Fear In George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four

1219 Words5 Pages
Shaped by Fear : How George Orwell Used Fear in Prophesizing the Future
“War is peace, Freedom is slavery, Ignorance is strength,” (Orwell 6). George Orwell the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, heavily influenced by the events of World War Two used these slogans in predicting what the world could become. Nineteen Eighty-Four is a novel set in a dystopian society however, it is rooted in much of world history during the 1900’s. By examining this history one becomes aware that George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four portrays the effects generated by the fear of World War Two and prophesizes what the world could be like if that fear is perpetuated.
“The past was dead, the future was unimaginable,” (Orwell 28). Following World War One leadership in
…show more content…
This will ultimately speak volumes about his perceived views on government. According to Peter Baehr: author of Dictatorship in History “Totalitarianism extreme in its denial of liberty, conveys a regime type with truly radical ambitions. Its chief objectives are to rule unimpeded by legal restraint, civic pluralism, and party competition, and to refashion human nature itself,” (Baehr 1). Baehr goes on to say that one characteristic of totalitarianism is, “A revolutionary, exclusive, and apocalyptic ideology that announces the destruction of the old order; corrupt and compromised, and the birth of a radically new, purified and muscular age. Totalitarian ideology creates myths, festivities… and rituals designed to commemorate the destiny of the elect,” (Baehr 5). Nineteen Eighty-Four uses these characteristics in its description of life before and after Big Brother. The party is described as revolutionary however, Winston (the main character) suspects that the parties rule is doing more harm than it is good. Big Brother is viewed as more of a God than an actual person creating these myths and rituals that generally embody these totalitarian leaders (Orwell). For example, Hitler took this idea and created a ritual of people having to salute him in order to show respect. Orwell took this idea to an extreme by saying that, “Big Brother is always watching you,” (Orwell 3). By intentionally showing what would happen if society continued to allow leaders to create these rituals Orwell is proving these leaders will eventually become God like figures as demonstrated by Big Brother. This is a warning from Orwell that society needs to recognize these aspects of totalitarianism and this rule by fear others the population will suffer as demonstrated in Nineteen
Open Document