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Analyse the party's level of power over its citizens, specifically through the lense...

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ksadfluss | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 16, 2009 at 2:52 PM via web

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Analyse the party's level of power over its citizens, specifically through the lense of psychological manipulation.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 28, 2009 at 10:23 PM (Answer #1)

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One of the aspects you will want to examine is the slogan of the party and how important it is to the novel as a whole, but in particular to your question of how the party maintains its power and engages in psychological manipulation of its people. The complete slogan reads as follows:

War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength

This quote, introduced so early on in the novel, is the reader's first introduction to doublethink. The constant bombardment of propaganda-based fear attacks the independence and strength of people's minds to so great an extend that they accept unquestionably facts that are blatantly the opposite of reality. For example, The Ministry of Love is really a torture centre, The Ministry of Peace is dedicated to prolonging war and the Ministry of Truth is commited to "altering" news and history books. These are facts which the people accept unquestionably without challenge.

The slogan is thus an important part of this propaganda, and has its basis in a kind of truth that we the readers are aware of, and a truth that Winston comes to discover in the course of the novel. War is literally peace, because having a common enemy keeps the people of Oceania united together. Freedom is, indeed, slavery, because the man who is subject to the collective will is free from want. And lastly, Ignorance is Strength, for ignorance is what the power of the ruling party is based on.

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