I am doing a research project for English class on dictatorship in 1984.  Can you please help?I'm not positive what my general question is.  It could change after I've done the research, but I'm...

I am doing a research project for English class on dictatorship in 1984.  Can you please help?

I'm not positive what my general question is.  It could change after I've done the research, but I'm thinking about, "How can one prevent a dictatorship?"  I can also use references to the book 1984.  Any ideas?

Asked on by britt26

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that you might be on a very good track here.  I believe that you might be well set to argue that Orwell's work is more of a cautionary tale about the dangers of totalitarian rule.  Given the fact that there is little in way of redemption about dictatorship rule in the work, the narrative provided might be one where individuals have to be mindful of allowing or enabling a government to resemble that of Big Brother.  I think that I would use the need for individual rights to act as a shield against government encroachment as part of this.  Orwell's vision of government is only possible because there is no sense of the private available.  Individuals lack any mechanism, such as inalienable entitlements, that would limit its reach.  In the prevention of a dictatorship, individual liberties is one element that must be present.  Another idea I would pull from the work is the idea that governments succeed in their desire to wrangle the wills of the citizens when there is no will present.  The submission of individuals to the Party and to Big Brother empowers the authority structure.  I think that this might be another element that Orwell is discussing.  Individuals who passively take for granted a supposedly benevolent form of government might be asking for trouble.  The references to Soviet Russia are present.  Yet, Orwell was equally concerned with what might happen in a liberal West, when individuals surrender political activism for individual comfort or blind submission to that which dulls the senses such as popular entertainment.  In this light, one sees that Orwell suggests that vigilance and activity are vitally important to preventing a dictatorship from forming.

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