George Orwell’s Fiction Novel 1984
With new technology and advanced programs, the government is gaining more power than one may realize. George Orwell’s fiction novel 1984, depicts Oceania’s control upon it’s party members thoughts and freedom showcasing the harsh effects that it had on its population. Too much control can often lead to social repression, Winston being a product of this repressed society. The cruelty Winston is faced with serves as both a motivation for him throughout the novel and reveals many hidden traits about him. His longing for love, the ability to control when he’s being watched, and the fear of having his own thoughts lead to a constant urge of rebellion.
The many forms of cruelty shown throughout this novel had a significant impact on Winston’s thoughts and actions. He felt as if he wasn’t able to express his thoughts so much that he began writing in a journal which was a punishable offense. His diary was symbolic of his hatred for the party and pursued his desire to freely express his thoughts that he felt he could never share. Winston says, “You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every moment scrutinized”(Orwell 3). Through his journal he was able to write down his true feelings without sharing them but still resist the party.
In Oceania there was no hour of the day that the party members were not being watched. Not only was Winston constantly being monitored in his own home by the telescreen but listened to and watched daily by his peers and alleged friends. Constantly being watched can have a major effect on an individual leading them to do crazy things regardless of the consequence. The phrase “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”(Orwell 3) was used throughout the novel to discourage party members from rebelling and potentially scaring them into following Big Brother. Not only was this slogan plastered everywhere but so was Big Brother’s face as a constant reminder that the people of Oceania are being always watched and so are their actions.
The constant surveillance even led Winston to desire the real feeling of love. In the eyes of Big Brother sexual actions were only to be done in order to reproduce and should include no emotional connection. He also expected that marriage was simply for a couple to devote themselves to the party. Winston never having that connection with the woman to whom he was previously married too, made him strongly desire the feeling of love. All of this causing him to become romantically involved with a prostitute as well as Julia. His love for Julia reaching a point where it no longer mattered whether or not the thought police found out about his love affair because he would do almost anything for her.
In conclusion, the cruelty revealed many traits about the protagonist in 1984. While it also made Winston begin to wonder whether or not it would be easier to simply follow the rules. Considering all of his failed attempts to rebel against the party, he began to rethink his actions. Winston later realizing that sometimes it’s easier to take the cruelty than to face the unknown.