1984: Ignorance is Strength The novel 1984 reveals a society comparable to that of the year 1984. This society has progressed, and continues to progress in the direction pointed out by George Orwell. 'Impossible!' ; , everyone says. 'We would never allow ourselves to be controlled that way!' ; These same people go home and turn on their televisions in order to soak up some more 'truths'; presented by their 'honorable'; leaders.
These are today's proles. Hitler and Stalin burned libraries. Mas Tse Tsung wrote his Red Book. Oceania, Big Brother, and the world of 1984 have newspeak.
All represent the limiting of minds though dictatorship, but need to be official dictators in order to repress their followers. This is evident in today's world. Ignorance is strength; our ignorance to repression increases the strength of our leaders, allowing them to make proles of us all. Repression is achieved through various techniques of dictatorship, one being controlled participation. This provides the proles with the 'appearance'; of a voice. In many communist nations, people have been given the right to vote but the communist party is the only choice on the ballot.
In a democracy, such as that which exists in Canada and the United States, there are various parties to choose from, but it tends to be a choice of whose promises may be the least false. Choices are made for the good of the party so they will be able to maintain power for a longer period of time. The opinions of the impressionable, little proles are talented, not conceded. Controlled participation is not necessary in 1984 because the people have accepted the voice of the Party as their own.
This is achieved through indoctrination. Indoctrination is the ultimate, prole molding, repressive technique of dictatorships. We know only what the party allows us to know. They control all areas of communication (the example), education and organization, such as youth groups, unions, clubs, and churches. The Party takes the role of the parents, teaching the children how to think like a Party member. An example of this is the Spies, a group which all children were involved in, in 1984.
They were taught to go so far as to turn their parents in for thought crime, which is exactly what Parson's children did to him. Ultimately, indoctrination is used to limit, or repress our range of thought. Today, our governors and premiers are successfully limiting the minds of students, which cuts off our potential for improvement. Teaching students how to think is the most important factor in the future of society. The less we think, the more ignorant we become. The more ignorant we become, the stronger leaders get.
This repression is what makes us proles. Winston observed that the washer woman, a prole, '... had no mind, she had only strong arms, a warm heart, and a fertile belly. ' ; (page 181). A prole is limited to the basic, instinctive needs of a human being: to eat, to sleep, to love, to breed, and to live. Proles are happy with this lifestyle and do not question it.
Human characteristics are what separate the proles from the Party members, in 1984 as well as in the world today. But what isa human without a mind of their own? A beast, as Shakespeare suggested? The future of our world lies in the hands of beasts or proles, but deep within them lie hearts which may show them the road to our salvation. List of Sources Orwell, George Nineteen Eighty-Four (New American Library; New York, 1948) Pour ie, T.L. Political and Economic Systems (Academic Press, Canada: Ontario, 1983).