Life in the society where leadership curtails freedom of expression, and speech is never in any way enjoyable. A totalitarian society is an example of such a society. Although a totalitarian society provides total control and considerable security for its people, it does deny them their rights and freedom of free expression. In George Orwell’s story “1984”, he creates a fictional society that serves as a good example of totalitarian society. Orwell clearly demonstrates how a government can completely manipulate a country such as Oceania.
Orwell uses “1984”to warn readers of the dangers of a totalitarian government. Orwell experienced firsthand the dangers that totalitarian governments in Russia and Spain posed in their quench to increase their power. From this, he designed the book as a warning alarm to western nations that were still in the dark as to how to tackle communism. In this book, Orwell highlights an impeccable totalitarian society, which is a replicate of the image of a modern day government with absolute power. Firstly, the book’s title “1984” points to its 1948 readers representing a sure possibility in the near future. If nobody opposes totalitarianism, the novel suggests that certain aspects of the world as described in the fictional book would become a reality in thirty five years.
George highlights a society where people have been deprived of their freedoms. The people of Oceania at all times are listened to and watched by telescreens: “The telescreen transmitted and received simultaneously any whisper made by Winston above a low whisper would be picked by the telescreen ... He could be heard as well as seen” (Orwell 1). The government’s control of communication is a way of controlling people. The government modified Newspeak as a way of limiting the people’s expression. Winston and Syme at one time discuss Newspeak. Let’s look at the irony of Syme’s statement below: “ It is a beautiful thing… you do not have any appreciation for Newspeak, Winston… do you not see that the sole aim of Newspeak is to narrow down one’s range of though? At the end, thoughtcrime will be impossible because there simply will be no words to express it.” (Orwell 46). From this quote, it is clear that the Inner Party has completely brainwashed the minds of people of Oceania. Although they understood that the aim of Newspeak is to limit their expression, they went ahead to comply and praise it because that is what the nation has trained them to do.
When the system of governance failed, police were employed to curtail thoughts that are in opposition of the government. “How often or in what way the thought police plugged in to a certain wire was guesswork. It was conceivable that they watched everybody at all times.” (Orwell 6). It is clear that police and Newspeak prevented the people of Oceania from thinking and acting against the government. At the end, Winston is tortured after the government accuses him of thoughtcrime. The torture makes him conform to the ideals of the government. “Finally, he has won the battle over himself. He fell in love with Big Brother.” (Orwell 245). The Inner Party has done everything to ensure that Winston is loyal to Oceania and that he falls in love with its leader.
The totalitarian government of Oceania, through the Inner Party, was successful in its universal control of the society. This is evidenced by its ability to break Winston, an independent thinker, and utilize technology in the form of telescreen, that is Newspeak and Thoughtpolice, to their benefit. In the end, through the defeat of Winston, Orwell highlights that there is no way to stop such a regime, but he also warns that such a scenario would be possible in 35 years if nobody opposes communism.