What is meant by the ‘mutability of the past’? Give an example and explain the significance of it. 300-400 words please.

kjsingh | Student

‘Mutability of the Past’ is a component of the INGSOC (English Socialism)-a fictional political system equivalent to Stalinistic dictatorship as appears in ‘1984’-  a novel of George Orwell. It is a  systopic (anti-utopian ) novel  by Orwell that was published in 1949.

In this novel the novelist speculates a socio-political system in Oceania in which the ruling dispensation unleashes a political, cultural, social, ideological and intellectual dictatorship and totalitarianism. ‘Mutability of Past’ depicts the deliberate changeability (manipulation) of the past through the language medium ‘Newspeak’ by destruction and alteration of past history elements. The aim of this manipulation by Big Brother is to change the social consciousness of the system.

The real word example of the fictional account of INGSOC form of Mutability of Past' is the Soviet imperialism of cold war era, especially eighties of last century. The idealized motive of Russian aggression into Afghanistan was equated to the sense of Russian nationalism and nationalistic pride, self honor.  the politically motivated dominant ideology of  Russian aggression into Afghanistan as politically correct for sake of sovereignty is analogous to  the use of new language -Newspeak as tool of social indoctrination in 1984.

On pattern of the motif of 'Mutability of Past' in 1984 by political bloc -Big Brother, the, The Kremlin employed invocation of Historical account of Russia’s aggression  of Afghanistan as symbol of ‘Soviet defence of Afghanistan' and resorted to ideological manipulations to justify the Russian  expansionist adventures.

Mutability of the past and denial of objective reality  signify the use of language as a tool for changing social consciousness. Chomsky an eminent linguistic expert had formulated a link between the language and culture on the outlook and thought process of a person. These aspects are common features of the totalitarian and dictatorial regimes of past.

American linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf  gave revolutionary linguistic theory which also postulated that the language has a determining influence on the  human perception of the worldly system including society.




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