1984 Individualism Analysis

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1984’s Representation of Individualism and It’s Real World Connections

George Orwell wrote 1984 to show the destruction a totalitarian government can have on one’s individualism, as shown by Winston’s experiences in the book. By creating such a story, Orwell alludes to several totalitarian governments in reality, such as the Khmer Rouge, Viet Cong, and most infamously, the Nazi Party. These regimes, including the Party in 1984, all strip away one’s individualism by means of torture, poor conditions, or violence.

Shockingly, the Khmer Rouge (pronounced: keh-mai), which ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, is very similar to Orwell’s 1984. Language and certain diction was restricted, censored, and limited. According to Philip Short’s biography
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“He was walking up a cobbled street … with battered doorways … which were somehow curiously suggestive of rat holes. There were puddles of filthy water here and there…” (Orwell 82). The mention of rat holes and filthy water implies that the conditions the proles lived in was very unsanitary and often susceptible to disease. Unfortunately, these conditions existed amply in Cambodia. Millions of citizens in Cambodia lived in similar conditions, and after the Khmer Rouge started its reign, these citizens fell victim to famine - killing…show more content…
“If there is hope, it lies in the proles” (Orwell 69) Considering that the proles have the most freedom out of everyone in 1984, it could be implied that the proles have the opportunity to revolt and break free of the societal controls the Party has developed. However, it is due to their incognizance that they remain where they are. “Until they become conscious they will never rebel…” (Orwell 70) As a result, George Orwell conveys that the lack of consciousness the proles embody, plus the content they have with their impoverishment, is not enough to overthrow the Party.

In conclusion, the people of Cambodia and 1984 have much in common. The restrictions of language inhibit the freedom of expression that compiles individualism. The Khmer Rouge and the Party have placed its citizens in poverty-stricken communities. Due to this, the proles and Cambodian citizens do not have enough willpower to overthrow their government. The opportunity to revolt and express individualism is unsubstantial. A controlling government is influential enough to deter the people of that society from trying to defy the governing

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