In the classic novel 1984, George Orwell explains how a government can abuse the power, which it has obtained. "Big Brother," the government of Oceania, that controls the society in which the protagonist Winston Smith dwells, has complete control over every aspect of his everyday life. Orwell could see the makings of a totalitarian government in the rise of authority in Hitler, Franco, and Stalin. Each of these dictators sought to change society and "control the world." Although the novel was published in 1949, Orwell was not trying to predict the future; rather his purpose was to warn against the possibilities of a totalitarian government. .
The government was able to control the very actions of its people by the use of telescreens. Telescreens were in every room of every home and on the streets. These screens allowed for the government to constantly watch and hear every sound or move someone made and, indeed, every movement was scrutinized. One morning, while doing his "Physical Jerks," Winston was not putting forth good effort, and the instructor over the telescreen ordered him to do better (Orwell 34). This provides evidence that there were people watching at every moment, and one must do as one was told. Orwell said that, by being able to see one's every action, the government could more easily control those actions, and thereby control the citizens of the society as well as the society itself. .
Through the use of literary devices such as imagery, Orwell portrayed the environment around Winston quite vividly. Orwell appealed to every sense to bring the reader into the story and to portray the almost limitless control a totalitarian government might obtain. For example, the government named everything "Victory," including Victory Gin, Victory Coffee, and Victory Cigarettes. The items, however, were anything but a victory. Winston explained that, "The Victory Gin tastes like nitric acid and after swallowing, one had the sensation of being hit on the back of the head with a rubber club" .