Dystopia In The Hollow Men

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“This is the way the world ends.” These are the beginning words of the famous lines of T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men” detailing the emotional changes within American soldiers post World War I. This words also speak to the changes that society can face for the worst. Changes like these are rarely obvious but instead are small; small enough to weave their way into the fabric of society, until one day, everything has changed. A multitude of novels and other famous literary works how easily society can become a dystopia. They warn of how this can happen in any era in any nation. In this day and age, George Orwell’s novel 1984 has become more prominent due to the seeds of totalitarianism taking root in even the most democratic of nations. Foolishly,…show more content…
Orwell immediately introduces his audience to the “Two Minutes of Hate”, The Party’s manifestation of these tactics. In the novel, Winston describes the event as “A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer” (15). The “Two Minutes of Hate” is specifically designed to have its viewers associate their murderous rage with Emmanuel Goldstein, a party defector and scapegoat for every, single problem that besieges the nation-state. The source of this rage is sexual privation or the citizens’ repressed sexual desires.Winston gives his rebellious promiscuous love interest, Julia’s explanation, “Sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war fever and leader worship” (Orwell 126). The party uses the repressed sexual desires of its citizens and funnels it into a nationalistic fervor. On the other hand, this type of manipulation is not an issue in modern society, since sexual freedom is accepted generally. Most of the nationalism in this era is channeled through the scapegoating of immigrants. Goldstein is a prime example in the novel. Every rebellion, every traitor, and every underground rebel group is blamed on him. In light of Goldstein’s Jewish heritage, this blame only has even more historical significance. During the 1940s, the same decade Orwell published 1984, the Jewish people were scapegoats for the Nazi Party. Much of Hitler’s platform relied on creating fear and hate of Jews. Timothy Kaldas, a nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, discusses the modern usage of this, stating that scapegoating immigrants, “gives space for tensions from the far right or establishment parties to exploit [immigrants]” (quoted in Salhani). Politicians often blame the problems- they usually cause on
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