Main Themes in 1984
There are many Themes in 1984 however there are two that show themselves as the most important throughout the story: The disastrous effects of both the control of information and complete and total domination of the people, or Authoritarianism. These two themes show themselves many times throughout the entire story. The main Villain of the novel, Big Brother, exists to show the reader what will happen when one single organization or entity controls all information, and every other facet of individual life.
The place where Orwell most prevantley shows the dangers of information control comes in this quote, Don’t you see that the whole aim of [the New Language] 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. (Orwell 67) This quote shows the reader how dangerous Controlling information is. Big Brother is making it literally impossible to rebel against them, and they can do this because they control the production and distribution of information, facts, and new discoveries.
The other major theme, A completely Authoritarian Government has disastrous effects, can also be found all throughout 1984, however this quote is a great example of what Orwell tried to tell the readers, Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. (Orwell 336) Big Brother can do anything, they could tell the people 2+2=5 and the people would accept it, they have quite literally tore the public’s minds into scrap and put them back together however they wanted.
They have absolute power, and this is what Orwell tried to tell us; when a government has absolute power and control, bad things usually happen to the people. All throughout 1984 Orwell identifies these two themes over and over, and clearly shows the reader what he thinks about these two ideas.