Slavery in Modern Clothing in Orwell’s 1984

Crisis Magazine | 10/15/2018 | Mitchell Kalpakgian
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In the totalitarian regime of Big Brother’s imaginary socialistic utopia in Oceania in 1984, Winston Smith lives a sordid dehumanized life devoid of all the traditional sources of human happiness that have fulfilled human beings throughout the ages. Orwell portrays a politically correct social order that robs human beings of dignity, political rights under the law, freedom of thought and religion, a culture of the arts, and the right to marry and found a family. Political correctness is the closing of the human mind to common sense, self-evident truth, moral law, and the wisdom of tradition. It is subjection to propaganda and the dictates of ideology who invent doctrines like War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, and 2+2=5. In Winston’s world man is a god who presumes all-powerful control and defies God the Father and Mother Nature. In O’Brien’s words, “We make the laws of nature.”

Suffering a monotonous existence in an unjust society under a tyrannical government without God-given, inalienable rights, Winston Smith lives in a world devoid of joy, laughter, beauty, leisure, family, religion, and a life of the mind. He summarizes his wretched condition as a kind of living death: “It struck him that the truly characteristic thing about modern life was not its cruelty and insecurity, but simply its bareness, its dinginess, its listlessness.” Subjected to the radical, atheistic ideas of Communism that has precipitated political, cultural, and moral chaos, Winston lives in a society that has deconstructed the past, attacked the family, reinvented reality, and rejected natural law. Through the indoctrination of the telescreen and the propaganda of the media, Winston lives an ignoble existence that has reduced man to a creature of the state. Winston’s daily life typifies his whole drab existence.

Life - Reasons - First - Winston

His ordinary life is dreary and oppressive for many reasons. First, Winston enjoys no...
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