George Orwell’s 1984 Totalitarianism

Subject: Literature
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 758
Topics: George Orwell's 1984, Soviet Union, Totalitarianism


The events of George Orwell’s novel “1984” take place in an enormous country called “Oceania”. The particular story happens throughout 1984 in London, at a time when the world was in a critical situation provoked by totalitarianism and thirst for power. Winston Smith, the protagonist of the novel, on his way, reveals the system by which the government has absorbed the community, making it satisfy its interests. Furthermore, Goldstein, a member of the Inner Party, deceives Winston into feeling that he can be relied upon and is a member of the Brotherhood for the rest of the novel until he betrays Winston. A crucial element of “1984” is that it consists of historical events that Orwell experienced, such as famine, scarcity and oppression, which were caused by the totalitarian policies of the governments of these countries. The governments created war hysteria, divided families, and prosecuted those who rebelled against or did not fit into the party narrative in order to write a mark in history that corresponded to the Party’s agenda. Orwell’s beliefs about the future are in fact a fictional continuation of the way the population was mistreated under Franco, Hitler and Stalin.

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Orwell’s aim in depicting totalitarianism

The purpose of the political novel was to inform Western audiences about the horrors of totalitarian rule. George Orwell, who lived through the Cold War, witnessed the political path that the totalitarian governments of Spain and Russia considered seizing power. 1984 was intended to warn Western countries that still did not understand how to respond to the rise of communism. Throughout 1949, the Cold War was not strained, communism was welcomed by some American analysts, so the condition of diplomacy between democratic and communist countries remained extremely controversial. In the American media, the Soviet Union was effectively portrayed as an extraordinary ethical experiment. The pervasive brutality and harassment that Orwell learned about in communist states, as well as the role that innovations played in the control and surveillance of their citizens by sanctioning despotic governments, profoundly disturbed the writer.

The image of totalitarianism in “1984”

In his novel “1984” George Orwell describes a completely totalitarian society, the most hyperbolic version imaginable in today’s government with intense power. The name of the novel was intended to show the audience in 1949 that the book depicts a probable picture of the upcoming world: if we do not oppose totalitarianism, a certain version of the world portrayed in the novel could turn into reality in just thirty-five years. Orwell presents a state in which the government tracks and supervises every aspect of people’s lives to such an extent that even the slightest disloyal thought is illegal. As the novel develops, the intimidated rebel Winston Smith’s desire to confront the Party’s power grows, only to discover that its capacity to control and conquer its citizens eclipses even his most improbable notions of its power. Additionally, the reader observes through Winston’s eyes that the Party employs a diversity of methods to restrain its citizens, each of which is a distinct driving force in the novel.

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Similarity of the novel “1984” to the present

If we analyze the present with the novel “1984”, much of what George Orwell described has become reality. For example, in the novel, almost every household, building, shop, civic and commercial location has huge television screens that air official propaganda, news and endorsed entertainment shows from the Inside Party. In addition, there are double-sided displays that monitor citizens’ personal lives, concealed in billboards and on televisions. Social networks like Facebook and Instagram provide a track of our likes and dislikes, and government officials or private businesses employed by the authorities themselves break into our computers and devices to gain more details about how we live and what we do. Furthermore, there are surveillance cameras installed at every crossroad, highway, and shop you pass through that can record the way you experience your life.


At the last moment, in the eternal war described in the “1984”, a worldwide conflict has been going on for an incredibly extended time and Winston Smith, the leading character, wakes up to the fact that there is a new opponent and the old one is presently our partner. “The past could be rewritten but not changed. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia”. This day we are waging a fight against terror, public fear, restricted civil freedoms and a mysterious enemy that we do not define or identify, in which we do not comprehend how it began and whether there is a possibility that it will ever be over.

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