With regards to achieving more substantial control of aperson, Orwell demonstrates the ways in which the Party was able to acquireaccess to the minds and the thought process of people in Oceania.
The first aspect of mind control is the control of thoughts. TheParty controls and restricts people’s ability to think whatever they want tothink, by enforcing strict rules concerning what one is allowed to think.Thought crime is one of the many ways an individual in Oceania can commit treason– it is thinking of anything that the Party considers illegal, which issubsequently anything that opens a door to creating individuality. Winston isaware that “thought crime does not entail death: thought crime IS death”,however he does not seem to care as he is constantly committing thoughtcrimethroughout the entire novel (Orwell 36). This further indicates that he isexperiencing “doublethink”, which is one of the consequences of the Party’smassive propaganda campaigns. It is one’s ability to accept the informationthat the Party is feeding them and, simultaneously possessing a different setof information that contradicts what one is being told. Fundamentally, language is the origin of thoughts and itis the basis of everyone’s thought process. Controlling the language is a wayof controlling people’s thoughts as it narrows their vocabulary range, and as aresult “narrowing the range of thought” (Orwell 98).
In 1984, the language that is predominantly used is Newspeak, whichconsists of fewer words with rigid meanings. In chapter five, the readers areintroduced to Syme, who worked in the Research Department and was a specialistin Newspeak. Orwell presents Syme as a character who is clearly loyal to BigBrother and was brainwashed by the Party. Syme believes that “the destructionof words” is “a beautiful thing” and that it is something that the society willbenefit from (Orwell 67). Newspeak was created to remove even the slightestpossibility of rebellious thoughts – the words that produce an opportunity ofsuch thoughts have been completely eliminated from the vocabulary. GeorgeOrwell believed that the corruption of language and totalitarianism are linkedand according to him, “ifthought corrupts language, language can also corrupts thought”, thus leading tothe idea of Newspeak (Politics and the English Language). Equally important is the paranoia that is instilled inpeople as a way of keeping them in check and from breaking the rules.
Orwellintroduces first indicator of the constant monitoring in Oceania is the posterthat Winston sees. “It was one of those pictures which are so contrived thatthe eyes follow you about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, thecaption beneath it ran.” An example of Winston’s paranoia could be when hefirst encounters Julia and automatically assumes that she is a spy for theThought Police and she is now on her way to report him to them. When he wassure it was the same girl he had seen a couple of days ago in one of thebuildings, “there was no doubting any longer that the girl was spying on him”(Orwell 130). He thought “it was too great a coincidence.
Whether she was anagent of the Thought Police, or simply an amateur spy…, hardy mattered.” (Orwell130). Furthermore, the feeling of paranoia is placed in people through the useof technology and how it is embedded in the citizens’ everyday life. Throughoutthe novel Orwell shows that Winston lives in fear of the telescreenssurrounding him, and ultimately he is not wrong in being afraid, as thetelescreen in his and Julia’s hideout was the entire reason for them gettingcaught. Even at the beginning of the novel it was revealed that “the telescreenreceived and transmitted simultaneously” and that “there was of course no wayof knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment”, which mad anyaction that was even slightly out of the Party’s approval was a huge risk andcould put one’s entire life in jeopardy.
Furthermore, another element toconsider would be how the Party controls people’s emotions and how that createsa social incompetence in the society. Love an emotion that thepopulation of Oceania are not familiar with. It is evident that the peoplethere are restricted from having any sort of relationships involving romance orany other kind of emotions, “there will be no love, except the love of BigBrother” (Orwell 349). Although marriage is tolerated by the Party, it ismerely seen as a formality. The Party does not want partners in a marriage tohave any real emotional attachments towards each other, because that kind ofdevotion poses a risk to the Party’s Power.
The people are devoted to theParty, and the Party only. Winston himself had d not experienced love or havingan intimate relationship, however he was as mentioned earlier, married to hisformer wife Kathrine, who was a pawn for the Party just like everybody else.Winston said “that she had without exception the most stupid, vulgar, emptymind that he had ever encountered” (Orwell 86). More…