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Totalitarianism in Orwell's 1984

            Following the political upheaval and struggle for power after the second world war, George Orwell's novel 1984 cautions against the dangers of oppression and exemplifies the consequential nightmarish world of the near future. The plot traces the struggles of the main character, Winston Smith, as he attempts to rebel against the tyrannically insatiable Party, rulers of the superstate Oceania. In this terrifying glimpse of the future, independent thought, along with all other human values and ideals, is eradicated, and therein replaced only with fanatical loyalty to the Party and "unconscious orthodoxy." The Party, also known as Ingsoc, is able to achieve these ends with a complex utilization of manipulation mechanisms, eliminating free thought through the restrictive language, constant propaganda, degradation of human values, enforced social hierarchy, and virtual complete control of reality. .
             The novel 1984 epitomizes, if not exaggerates, the horrors of a totalitarian collectivism, where a government can claim that a contradiction, such as two and two makes five, is true, and the hive mind will believe it. The concept of language as a confining tool is an exceptionally important message of the book, and this is used to its full potential in the official language of Oceania, Newspeak. Language, of course, is of primary significance to the human thought process, and can be used to expand upon an individual's expression or severely limit it. In 1984, Ingsoc has mastered the theory behind communication with Newspeak, "the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year." Basically, Newspeak is a way to narrow the range of thought until "a heretical thought (is) literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words." Thoughtcrime, or unorthodox thoughts, would become obsolete, because with no mode to express them, they could not exist. The Party constantly updates Newspeak and the Newspeak dictionary to forward their utmost intent that eventually no one will even be able to conceptualize questioning the Party's absolute authority.

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