Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning. What was he warning us about?



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jpope1's profile pic

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Orwell was warning about the dangers of a totalitarian state. He was warning us to be on guard against unjustifiable encroachments of the state. Citizen's passivity can lead to a situation where the state has stripped individuals of all rights, including the most basic right of freedom of thought. In Orwell's dystopian future, the state so regulated language that it became nearly impossible for people to even think a thought that would meet with the government's disapproval. So much internal control was in place that little external control was needed. Orwell was warning that if we are not careful, such control could become a reality.

herappleness's profile pic

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Certainly the first warning is against totalitarianism. This political model consists of one governmental body taking entire control of the population in both personal and public matters. The warning is not just about the dangers of this type of politics, but also the danger of becoming compliant and blinded to the obvious abuse that this political model entails. 

In 1984 the power of the government over the people is such that even the language has become controlled.

Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? [...] 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,[...] rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.

The monitoring system carried out by Big Brother manipulates everything, from the historical facts that the people are allowed to know to the way that people are supposed to think.  

In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words – in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston? It was B.B.'s idea originally, of course," he added as an afterthought.

This extreme manipulation leads to the psychological control of individuals. This is why the people go on with life as usual; they have become entirely controlled by the system. 

Therefore, 1984 warns about control and complacency. If we entrust our lives to someone or something other than ourselves, we are basically allowing someone or something else to "own" us, to decide for us, to provide for us. This is why it is so imperative to always be true to who we are, to question the intentions of others, and to not be afraid of speaking on our own behalf. 

soccrkidz13's profile pic

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orwell was warning about the future and the way a totalitarian state could end up.  he wanted to make sure that this never happened in real life. in the book the party records every word uttered and every action done by a party member. Orwell was trying to make sure that his book never ends up as a reality.


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