Dystopian Society In George Orwell's 1984

1461 Words6 Pages
The dystopian society at the center of George Orwell’s 1984, although written years earlier, raises many challenges with freedom of speech and press. The novel mirrors numerous issues with the media that have arose today, and with remarkable accuracy, especially considering that Orwell wrote this novel during the the late 1940s. With the threat of Communism creeping towards America’s doorstep, Americans were focused on strengthening the government in order to withstand the Communist threat. As a result of sharp increases in governmental power that were “necessary” to defeat Communism, Orwell and many others began to see a vision of the future in which the government became so powerful that the freedoms of the people no longer existed.…show more content…
One woman wearing a red Trump hat was pepper sprayed in the face while being interviewed by [a] CNN affiliate” (Lah and Park). These liberal student protesters who are usually the first to denounce restrictions on their freedoms were so blinded by their collective anger that they themselves restricted freedom of speech by means of violence.
Orwell satirizes the “herd mentality” that drives society to conformity with the Two Minutes Hate, a daily period of two minutes in which everyone must watch a film showing the Party’s enemies and must vigorously express their hatred towards them. Winston, the protagonist of the novel, notes that “the horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic” (19). The Two Minutes Hate demonstrates how easily fear and anger can be used to manipulate the people in a mob mentality. When people let emotions run unchecked, violence results; freedom relies on civility, calm expression of opinion, and respectful communication. In an attempt to silence the hate speech of Yiannopoulos, the protesters lost control of their own hatred and anger.
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