Paradoxical Slogans in 1984

1661 Words Jun 26th, 2010 7 Pages
Sahil Aggarwal
Williams
IB English SL

The Veracity of Paradoxical Slogans in 1984

The definition of a paradox is, “A statement that on the surface seems a contradiction, but that actually contains some truth.” In George Orwell’s, 1984, the use of paradoxes is exemplified in an attempt to allow the reader to understand the true intentions of a totalitarian government. By using war as a method of keeping peace in the society or even going so far as to further the degree of ignorance to greaten the government’s power, Orwell constantly expresses the oppression of people under a totalitarian rule, the central theme of the novel. In an effort to gain the further support of the people of Oceania, the controlling party writes the following
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In Oceania, there are no means of comparison, as communication is under the Party’s influence. Knowledge is the Party’s threat, which once high enough, would lead to their annihilation. Knowledge grows through the education of the people, however this is hindered by the enforcement of various literary features.
The motif, Newspeak, recurs throughout the novel, and illustrates how the government restricts knowledge through the limitation of language. Newspeak is a language that has a narrowed vocabulary in an attempt to exclude words that can raise awareness of any suppressive behavior that the Party exerts. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” This quote best illustrates the Party’s intentions for Newspeak in regards to this slogan. The first sentence establishes how this motif is increasing ignorance, by narrowing the range of thought. In doing so, the second sentence holds true as the more ignorance that is spread through society, the more strength and power the Party gains control over the people of Oceania.
The telescreen, a television that is used to monitor the people of the society

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