The protagonist of the novel, has been watched

The role of a government is to keep
society under control. The complete control of that society, however, can only
be achieved through manipulation and regulation of actions, thoughts and
emotions of a society. 1984 is a
dystopian novel that was written by George Orwell in 1949, portraying his
visions on what the future will look like. It is a book about the dangers of a
totalitarian society and the effect it has on certain individuals. Winston, the
protagonist of the novel, has been watched over by Big Brother for seven years
and was made to believe that there may be freedom in his future, only later to
be captured and physically tortured by the Party, for the sole purpose of
proving that people can be broken and molded into the “perfect” citizen of
Oceania (Orwell 320). This
essay will explore and examine the physiological aspects of a person’s
life that are controlled by the Party. These aspects are surrounded by the
central idea that order to completely gain total control of people, restriction
of their actions is simply not enough. The Party’s regulation of human
physiological processes and emotions is what Orwell proves to be necessary to
achieve successful authority over a society.

It is
evident that the human desire to express themselves through art, writing,
music, and even sex is natural and extremely hard to supress, which is exactly
the aim of the Party. According to Judith E. Glaser, neuroscience is teaching
society that ‘self-expression’ might be one – if not the most important ways for people to
connect, navigate and grow with each other (Self-Expression). Moreover, sex is
a fundamental part of people’s lives and it is what makes us human. It
substantiates, humanizes and incarnates existence along with its supply of joy,
love, comfort and affection, further enforcing its importance (The Psychology
of Sexuality). Artistic expression as well as other expressive arts therapies
can be a corridor for transforming feelings and perceptions into new life
stories and, as a result, creating a new sense of self, proving to have a
healthy output on people’s lives (Expressive Art Therapies and Posttraumatic
Growth). In 1984, Orwell has
portrayed Winston’s efforts to try and withstand the Party’s influence through
his ability to defiantly proceed to write in his journal, which “was not
illegal…but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by
death” (Orwell 9). However, “his memory was not satisfactorily under control.”
(Orwell 44)

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            Subsequently, when it comes to gaining complete control
over a society the Party starts with the regulation of the basic physical
aspects of one’s life. Sex is a human desire that the Party, with all its
efforts, tries to demean to being simply an act for the government to keep
procreating. “The Party’s real, undeclared purpose was to remove all pleasure
from the sexual act.” (Orwell 85). Winston’s sadistic and aggressive thoughts,
prior to his and Julia’s affair are proof of the sexual suppression the people
of Oceania are experiencing. When Julia asks him what he thought of her when
she first passed him the note, Winston revealed that “he wanted to rape her
and then murder her afterwards.” (Orwell 156). Further into the novel,
Winston disclosed the fact that he used to be married to Katherine who was “a
tall, fair-haired girl, very straight, with splendid movements.” (Orwell 86).
She called having sex “making a baby” or “our duty to the Party” (Orwell 87). Even
though the Party, was not completely against occasional sexual intercourse,
they wanted romance to be completely removed from it because according to the
Party’s mentality, “desire was thoughtcrime” and “procreation will be an annual
formality, like the renewal of a ration card.” (Orwell 88; 349).

            Aside from the strict regulation of sexual intercourse in
Oceania, the theme of violence also has a lingering presence in the novel. Torture
in Oceania was overseen by the Ministry of Love, which is the part of the
government that enforces the loyalty to Big Brother and the Party through fear
and brutality. The Party successfully modifies an insubordinate mind to become
an obedient one, through torture. Winston is seen as “a flaw in the pattern”,
and since “it is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes
of the Party”, he must be cured (Orwell 333; 327). Room 101 is the room that
all prisoners of the Ministry of Love are taken to, to be fixed – it is the
final part of the torture process and the breaking point for everyone. Room 101
is where criminals face their worst fears and through that they are made
“sane”. While Winston was in the cell at the Mistry of Love, there was a man
there with him that was ordered to be sent to Room 101. As soon as he heard
that, he yelled that he had a family and that “they can take the whole lot of
them and cut their throats” but the officer did not seem to acknowledge him
(Orwell 311). Room 101 is where Winston went through the final stage of
accepting his love for Big Brother and ultimately gave in to torture. He had
lost his free will, and became a pawn of the government like everybody else (The
Vintage News). O’Brien warned Winston that “never again will he be capable of
ordinary human feeling”, and that “they shall squeeze him empty and then
they shall fill him with themselves” (Orwell 335; 336).

            With regards to achieving more substantial control of a
person, Orwell demonstrates the ways in which the Party was able to acquire
access to the minds and the thought process of people in Oceania. The first
aspect of mind control is the control of thoughts. The Party restricts people’s
ability to think whatever they want to think, by enforcing strict rules
concerning what one is allowed to think. Thought crime is one of the many ways
an individual in Oceania can commit treason – it is thinking of anything that
the Party believes is illegal, which is anything that opens a door to creating
individuality. Winston is aware that “thought crime does not entail death:
thought crime IS death”, however he does not seem to care as he is constantly
committing thoughtcrime throughout the entire novel (Orwell 36). This further
indicates that he is experiencing “doublethink”, which is one of the consequences
of the Party’s massive propaganda campaigns. Winston is able to accept the
information that the Party is feeding him and, simultaneously hold onto a
different set of information that contradicts what he is being told.

            Fundamentally, language is the origin of thoughts and it
is the basis of everyone’s thought process. Controlling the language is a way
of controlling people’s thoughts as it narrows their vocabulary range, and as a
result “narrowing the range of thought” (Orwell 98). In 1984, the language that is predominantly used is Newspeak, which
consists of fewer words with rigid meanings. In chapter five, the readers are
introduced to Syme, who worked in the Research Department and was a specialist
in Newspeak. Orwell presents Syme as a character who is clearly loyal to Big
Brother and was brainwashed by the Party. Syme believes that “the destruction
of words” is “a beautiful thing” and that it is something that the society will
benefit from (Orwell 67). Newspeak was created to remove even the slightest
possibility of rebellious thoughts – the words that produce an opportunity of
such thoughts have been completely eliminated from the vocabulary. George
Orwell believed that the corruption of language and totalitarianism are linked
and according to him, “if
thought corrupts language, language can also corrupts thought”, thus leading to
the idea of Newspeak (Politics and the English Language).

            Equally important is the paranoia that is instilled in
people as a way of keeping them in check and from breaking the rules. Orwell
introduces first indicator of the constant monitoring in Oceania is the poster
that Winston sees. “It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that
the eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the
caption beneath it ran.” An example of Winston’s paranoia could be when he
first encounters Julia and automatically assumes that she is a spy for the Thought
Police and she is now on her way to report him to them. When he was sure it was
the same girl he had seen a couple of days ago in one of the buildings,
“there was no doubting any longer that the girl was spying on him” (Orwell
130). He thought “it was too great a coincidence. Whether she was an agent of
the Thought Police, or simply an amateur spy…, hardy mattered.” (Orwell 130).
Furthermore, the feeling of paranoia is placed in people through the use of
technology and how it is implanted in the citizens’ everyday life. Throughout
the novel, Orwell shows that Winston lives in fear of the telescreens
surrounding him, and ultimately he is not wrong in being afraid, as the
telescreen in his and Julia’s hideout was the entire reason for them getting caught.
Even at the beginning of the novel it was revealed that “the telescreen
received and transmitted simultaneously” and that “there was of course no way
of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment”, which made any
action that was even slightly out of the Party’s sanction was a huge risk.

             Furthermore,
another element to consider would be how the Party controls people’s emotions
and how that creates a social incompetence in the society. Love is an emotion
that the population of Oceania are not familiar with. It is evident that the
people there are restricted from having any sort of relationships involving
romance, “there will be no love, except the love of Big Brother” (Orwell
349). Although marriage is tolerated by the Party, it is merely seen as a
formality. The Party does not want partners in a marriage to have any real
emotional attachments towards each other, because that kind of devotion poses a
risk to the Party’s Power. The people are devoted to the Party, and the Party
only. Winston himself had d not experienced love or having an intimate
relationship, however he was as mentioned earlier, married to his former wife
Kathrine, who was a pawn for the Party just like everybody else. Winston said
“that she had without exception the most stupid, vulgar, empty mind that he had
ever encountered” (Orwell 86). More…

            More significantly, the Party takes pleasure from getting
one to turn against their loved ones for the good of Big Brother, thus
betraying the bond of loyalty and trust that was shared. As Winston is
reluctant to betray Julia, O’Brien exploits Winston’s loyalty to her as a
weakness to further continue torturing him until he breaks. Winston once told
Julia “confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn’t matter: only
feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you – that would be real
betrayal”, and ironically he did just that. Families in Oceania are expected to
allow loyalty to Big Brother overshadow loyalty to any other person, no matter who
that person is. Children are taught to spy on people from a young age, and are
brainwashed in a way that forces them to report their parents to the Party for
a crime. Parsons explanation for his presence in the Ministry of Love was that
he got caught saying “down with Big Brother” in his sleep and that it was
“his little daughter” who denounced him (Orwell 307). “He is proud of her”
for doing so, “it shows he brought her up in the right spirit”, thus
proving the Party’s influence in the family bond. By the means of an
organization called Junior Spies, which is where children are taught to
denounce the parents to the Thought Police, the Party managed to wedge itself
between one of the most powerful instinctual bonds and transform parental love and
devotion into fear and paranoia, and then turn children into obedient pawns for
the Party or an extension of the Thought Police.

            Complimentary
to the state and methods of control in Airstrip One in Orwell’s 1984, connotations can be drawn with the
state and methods of control in Suzanne Collins’ novel The Hunger Games. Both novels portray how a revolution is something
that seems to be inconceivable for the citizens that are oppressed by the
government. In The Hunger Games, the
Capitol is the center of command in Panem. It is in charge of most of Panem’s
wealth and therefore has the means of control for all of its’ twelve districts.
The annual Hunger Games are the ultimate act of the government’s power – they
were designed to be a regular spectacle for the purpose of warning the people
of Panem about the consequences of a rebellion, thus achieving their
cooperation. Although both novels consist of a totalitarian government and
strict societal control, they are presented with slightly different angles on
the way in which the two are handled. In Orwell’s novel, the protagonist
Winston, is aware that the repercussion of going against the system is death,
and accepts that. In Collins’ novel, Katniss Everdeen has a chance at winning
the Games and being rewarded with a luxurious life, implying that she has
learned to accept living in a corrupted system. Both novels successfully convey
how society’s norms and can be changed with the appropriate use of propaganda
along with fear.

            In conclusion, it has been proven that the main goal of
the Party is to remove individuality. Throughout Orwell’s novel 1984, the stripping of one’s
self-expression and identity is what seems to be the essential aspect of
dehumanization of a society. Orwell wrote this novel not only as a reflection
of what he has seen in the war, but also as a warning of the future man who is
bound to lose his individuality through the restriction of love and loyalty.
This novel portrays how the oppression of a power, in this case the Party, can
be destructive and dangerous to humanity. In order to completely gain total control of people,
restriction of their actions is simply not enough. The Party’s regulation of
human physiological processes and emotions is what George Orwell proves to be
necessary to achieve successful authority over a society. “The Party seeks power entirely for its own
sake. It is not interested in the good of others; it is interested solely
in power” (Orwell 344).