“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” This is the slogan of the Inner Party in the 1984 novel written by George Orwell. It depicts a terrifying and unwelcoming image of the future under “Big Brother.” Which is a Dystopian government that controls not only the citizens’ actions, but also their very own thoughts. Dystopia is defined as A futuristic, imagined universe in which oppressive societal control and the illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. (Neogi,2017)
In the novel, Orwell uses repetition in various ways to emphasize a point. The phrase “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength” he says many times throughout the book to emphasize what the government believes in. He makes the reader understand that the government drills this into the citizens brain and there is no other way of thinking. He also talks about the thought police, which helped me understand that not only did actions need to stay loyal to the government, but thoughts needed to as well.
Regarding Orwell’s font, I noticed that he changed from regular font to italics when he is thinking something, and it is not to be shared. This is what led him to his conclusion or rebellion against “Big Brother,” because he starts to realize what he can say and think. The other incident that lead to his rebellion was his obsession with the black-haired girl and wanting to have intercourse with her. (Anders, 2019)
1984 is a political statement. It contains no predictive declaration, only a simple warning to mankind. Orwell did not believe that 35 years after the publication of his book, the world would be ruled by “Big Brother,” but he often proclaimed that 1984 could happen if people did not become aware of the attacks on their personal freedom and did not defend their most valuable right, the right to have their own thoughts
Although it is written as a political satire over half a century ago, 1984 lives today not only as a well created novel, but if one really analyzes what is happening in the United States today, one may find a striking resemblance to the dystopian society of 1984. For example, the national Security Agency can dip into your Facebook page and google searches, and almost every store you go into they want to know your phone number and zip code as part of purchasing. Personally, I get on average three phone calls a day from random people trying to get my debit card information for any reason they can think of.
In the novel, nearly all public and private places have large Tv entertainment screens that broadcast government propaganda. They also have two-way monitors that spy on citizens’ private lives. Today websites like Facebook track our likes and dislikes, and governments and private individuals hack into our computers and find out what they want to know.
The endless global war that has been going on seemingly forever in the novel, and curiously the enemies continue to change. At one point they were fighting with Eurasia and the next moment they were allies with them. Today we have a war on terror, with no end in sight. Our “enemy” is undefined and can be anywhere at anytime depending on who is creating an “issue” at that moment. Since Donald Trump has arrived in office, I have noticed many “enemies” of the United States that were never a problem until now. For example, suddenly everybody is seemingly against Mexican immigrants, transgenders in the military, and the small amount of taxes that go to Welfare.
If 1984 has taught us anything, it is how to understand the significance of imperialism, the importance of being more assertive, how to resist an autocratic autonomy and most importantly he warned us of dystopian society. War is not Peace, Freedom is not slavery, and Ignorance is not strength.