1984 Individuality Essay

George Orwell presents us with a world where systemic thinking, a form of solipsism represented by the Party and embodied in O’Brien, has come to permeate and dominate all aspects of human living.This type of thinking, which adheres rigidly to its own logic, becomes a form of closed-mindedness that recognizes no perspective other than its own and has become, in the novel, a self-referential totalism that neither acknowledges nor sees the need for any external stimuli.Although he describes at length Winston’s self-questioning as to the accuracy and veracity of his own memories, we are not to suppose that the events they describe never took place at all.

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This is precisely what Winston objects to; and he objects to it on the very ground most likely to offend the Party. the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered.

Winston rejects this view Winston has already considered this slogan and concluded that “. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting” (32).

Paraphrasing Lacan, Zupancic tells us that “the impossibility of the Real does not prevent it having an effect in the realm of the possible” (Zupancic, 2000, 235).

Now this is a curious state of affairs; however it does immediately suggest how the nature of reality could be manipulated; and produced by language.

As a consequence all alternative viewpoints are regarded as transgressions, deviations that must be corrected to preserve the integrity of the system in the absolutism of its “purity.” The principal possessors and guardians of this perfection are, of course, the Inner Party with their “special relationship” to the “Truth.” It is they who have created a world where two and two can equal five, where “Freedom equals Slavery” and so on; where anyone, such as Winston Smith or Julia, who challenges the oligarchy, must be, in the terms of its own all-pervading logic, regarded as “insane”: misguided blind fools who need to be “helped” to think in the correct Party-determined way.

The Party’s method (before the apparently inevitable requirement for torture) for the imposition and maintenance of its “Truth” is the manipulation of language.Written by: George Orwell Type of Work: novel Genres: utopian literature; social criticism First Published: 1949 Setting: Oceania Main Characters: Winston Smith; Julia; O'Brien; Big Brother/Emmanuel Goldstein Major Thematic Topics: mutability of the past; the existence of fact through memory; memory; history; language; oppression of writers Motifs: repressed sexuality; dreams Major Symbols: Newspeak; prole woman; birds; telescreens; glass paperweight The three most important aspects of Removing #book# from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.Are you sure you want to remove #book Confirmation# and any corresponding bookmarks?It is Winston’s sense of the importance of the event for him that its truth: a combination of actual fact and factual relevance: an ultimately indeterminable ratio/relationship which is the inviolable actual truth for Winston.Arguably this is the most important sense in which the truth exists for us; and it is precisely the sense that in is seen as most subversive by the Party and thus constitutes Winston’s heresy.But how, precisely, can the Party be so effective in this determination of reality?How is it that people can apparently be prepared and willing to accept a version of reality that seems so antithetical to so many of our basic human needs?This is where the Party’s power-source is to be found at its most effective and virulent: its ability to determine the nature of the perception of reality, effective reality, inducing a : the fullness of being.And it is in this control of reality through language that Orwell presents his most convincing and terrifying manifestation of the (mis)use of power.Well, it would seem that reality is by no means as stable or certain – so concretely “out there” in a Cartesian sense – as our senses may suggest it is.Orwell, writing before post-modernist ideas become current, nevertheless, in , seems to focus on many key elements of a post-modernist understanding about the nature of reality even if, perhaps unsurprisingly, he cannot see beyond them.


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