Memory And History In Nineteen Eighty-Four By George Orwell

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George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four depicts a dystopian totalitarian society and explores the interlinking concepts of time, memory and history through the examination of the ability to manipulate by censoring information and via propaganda. It also examines the power of memory and history in influencing and controlling people’s lives. This essay will explore these themes through the disillusioned protagonist Winston and his life under dictator rule. In the novel the Party controls every aspect of their citizen’s lives. They tell them what to think, how to behave and who to love all through the help of the Ministries of Truth, Peace and Love. The Party manipulate history and alter the truth so much so that Winston loses track of time and is unable to accurately recall past events or rationalize his own history. This constant manipulation also results in a loss of faith in his own memory and the unreliability of his own thoughts. Eventually culminating in Winston becoming brainwashed and wholly devoted to the Party.

Memory is the recollection of a past event whereas history is the whole series of past events connected with someone or something. (Anon.,2017). Furthermore time is an observed phenomenon and human construct. Its means of measurement are thus human based also. The only way to know time has passed is through history and the memory of something that has happened. As Memory reflects the passage of time and as time passes an event becomes history. It may seem
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