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Is it corrupt for a government to manipulate its citizens to maintain full control over their country? In the novel 1984, the three-party slogans are contradictory phrases that are manipulated to be true by the party. “ War is Peace”, “ Freedom is Slavery ” and “ Ignorance is Strength” are the slogans Orwell uses as a form of propaganda and as an introduction to doublethink. The party uses these slogans to have full control and power over the people. The citizens are made to believe that by constantly being at war with the enemy they are at peace. Freedom in slavery implies that if a person is a slave for the party he is free. Finally, Ignorance is Strength, means that if the population of Oceania stays ignorant, the party will continue to be strong at manipulating its citizens.

Big Brother and the party make the citizens believe that as long as they’re at war with other countries and they have the same enemy, they’re at peace. This way people feel threatened by rocket bombs and Eurasian soldiers instead of focusing on how the party itself is controlling them. This can be shown through Hate Week, the alteration of history, and the manipulation of language. In the Ministry of Truth, history books and news are altered to agree with the Party’s beliefs. In the novel, Orwell writes, ‘The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.’ (19) This shows how the party can make something true when is not and the citizens will blindly follow.

Hate Week and Two-minute Hate are both methods used by the Party to maintain full control over its citizens. This is another example of how being at war with the enemy the citizens are in peace. Two Minutes Hate is a daily ritual where citizens watch videos of the enemy which is Goldstein. It’s a method used to help make people lose their individuality and show the same emotion all at the same time. Hate Week is a holiday that takes place from April 4 till April tenth which helps increase their hatred for the enemy. In the novel, Orwell writes, ‘The program of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Goldstein was not the principal figure. He was the primal traitor, the earliest defiler of the Party’s purity. All subsequent crimes against the Party, all treacheries, acts of sabotage, heresies, deviations, sprang directly out of his teaching'(13). By repeating this ritual every day, the party is controlling the citizens’ emotions.

The party encourages women to restrict themselves from being in a romantic relationship. In the novel, Orwell writes, “Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an enema.’ (32) Here it can be seen how the party makes sex seem like a duty instead of what it is. This is because the Party does not want people to develop any sort of love or loyalty towards anyone but Big Brother. In the novel, Winston tells Julia, ‘ When you make love you’re using up energy; and afterward, you feel happy and don’t give a damn for anything. They can’t bear you to feel like that. They want you to be bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex gone sour. If you’re happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?’(105) This quote shows that the party is against sex because it takes up people’s energy which they believe should all go towards Big Brother.

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The party uses the manipulation of language to make the citizens believe just about anything. Newspeak is the official language of Oceania that was created by the party to abolish thoughtcrime and exert full control. It is a language that excludes undesirable words and invents new ones all to force Party conformity among the citizens of Oceania. In the novel, Orwell writes, ‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end, we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.'(98) Orwell uses this to eliminate expressive language allowing the citizens’ minds to be easily controlled.

The citizens of Oceania are supposed to believe and never question anything that is said to them by the Party. In 1984, having freedom meant having the liberty to do and think as the Party wanted without straying from its rules. This means that following the Party is freedom and not following it is slavery. Telescreens are a method used by the party to detect rebellion. In the novel, Orwell writes, ‘ The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; ‘ (9) Telescreens are required to be in every household and they must stay on. The telescreens can hear and see everything including in the dark. They are made so that the citizens live in constant fear.

The slogan Ignorance is strength implies that in a communist government as long as the society is blinded by ignorance and does not question Big Brother they can be easily manipulated. Therefore the ignorance of the citizens is the strength of the Party. An example of this orthodoxy would be shown through the manipulation of history. Because the people are so ignorant, Big Brother gets away with destroying the past and altering the present. In the novel, Orwell writes, “In the end, the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.” This shows that as long as the citizens remain ignorant they will accept anything that is said to them and will not question Big Brother

The slogan “Ignorance is Strength” is an ironic statement Orwell uses to show the lack of intelligence that makes manipulation possible for the party. Eighty-Five of Oceania’s population consists of proles. They are the lower class of people who are frequently compared to animals. However, in Winston’s opinion, the proles are the only ones who remained human. In the novel, Winston says, “ The proles are human beings. We are not human,”(17). Winston says this because he believes the proles are the only ones who have retained basic human emotions such as love. The proles live a simple life that the Party has made for them. By having full control over the proles the Party already has control over the majority of the citizens. In the novel, Orwell writes, “So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern…Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer, and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.” (93) This shows that because they are kept busy by beer and fake lottery they are not a threat to the party’s power.

In 1984, Doublethink was a method of manipulation of the mind used by the party to make people accept a contradiction. In the book, Orwell writes, ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past. In the ministry of truth, history is altered leaving no evidence to go against the party. This allows the party to bend the truth and make the citizens believe every word they say. In book two, chapter five, Winston tells Julia,” Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has been abolished? If it survives anywhere, it’s in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, and every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the party is always right.” In this quote, Winston tells Julia how he has evidence that can prove the Party wrong. Even though Winston has enough evidence against the Party, on his own, he is not a threat to them. The party can easily evaporate anyone and make it seem like they never existed.

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