party holds to be the truth is truth. ” O’Brien is forcing Smith to accept any decree by the Party no matter how ludicrous it may be. Smith believed that “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two equals four”.
So O’Brien holds up four fingers and ask how many are held up and Smith replies with “four”; however, he then ask “‘if the Party says that it is not four but five-then how many? ”, though it would still be four in which Smith answered; this does not align with the creed and so is tortured once more. He becomes broken left with not even a shred of integrity; so at some point he truly does believe that it is five rather than the four truly held up which follows the idea written in the book given to Smith by O’Brien before his arrest – “doublethink is forever. With the lie always one step ahead of the truth. ” Therefore, the people are in submission like Smith for their minds were weakened and filled with propaganda such as the war with an ally against the enemy one day and the next week the war with the enemy against he ally then.
“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past” must than hold true. The past affects the future and so if in the present, the past is rewritten then the future is altered, as then those in the present can gain something from a rewritten past. This shows the power of manipulation in which the Party has over their people as the idea of rebellion is a crime and so hope is not even dim in the practically perfect totalitarian society. In writing such a novel, George Orwell saw a future in which aspects stem in today’s past and present.
As with Trump leading the polls for the Republican Party yet no one could truly want him to be president. The NSA was shown to be monitoring Americans using technology just in a more discreet manner. In Russia, Putin runs his own propaganda machine. Not everything on the internet can be trusted such as Wikipedia. George W. Bush led America with false statements into a war. So one should rethink the contradiction in which – “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength” before it is too late.