1984 Reflection

Essay by jshen17High School, 12th gradeA-, January 2014

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Response to 1984 Society has always feared overpowering control. In George Orwell's 1984, society is ruled by an extreme government with the goal of eliminating all facets of freedom. O'Brien represents the Party's dreadful power. The Party intends to entirely dominate society. Through the use of starvation and complex torture methods, O'Brien shows this insane power on Winston, who stands as a symbol of humanity in Oceania. O'Brien constantly reminds Winston that the Party is interminable and all those who defy it are erroneous (Orwell 255). Even O'Brien's character symbolizes power. Orwell often uses words such as heavy and intelligent (252) to describe O'Brien's facial features. Winston even refers to O'Brien's physique as large and brutal (11). These words can be used to describe the Party and its huge prevalence. Additionally, O'Brien's ability to quickly respond to all questions asserts his authority in all of his dialogue. Winston realizes this and says that O'Brien "demolishes" him (259) with his words.

The torture used against Winston represents another facet of the Party's control. O'Brien torments Winston physically as well to induce confessions and schemes that Winston had never committed. Through such pain, Winston confesses to the assassination of eminent Party members, the distribution of seditious pamphlets, embezzlement of public funds, and sabotage of every kind (242). This shows that physical abuse leads to mental manipulation, which gives the party full supremacy over humanity. In Winston's case, O'Brien utilizes an electrical machine to strengthen the idea that any notion created by the party is valid. The Party also dictates control of the past, present, and future, requiring an alteration of every human's memory. Without memories of the past, the Party has full power over history and the future. Whether the Party's manipulation is using mental, physical, or emotional pain, it is...