A Brief Note On British Literature And Composition

939 Words Sep 10th, 2016 4 Pages
Akshat Piprottar
British Literature and Composition
Mr. McRae
Essay #1
Doublethink in 1984 Hungry for absolute dominance over their people, the totalitarian government known as the Party implements various tools, whether physical or ideological, into the common man. One of these tools is the idea of doublethink, where, holding both the absolute truth and the truth implanted by the Party in their minds, any given person can believe two contradicting ideas at once. George Orwell, the author of 1984, successfully shows the reader how doublethink cannot be practiced. In one of the plentiful scenes where O’Brien tortures Winston, Winston fails to doublethink properly. Between the electric shocks, O’Brien, holding up four fingers, asks Winston to count how many fingers. Trying to instill the value of doublethink in Winston, O’Brien actually further demonstrates how flawed doublethink is. Winston “suppose[s] there are four” (288), trying to “see five if I [Winston] could”. Winston says he “really wants to see them [the five fingers]”, yet he still fails. After an electric shock, Winston experiences a vision of “a forest of fingers… moving in a sort of dance”. Orwell uses a metaphor for Winston’s state of thought; his hazy vision is really just uncertainty in his mind. Trying desperately to see five fingers, Winston still can only either see four fingers or a hazy in-between. There is no way for him to see both four and five fingers at the same time. Orwell uses this very literal…
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