Ryan Yip Reading Response 6

Nineteen Eighty-Four is a story taking place in April 4th, 1984. The story follows a man by the name of Winston. He works a government job in a country called Oceania. He works in the Ministry of Truth, where he destroys or changes records to benefit Oceania. This is a strange place, where children can arrest an adult and people believe anything the government tells them.

This government is seemingly absolute when it comes to oppression. Page 4 gives us their motto in bold text. “War is Peace,Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.” Page 35 has a passage in the first paragraph that details Oceania’s alliance and enemies. Winston who tampers with documents recalls that there were a number of alliances and enemies but because of Oceania’s information control Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia.” In page 19 paragraph 2 you can see Winston expressing his displeasure with Oceania, or rather Big Brother, and has committed a thoughtcrime. This society twists information to benefit itself and goes as far as to make thinking poorly of the government a crime. There is no seeming relationship between war and peace or freedom and slavery. The only connection that can be discerned is that war is peaceful and that freedom is a form of slavery, but these connections are made with twisted logic. Finally there is the connection between ignorance and strength. The ignorance of the citizens of this society is definitely granting strength. Oceania hold all its power by keeping its citizens ignorant. Page 60 shows us how ignorant the citizens are.”It appeared that there had been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grams a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to twenty grams a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours?” And swallowed it they did. These people didn’t even realize that there was a reduction in their rations. They were simply told that there was an increase and they believed it without checking the facts or even remembering an announcement 24 hours ago. The government lied to their faces and these people accepted it without a second thought.

Whatever this motto is, it isn’t accurate. However, it doesn’t need to be accurate since all its citizens believe everything they are told anyway. If everyone is ignorant than there’s no need for anyone to concern themselves in war, peace, freedom or slavery. All anyone has to do is remain ignorant and you won’t commit the crime of thinking. Because even that is a punishable offense in Oceania. There is even a project to develop a language called┬áNewspeak where it is supposedly impossible to express feelings of rebellion. Oceania is a completely oppressive government that takes away free will and expressionism.

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