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Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell was written as a warning against Totalitarianism. It is the political system that encourages complete control by one political branch or state, Citizens of Oceania are under the constant, watchful eye of those who work and worship “Big Brother”, the leader and founder of the Party. They are surrounded by perpetual war and exposed to public mind control all their lives. Nationalism is stamped into all minds of Oceania’s citizens from birth, helping protect the structure of the Party. It is a country of structure and the constant, subtle desire for power.

Several aspects of Nineteen Eighty-Four bring together ideas about our own nation that people can view with great convictions. The call for freedom within the Declaration of Independence, our rights in the Bill of Rights, and crimes found in Minority Report can be found in the contexts of Oceania’s political system in both a contradicting and similar way.

“We hold these truths self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” –Declaration of Independence, Preamble. Oceania bases their governmental system on equality and thoughtlessness. In truth, however, both ideas portray a surreal statement. The term equality is torn by the three different classes found in Oceania. 2% of the nation is the Inner Party, who controls all of everything that is decided and displayed to citizens of Oceania. 13% is the Outer Party, who works for the Inner Party and ignorantly holds the perfect structure of the nation. The majority of the population are people called the “Proles”, although they own no power about the decisions made for the well-being of the country.

Many hereditary rights are stripped away from each class. Life, Liberty, and Happiness cannot be found in Oceania because each right is a crime within itself. The right of happiness counters that of the morals of Oceania. Being emotionless about everything, except when it comes to anger against the enemy and pride for your country, keeps citizens of Oceania essentially free of feelings. Life is not viewed as something that can be controlled by oneself. The lives in Oceania are controlled by the Party and what they believe to be right. They choose what you need and what you believe in. This is why you cannot find Liberty in this country. Restrictions on life and emotions are too austere in Oceania, making it impossible to view the country as “free.”

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – The Bill of Rights, First Amendment. Individuality can be found in all prospects of this amendment. If you emanate beliefs outside of the Oceania’s pre-made systems you may easily become seen as a suspect some sort of Thought-Crime.

“Thought-Crime does not entail Death, Thought-Crime is death. This is the essential crime that contains all others in itself.” – Page 28. Thought-Crime is thinking anything that the Thought Police and the Party believe will portray individuality. Laws and regulations in Oceania are, however, mostly subtle and undemanding. Oceania is empowered by the ignorance that clouds their citizens. The less the people comprehend the greater chance of rebellion prevention will work. By owning pride for Oceania and keeping your head out of thinking outside of the box you would be a guaranteed safe life. However, just by changing the smallest routines in your daily life can lead to death.

Much like Thought-Crime, Minority Report displays the damnable deed of Precrime. It is the crime of murder that is foretold but not yet committed. These crimes are predicted by three psychic mutilated humans called PreCogs. The term “Innocent before proven guilty” no longer exists in the United States with the PreCogs instant knowledge of any thought of murder. The injustice of confinement for unique thoughts counters that of what structure America has been built upon by our Four Fathers.

The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights states the need for both equality and freedom. Neither can be placed in the same system and come to a good medium. The perfect system according to the Inner Party of Oceania will always have its kinks because it either creates inhumane or rebellious creatures. The justice of denouncing imagination and creativity keeps the full potential of citizens trapped in a steel box. Both Thought-Police and PreCogs alike hold them back by imprisoning for nothing but a flicker of a thought or emotion. The detainment of thoughts, emotions, and beliefs takes away the fundamentals of humanity. By taking away justice in its simplest form and replacing freedom with ignorance a country cannot move forward.



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leafyThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 20, 2011 at 9:15 am:
i LOVED this book so much! and this article was very well-written. nice job!
 
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