George Orwell was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, Imperial police officer, critic whom which his work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism and outspoken support of democratic socialism. He wrote 1984 as a way of showing how people who were in higher rankings were abusing their power to manipulate others into believing their own beliefs and forcing them to do what was said to be done or else would suffer the consequences writing 1984 was a way for George Orwell to expose the truth. This is a dystopian novel because it gives you a perspective of what the future could look like if people didn’t actively resist the corrupting forces of power and greed.
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The purpose of orwell in writing this book was to show manipulation used by totalitarian regimes, which caused the creation of the party. 1984’s George Orwell wrote the story of Oceania as a warning about the lengths to which a totalitarian government could go in a quest to power. While fiction, Orwell borrowed much from the backdrop of his novel from the soviet union. Life under the soviet union and life under the party have parallel that exist between them; Torture, Social Economic, propaganda, being a superstate, and execution.
The Soviet Union which, at the time, was a superstate. Lasted from December 30, 1922 to December 26, 1991. The soviet union was formed during the revolutionary war. The Bolsheviks established a socialist state in the territory that was once the Russian Empire after revolutionaries overthrew Russia’s Nicholas ll. The red army which was under Lenin’s Bolsheviks government, fought against the white army which were monarchists, capitalists, and democratic socialists. They won and were able to maintain control. In 1922 the union of soviet socialist republics, soviet union was established by a treaty between Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Transcaucasia, today’s Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Shortly after Vladimir Lenin’s death, Joseph Stalin took over and gained a lot of control and turned the soviet union into a military force which was dominant in every aspect.Stalin’s government eventually became powerful and were at the top, and all the weak and poor ended up at the very bottom.
In both 1984 and the soviet union, torture was present. In 1984 Winston was tortured For opposing the party. People were tortured in the Soviet Union as a way of propaganda. The soviet union wanted for the person being tortured to admit to whatever they did and then use it in a way to show that they have discovered an enemy spy. Even though the purpose of the action was different between 1984 and the soviet union, both societies used torture. According to 1984, ¨The chinless man obeyed. His large pouchy cheeks were quivering uncontrollably. The door clanged open. As the young officer entered and stepped aside, there emerged from behind him a short stumpy guard with enormous arms and shoulders. He took his stand opposite the chinless man, and then, at a signal from the officer, let free a frightful blow, with all the weight of his body behind it, full in the chinless man’s mouth.
The force of it seemed almost to knock him clear of the floor. His body was flung across the cell and fetched up against the base of the lavatory seat. For a moment he lay as though stunned, with dark blood oozing from his mouth and nose. A very faint whimpering or squeaking, which seemed unconscious, came out of him. Then he rolled over and raised himself unsteadily on hands and knees. Amid a stream of blood and saliva, the two halves of a dental plate fell out of his mouth¨ (book 3, Chapter 1 Page 63). The party would portray violence against rebels that were captured in order to control them and socially change them. This shows a parallel between 1984 and the soviet union because the soviet union used their power to torture people in order to get the information they needed. In 1984 torture was a way to change people’s opinion about big brother and the party and would keep on harming them until they agreed to what was said.
The soviet union executioning people for crime was the same when people were vaporized. Political opponents and people going against him were immediately executed. Just as in 1984 people who opposed the party were vaporized to eliminate the possibility of any threat that could come across and take power away from him. According to 1984, ¨Some Eurasian prisoners, guilty of war crimes, were to be hanged in the Park that evening, Winston remembered. This happened about once a month, and was a popular spectacle. Children always clamoured to be taken to see it. He took his leave of Mrs Parsons and made for the door. He had not gone six steps down the passage when something hit the back of his neck an agonizingly painful blow.
It was as though a red-hot wire had been jabbed into him. He spun round just in time to see Mrs Parsons dragging her son back into the doorway while the boy pocketed a catapult¨ (Part 1, Chapter 2). There’s a parallel between the soviet union and 1984 because In 1984 people were executed for committing crimes or opposing the thought of the party having control. The soviet union would execute anybody who opposed stalin for the most part to have rivals/ opposers frightened. He would use executions as a way of fear. Since he was a dictator, He was able to do anything without being hurt and suffering for the consequences of executing people for his own benefits.
High ranking members of a government have received benefits because of their status throughout history. The soviet union did not have the same high quality of life than the communist party and stalin had. In the soviet union, Stalin was one of the richest people. Ranking officials in fact were not as rich as stalin. The benefits the soviet union had parallels the party’s in 1984 because the party gave the high and middle class better lives than the proles. The parson’s home was described in chapter 2. It reads, “ the parson’s flat was bigger than winston’s, and dingy in a different way” (Orwell 21). Even though winston was a member of the party, he wasn’t as high of a rank as parson was to be able to own a bigger home. Furthermore, the proles have no benefits. They don’t have their own home. The proles are the poor people within stalin’s government.
Furthermore, Oceania and the Soviet Union look very similar to each other because each take a huge piece of land. Just like super nation which was established within a couple of countries. The soviet union’s map looks like it controlled a sixth of earth’s land as a picture of Oceana looked like it had control over sixth of the earth’s land. Having control over much land, gives power to the “super nation”.
Propaganda for the most part was one of the reasons for the soviet union having so much control. The soviet union had used propaganda as a way to convince the youth to fight for their country in a act of patriotism. Another way they used propaganda was to worship the soviet union themselves. From early age, citizens of the soviet union were encouraged to glorify the soviet union. Soon citizens from every age praised the soviet union and stalin himself. The Party’s method of propaganda parallels the soviet union’s use of propaganda.
The youth were encouraged to snitch on their parents or other people to the thought police if they witnessed a thought crime being committed. With the youth reporting to the thought police, they were only thanked for doing something for their country. In chapter 2 when winston went to visit the parsons, the parsons children began to call out winston for committing the thought crime, “a handsome tough looking boy of nine had popped up from behind the table menacing him with a toy automatic pistol, while his small sister … both of them were dressed in blue shorts, gray shirts, and red neckerchiefs which were the uniform of the spies. Winston raised his hand above his head but with an uneasy feeling … “you’re a traitor!” yelled the boy. “You’re a thought criminal!”. Both use of propaganda in the soviet union and 1984 was used to keep and manage control within both societies. This came natural to them if it meant keeping control.
The parallels between life under the Party of Orwell’s 1984 and life under the soviet union included quality of life, being a super nation, propaganda, executions, and torture. if one society was fictional and the other one was reality, then how are they parallels? This is to prevent from stalin’s society to ever happening again.
George Orwell Democratic Socialism. (2022, Feb 03).
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