1984, A MIRROR OF WORLD WAR 2

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1984, A MIRROR OF WORLD WAR 2

Post by LCRodriguezA11B on Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:19 pm

Many books have a strong relation with real life situations, this may be because they are based on real events or the author has some ability (that he is not aware of) that allows him to unconsciously predict the future. George Orwell’s novel 1984 is that kind of novel, it shows the world that we lived in and the one we are living right now with an impressive preciseness.
1984 portraits a world where a totalitarian regime is stablished, it has no human rights, freewill, liberty of expression, participation of other political ideals, citizens undergo massive surveillance, social repression, manipulation of the media, political propaganda, the absence of art, music, and diversity in every aspect that was not previously approved by the party. The party controls every part of everyone’s lives, they act and even think the way the party wants them to. The leader of the party is known as Big Brother, this character is the face of the party, propaganda with slogans as “big brother is watching you” are spread all around the city. The funny part is that even though the citizens are nothing but pawns in a power game and the party doesn’t care at all about their lives, they glorify, worship and adore Big Brother, he is a savior, the one that protects the people. Therefore, everyone follows his ideals and beliefs blindly, they don’t question anything and seem to be lacking common sense and own thoughts. Their loyalty towards him goes to the point of reporting their companions to the Thought Police that then takes them away to never be seen again. Children are raised to be espies and police officers, they are taught the party’s ideologies, to love the party to death and to hate, report and vanish any opposition. But as in any regime, there is the opposition, people who know that they are being manipulated to act and think in a specific way to obey and keep the party strong, they know that things are not what they seem to be and that if they are ever discovered, they will disappear and nobody will wonder why, how, or where did they go. The party sow hatred in their minds against the opposition, which they represent with Emmanuel Goldstein, a man who supposedly was founder member of the party but later revealed against it and is now leading the opposition. They use his face in the movies they play at the Two Minutes Hate as political propaganda to feed that hate within people for the opposition and Goldstein’s ideas.
The novel introduces interesting forms of repression, the Newspeak, a variation of the English language that is reduced only leaving the very basic words and by that, control de capacity of expression of the speaker and its knowledge of certain concepts considered dangerous. The media manipulation shown in 1984 reaches incredible levels, they can “change” the past and adapt it to whatever they need it to be. Winston Smith, the main character, works at the ministry of truth manipulating the truth. His job is to check and modify the records of past events (in this case the newspapers, pictures, and books) the historical documents, that are not congruent with the actual “truth” said by the party. In less words, he works in falsifications. Apart from the internal conflicts going on in London, the name of the city where the novel takes place, the country, that was once named England or Great Britain but that now is known as Airstrip One that belongs to Oceania, is in war with either Eurasia or Eastasia, they take turns to be allied with one and in war with the other. Currently, (until chapter 6) Oceania is in war with Eurasia. As an example of the manipulation of information, we can mention that not so long ago, about 4 years, Oceania was in war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia, but having records of it would mean something went wrong in the system and that they don’t have total control over their memories, and since the party cannot allow this incongruences, every historical document that exists had to be altered to say that as Eurasia is in war with Oceania, thus it has always been that way. People didn’t realize those changes in history, even if it was modified almost daily. They all work as a collective mind that the party keeps dumb and entertained so that they would not think about and realize things that may encourage a revolt among the proles, because they may not be as powerful but they outnumber the Inner Party.
With already exposing and analyzing the most important aspects of the novel, is not hard to notice that many of the situations described in 1984 resemble real events, more specifically, the conflict that took place between 1939 and 1945 and costed the lives of approximately 60 million people, World War II. We can say that George Orwell was inspired by ww2 when he wrote 1984, the novel was published in 1949 and Orwell had participated as part of the Home Guard in England when Nazis attempted to invade England. If we exchange words like Big Brother for Hitler, things don’t change that much. Both ruled a regime that controlled every aspect of the civilian life that had zero tolerance to oppositions and are admired despite their cruelness towards other groups by the people they control. They introduced and imposed their ideals and beliefs to the population that their party was superior to everything and that it is mandatory to agree with it, spreading feelings of nationalism and pride following the party ideas among people and convincing them that every action was in pro the nation, the new race ideas, and perfect society enterotypes were all part of a plan to become a perfect powerful society.
Big Brother had propaganda all around the city and used false advertisements during the Two Minutes of Hate as tools to brainwash people. Hitler did this too, he used posters, speeches, and movies to spread his message of superiority and that to achieve a powerful nation, Germany had to get rid of Jews, always blaming them of the country’s economic crisis and making them the culprits of every issue that was affecting Germans. Like Winston’s job at the truth ministry, Hitler controlled and manipulated movies, he decided which were suitable to the party’s ideology and banned and destroyed copies of films that showed different ideology, or critiques towards the party. Not only films were manipulated, Hitler did the same with books. The Nazi book burns were a series of public acts in which books from different authors were burned in public bonfires because they were considered to go against the German spirit, values, and Nazism. On May 10, 1933, the German Student Union organized the destruction by fire of hundreds of books, newspapers, and pictures viewed as “un-german” to “clean” German language and literature from Jewish influences and intellect. They gathered in the street, march against the “un-german” spirit and later proceeded to burn the books in bonfires. It Is evident that they were willing to and did
The brainwash strategies both Big brother and Hitler used, were pretty effective. They started to mess up with people’s minds at early ages. On chapter 2, Winston goes to his neighbor’s house to help the woman with a problem she had with the kitchen sink, there he sees her children dressed with the uniforms of the Espies, the youth leagues. They were mad about not getting to see the execution of some criminals. They played to be Thought Police officers and accused Winston of been a traitor, all as a game that didn’t seem like just a game, those children were in training to follow the ideology, they were thought to hate the opposition, to spy and to accuse anyone that looked suspicious to the police, no matter if they are their parents or friends, they had no mercy, they would betray their own family. By inculcating the party’s ideology to people when they are young and drowning them with propaganda, they get them to be on their side and convince them that they are the only truth and therefore, they will be raising little army soldiers that would do and believe everything they are told for the wellbeing of the party. Young minds are easier to mold. In real life, Hitler created the Hitler Youth. The movement pretended to raise German kids with the Nazi ideology and prepare them to join the army. The movement was created in the 1920’s and after Hitler got in power, the participation in the movement was obligatory. By the 1940’s, the program had approximately 8 million German children between ages 10 to 18 in their formation leagues. Their activities included physical training and fighting skills, boxing, military discipline, formations, marching, weapon management and shooting skills, hiking (since boys were trained to join the army, hiking would make them physically stronger and teach them military strategy and map reading), building dugouts, learning Morse code, trench digging, musical concerts (children were instructed mostly in drumming, bugle and choir singing, they performed in public events such as national holidays, important birthdays and parades, they were also used to collect funds not for supporting the HY program but for the Nazi party, it was common to see members of the program on the streets with posters and things similar to piggy banks. Curious fact: Hitler’s birthday on April 20th was a national holiday. To encourage Germans in to the Nazi party, Hitler used to organize and call mass parades to heighten the spirit, the Hitler Youth was in charge of the marching bands in the parades and they had to attend to Nazi public events. All thought boys and girls made part of the Hitler youth, they were taught different things. Boy’s training was routed towards them becoming soldiers while girls were taught to become maidens. Girls belonged to the “Bund Deutscher Madel” german for League of German Maidens, the female branch of the Hitler Youth. Girls were trained in physical exercise, domestic work, preparation for motherhood and their roles as future wives. Also, they learned German culture and history, Nazi holidays, arts, clothing design, cooking, home economics, farming and songs, more specially anthems allusive to the party. Girls and boys were ordered to read “Mein kampf” as part of training.
The Hitler youth and the spies in 1984 are directed to the same purpose, the early instruction of children into their party. But no matter how hard they tried to educate people, opposition still appeared and their ways to control and manage it were cruel and abusive. People were disciplined to report any sing of possible revolution to the Thought Police. In the book, the thought police could discover thought-crime and would go after the rebels, once they were captured, they were taken to torture places and never seen again. Hitler had his own real version of the Thought Police, the Gestapo. It was the Nazi’s secret police; their job was to search and annihilate enemies and opposition to the regime not only across Germany but also in Nazi occupied countries. Gestapo officers were often disguised within the civil population, which grant them vital information about refugees, resistances and people trying to escape the persecution and left these groups with few chances of success. People captured by the gestapo were interrogated, brutally tortured, and finally taken to concentration camps where they would die. Surviving at the camps was almost impossible due to the daily forced jobs, lack of food, prisoners being savagely beaten and the spreading of diseases inside the camps. People inside and outside the camps were aware that once you entered to a camp, you were perhaps not coming out alive.
With these, we can recognize that the similarities between what happened during WW2 and what George Orwell illustrates in 1984 are abundant. Political power that is manage by one person and his followers, a totalitarian regime that suppresses human rights and every expression of free will, hate against different ideologies and brainwashed people that act and think the way they are told to, the manipulation of media, news and information, mysterious disappearances of people that possibly knew too much for their own good, false propaganda everywhere and hidden surveillance. Wistfully, our “modern” society is only getting closer to become Airstrip one instead of doing the opposite. During WW2, the world was 1984, not 100% exact but unquestionably close. Politics rule the world and they are highly corrupted, they play with our lives and decide our fate to their own benefit. The consequences of this abusive behavior is always atrocious and deadly, but we must always move forward to prevent conflicts and be very clever when voting for our leaders. However, if the leaders are not on our side, we should stand for us and defend what is ours by right.

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Re: 1984, A MIRROR OF WORLD WAR 2

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:21 pm

This is one amazing essay. Your arguments are well presented, amazingly well punctuated. There are a couple of words that do not exist here and there, but they still transmit the message. Your grade is a 9,5

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