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Brainwashing & Mind Controlling in George Orwell’s 1984

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 10:18 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60 
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“Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, Controls the past.”  



When I was reading 1984, I had a feeling of reading my diary, or a historical book, or a perdition booklet written by witches. 1984 is written based on political struggles for power. Throughout the history, these struggles have always been a controversial and disputable issue. In George Orwell’s 1984, the theme that a government may use mind controlling and brainwashing to maintain power over the society has been brought out through many symbols, events and ideas. In the year of 1984, the world has been divided into three super powers: Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia. In the society of Oceania, which is controlled by a totalitarian Party, love, sex, joy, happiness, personal documents, thoughts, etc, are completely forbidden. “The government that Orwell creates is seeking for a limitless power”   and uses different ways to control people’s mind and thoughts. The use of language, religion, technology, and education are some of the ways Orwell suggests, with which a government can take over thoughts and minds.

Use of language to control people’s minds and thoughts is one of the ways Orwell suggests and develops the theme through it. Newspeak, as the symbol of limited language, is used by the Party to limit thoughts and minds. Newspeak is a language created by the Party members and its characteristic is that it is created by “destroying the words, hundreds of them.”   The point of removing words is obvious in Orwell’s words: “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thoughts? In the end it will make thoughtcrime impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”   “In fact there will be no thoughts as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking. Not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”   Orwell says that the use of language is an efficient way of altering minds and thoughts; because not only it...

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