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The Struggle in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

The Struggle in Nineteen Eighty-four (1984)

In a world controlled by a higher power, constantly living in fear of doing or saying something wrong, thoughts can be incriminating. Even worse, any unpure thoughts may make you disappear. Constantly being watched, and observed without knowing. A telescreen watching every facial expression and recording any abnormal body language and movement everywhere you go. Even in your home there is no escape. You are unable to get away or turn off the power of the Telescreen and “Big Brother”. This novel is of a man’s struggle against a totalitarian government that controls the ideas and thoughts of its citizens.

In the novel 1984 by George Orwell the government used advanced mind reading techniques to discover the thoughts of the people and punish those who show signs of rebellion against the government. The novel is supposed to be a prophetic story, however, it was somewhat wrong in predicting the date when this government would rein. Although some themes described in the book are now realities, some are not going to happen for some time to come and this is why this novel continues to be overwhelming to us today.

Perhaps Orwell’s purpose for writing 1984 was to express his feelings of how the governments would come to control everything and anything they wished to do. It is also possible that he wanted to tell of how mind control and torture techniques could be used to make an individual or an entire nation do what the government wanted. This story shows the danger of a world in which the government has too much control. The novel shows how the government controls its people, eliminating their individuality and the essence of everything that makes a human a human.

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed-if all records told the same tale-then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'” (Page 37)

Though this society is efficient, it means little since the people cannot enjoy freedom and therefore have no rights. This quote emphasizes how if you don’t recall anything about the past you will be easily controlled by the government and you will no longer have any concrete evidence.

In this novel, Orwell used the image of a man who stood in a shadow that covered his face.

Machiavelli’s The Prince

Niccolo Machiavelli lived in Florence, Italy in the 1400’s. The country of Italy was divided into city-states that had their own leaders, but all pledged alliance to their king. In time in which great leaders were needed in order to help the development of a city-state and country, Machiavelli had a theory that man needed a leader to control them. In his book The Prince, he speaks of the perfect leader.

I believe that man, by nature, is neither good nor evil. When a child comes out of its mother, one cannot tell whether or not that child will be a serial killer or win the Nobel Peace prize. A child’s environment is what forms it to be the adult that it will be one day. I believe that it also what one believes that makes him or her what that person will be one day. Machiavelli believed however that man was naturally an evil being, one that needed control (Prince).

The idea of man being an evil being, by nature, is expressed in Machiavelli’s book The Prince. He has written that a Prince should break his promises to his subjects because man is evil and will break their promises to their prince (Prince). I do not agree with this theory because I think that man will make his own decision based on whether or not he is good in character. I believe that a leader should tell the truth and win the support of the public by being known as doing this. Machiavelli seems to have the idea of preparing for the worst and thinking in terms of the worst. This is a preventative measure that will benefit anybody who has evil intentions.

Only a person who thinks that man is evil would think of such ways to run a government in the way that Machiavelli thought a government should be operated. Machiavelli felt that “crafty and deceitful princes have historically defeated the faithful princes”(Prince). What happened to the idea of a caring leader, one who could be trusted to make decisions that the majority of the people agreed with? I do not agree with Machiavelli that a leader should be deceitful in order to for his country to succeed or grow. I think that what a leader is depends on what type of man you are good or evil.

The leader that Machiavelli describes as being the ideal one is evil.

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