George Orwell’s 1984 is a terrifying look into the future of totalitarianism. It uses propaganda to control the thoughts and actions of its citizens. Unlike Nazi Germany, which relied on overt messages in posters, or Soviet Russia with its heavy-handed newspapers, 1984 carries out it’s brainwashing through subtle means. The Party has created an environment where people are so afraid to think for themselves that they would rather believe whatever it tells them than be alone with their own thoughts.
What is Orwell’s main message in 1984?
Orwell’s main message is that totalitarianism is a dangerous form of government that can lead to widespread destruction and death. He was inspired to write the book after witnessing the atrocities of World War II, including the use of propaganda by Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. 1984 shows how these same methods could be used in a future society to control the population.
Propaganda is a powerful tool that can be used for good or evil, much like fire. It has the potential to transform society and improve lives but it also has the power to destroy them completely by encouraging people’s worst instincts.
How does the government try to control everyone in 1984?
The Party uses several methods to influence its citizens. It controls the flow of information, so no one knows what’s really going on in the world or how people are suffering under Big Brother’s rule. People also have a deep fear of being punished for not following orders and expressing their thoughts against the regime will lead them to be killed by the Ministry of Love.
The Party also uses propaganda posters and telescreens to keep people in line, though these are not the most effective means. Telescreens broadcast messages telling citizens how important it is for everyone to follow orders, while posters encourage submission through slogans like “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” or “THINK DIFFERENTLY AND BE DEAD.”
The most effective means of control is the Party’s use of language. Newspeak was created to restrict freedom of thought and expression. Words are redefined or eliminated so that citizens can’t even think about rebellious thoughts. For example, the word “free” has been replaced with “unfree,” “thoughtcrime” has been replaced with “thought,” and “sexcrime” has become just a vague concept.
What are the three propaganda slogans The party repeats over and over in 1984?
“WAR IS PEACE,” “FREEDOM IS SLAVERY,” and “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.” These slogans are drilled into the minds of citizens so that they will never question the Party’s authority. The ultimate goal is to have a population that is completely controlled and can’t even imagine rebelling against the government.
“War Is Peace” justifies war as a means of controlling other people. The Party constantly fights “wars” with its enemies, including Eurasia and Eastasia. War is also used to keep citizens occupied so that they don’t have time for thinking about anything else.
“Freedom Is Slavery” tells the population that it has all sorts of rights but in reality, they are slaves to the Party. The citizens are not allowed to have any independent thoughts or actions and must obey all the rules without question.
“Ignorance Is Strength” keeps people from questioning the government because if they don’t know anything about what’s going on, they can’t do anything about it. The telescreens show propaganda and keep monitoring what people are doing, so they know if anyone is rebelling against the rules.
In the end, Orwell’s main focus in 1984 is the idea of totalitarianism. The government has control over all aspects of life including what people think and say, how they dress, where they work, etc. But this power does not come from a single source like Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia; instead, it relies on subtle messages that are difficult to see unless you know what you’re looking for. It wants its citizens so afraid to be alone with their own thoughts that even if there was anything else going on outside of the Party-sanctioned reality – which we never get an opportunity to explore.
As modern-day citizens, we must always be on guard for a possible takeover of our free-thinking abilities by an outside force. So how can we avoid becoming one of those enslaved souls? We need only look outwards from our screens (though not too long) and be vigilant against anything that might try to limit our freedom of thought (learn what it looks like in order to recognize it should it ever arise).
Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out our other blog posts for more information on subject such as – PSYOPS: Propaganda, Censorship, and Disinformation, Propaganda: The Psychological Operation Campaigns (PSYOPS), and Psychological Warfare: How to analyze and break someone down psychologically?