George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four, is perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century, and here are a few important themes of the book that we need to be mindful of.
Totalitarianism: Total Control, Pure Power
The Party – the controller of the superstate – “seeks power entirely for its own sake.” As an official admits: “We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.”
A well-organized and effective propaganda machine goes a long way in ensuring total control of the Party over the superstate and its residents. The regulation and dissemination of information involves “tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your choosing.”
The Thing Called Love
The totalitarian knows that to rule people he needs to quell all ways of achieving happiness and fulfilment. Therefore, love and sex, two of the most enriching human experiences, are killed and depersonalized.
Liberty and Censorship
The Ministry of Truth works tirelessly and meticulously to modify public archives and rewrite history. As a result, “the past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became the truth.”
Language: Doublethink and Newspeak
The residents of the superstate are forced to communicate in Newspeak – the government’s invented language. It plays a pertinent role in the Party’s control over the masses.
Technology: All-seeing Telescreens and a Watchful Eye
The Party needs and develops top-notch technology to exercise ruthless control over the residents. Without telescreens, the Thought Police would fail in its objective of surveillance. And, of course, overseeing all of this is Big Brother.
Gripped by the themes above? Are you going to read or reread Nineteen Eighty-Four? Do tell us about other ominous themes of the book that all of us should be mindful of!