The major themes in 1984 by George Orwell’s in relation to the contemporary world

The author was resting the injustice by the party in Oceania in the book, where the party was monitoring people full-time using big brother. The book is based on social satire of utopian literature, in which Winston defies the ban on individuality by holding a diary and finding a friendship with Julia (Brax 5). These activities placed Winston in the crosshairs of the resistance, who are constantly trying to locate and correct the defiant. The novel portrayed the agony of citizens whose liberties had been ripped away. The paper shall focus on the major themes that were used to develop the post and character traits of various characters. Some of the themes exposed in the novel include totalitarianism, violence, technology, decay in urbanization, and poverty vs. wealth among other.


This theme was used by Orwell in the novel to warn of the dangers totalitarian leadership in the society. This kind of leadership craves for intense power to impose itself on their subjects. The governments using this method for governance violate human rights and the freedom to express their thoughts. They saw those who rebel such forms of government later became totalitarian themselves as shown in the cases of England and Spain, where Orwell scrutinized the rise of communism (Bloom 13). The autocratic leaders wanted total power by violating the rights and freedom of people and consequently economic turmoil. The proponent of communism in the western world claimed that this form of governance would amount to social justice and economic development, Orwell realized that the communism would do just the opposite and hence opposed the idea (Eckstein 8). The novel was the only tool that he had to warn the western world of the harm of this political ideology that most nations were trying to embrace. For instance, he uses the example of Winston who the party breaks and tortures both physically and psychologically to suppress his ability to think freely.

Therefore, the communism system was interested in controlling everything for instance, through the technology, telescreen, to monitor actions and plans of people (Yeo 8). Before the cold war catching momentum, most American philosophers supported the idea of communism. Additionally, the democracy in America was ambiguous and could not be distinguished from the communism or define their diplomatic relationship. For example, the America press consistently portrayed the leadership system in the Soviet Union as a measure of moral standards. This notion was strongly opposed by Orwell who had firsthand experience of communism in its totalitarian abuse of human rights and especially by the use of technology to monitor citizen and select those considered the threat.


The part had placed telescreens and microphones across the city just to monitor its subjects as if they were the threats to the nation (Yeo 8). The party was so interested in maintaining its communism than was in preventing external threats. This shows they were not involved in the needs of the citizens but rather themselves. Despite the novel being written in the pre-computer period, the author indicated that they employed a sophisticated mechanism for controlling the economic progress at large scale and also to provide them with vast information that could be used to detect enemies within the state. Those who were perceived as a danger to the state were subjected to fearsome torture procedures to deter their ambition of exercising their freedom and rights as citizens (Brax 6). The party lied to people that the technologies were a means of facilitating moral good, but it did just the opposite of the intended purpose.

Unfortunately, despite those technologies such as the printers used at the ministry of truth were outdated and no intentions were shown to improve them. Other scientific discoveries were stopped except those, for instance, the methods for psychological manipulation that facilitated the capacity of the party to control its subject and minimize resistance. In the Oceania, there was no progress that was meant to benefit the citizen but those that were meant to hand more power to the rulers and minimize distraction from concerned parties. This disparity in the technology to pursue revealed the tyranny of the communist leadership as shown by the author in the novel.

Additionally, the party has covered all avenues of information by forming networks of children spies who would tell the government of the plans by their parents. The children were supposed to report their parents if they had revealed signs of disloyalty and this was a massive disrespect to the family structure. This show the party was only interested in protecting the inners members who they considered had more values than the people they ruled.

Poverty vs. wealth

Orwell revealed the social and economic disparities between the inner party member who were small in number living lavishly in well-furnished homes and eating good food. This was a contrast to the other party members who led a miserable life living in dilapidated single rooms and had tasteless food to eat. The novel revealed the poverty and wealth discrimination during the foray of Winston in the Oceanic society filled with the bombed-out buildings where the poor scavenged on the bare minimum of the collapsing the city. At the same time, the inner party member lived in luxury and showed little concern to the encounter of the other party members. This was an aspect of Totalitarian rule that Orwell revealed to help the rulers accumulate wealth for themselves and plunder on the citizens aggressively. The life of oceanic people was deteriorating day by day as the leaders grew richer and imposed themselves more on the citizens. Obrien who the main antagonist in the novel looks at London and sees decaying city systems. He sees the society as a group trapped in a static situation that has been induced by the government which is referred to the party.


Violence refers to the physical or psychological force that is applied against a person to hurt them. In the novel, Winston is the character who is used to show the activities of the party to suppress those citizens who raise concern on the mode of leadership. Winston was placed in a dark solitary cell where he endured extreme physical torture during interrogation to establish his intentions which were perceived to be against the party. Winston revealed that their main intention was to break him and compromise his ability to reason and argue (277). He underwent humiliation and experienced a violation of human rights. The torture establishment of torture room 101 where Winston endured physical and psychological torture. For example, rats were set to eat his face which made Winston beg for his life and even denounce his quest for exposing the evil acts by the party. He was thoroughly brutalized by kicking and electrocuting to break his desire for a change in the way of governance (Brax 4). He was compelled to confess crimes he never did after being beaten by six huge men which made him experiences a very excruciating pain that left him desperate for freedom.

Obrien told Winston to stop question the party since it helped him on various things and that he had false memories. This mental confusion led to Winston believing that he had lost his state of sanity. This confusion also forged a sense of trust between Obrien and Winston. Despite all these torture and torments Winston was still unbreakable and was able to keep some secrets. This kind of oppression by the communist government of the free-thinking citizen is what the author was trying to alert the western world of its dangers, and that state should avoid t.

The propaganda

Apart from using torture to rule, propaganda was among the major instruments used by the part to control its subjects in Oceania and maintain their loyalty. It is very ironical that the ministry of truth was where Winston was working and the channel for disseminating the propaganda (Yeo 3). No wonder Winston was able to see the misconducts by the government and made efforts to point them out, but was met with force that was meant to silence him. The ministry of truth was expected to share reliable information to guide the citizens, but it was unfortunately used to plunder on the unsuspecting members of the society. The party dictated all the facts and figure that was shared by the ministry of truth to ensure the public received information that would incite reactions conducive to the plans of the government. The party altered the accuracy of the information, so there were no leaks on their schemes to manipulate the citizens and enrich themselves while the rest of the nation was experiencing abject poverty.

Additionally, the ideas of two minutes of hate, erecting the posters of the big brother, and hate week are some of the instruments of spreading propaganda and compelling the public to become loyal to the plans pioneered by the party (Bloom 18). Such activities were meant to keep the citizens occupied each time to deny them the time to evaluate the authenticity of the party’s performance in its service the people. These hate breaks and seasons where used by the state to reveal the enemies of the nation, in this context the party, and incite people to hate such groups or people (Yeo 7). This means the public swayed by the rhythm created by the party, and therefore it was difficult to oppose them. This tool allowed the party to implement their plans with little effort and with great support by the public. The author used this theme to warn the western world eager to embrace the communist system of the disadvantages of totalitarian government that denies people their rights and freedom. He exhibited that if the only information people receive is propaganda, then their actions will also not be realistic but another fuel for the party’s activities which was their aim. This was the reason the government never let a gap in any information being disseminated to the public to ensure they are stuck in moments the party determined. This situation denied people a sense of reality and hence remain in poverty and economic oppression without questioning the situation.


The party subdues love and passion among the Oceanic citizens. They termed love and passion as a duty to the party that is meant for bringing forth new party members. The party forced people to quell their sexual desires and only perform it when required to. This was an effort to ensure the population size remains manageable and if extends it happens to the benefit of the party. The issues were serious that some of the organization run by the party promote abstinence and procreation through artificial insemination. Winston was angered by the fact that he was barred by the party of either physical or emotionally loving his former wife, Katharine and later when he finds Julia. Through these experiences, Winston loses hope for the capacity to love someone. This seems to be a successfully engineered plan by the party to ensure men and women limit their chances of procreation and hence creating more threat to the government.

However, being in a relationship with Julia way his way of rebelling against the party. The government feared that if Winston is allowed to display his contempt in public in such manners, it might trigger mass rebellion that is not suitable for the activities of the state. For this reason, he was taken to the room 101 tortured and forced to confess that he was doing a crime and that he was willing to rectify (Brax 7). The party did not allow people to express love to each but only to the party and the big brother. This is the reason; children were encouraged to spy on their parents and report cases of disloyalty to the state. This placed the party above everything and everyone. The ultimate goal was to make the family a collapsed unit and children puppets of the party.

Independence and individuality

The party takes the sense of independence and individuality from the citizens as it subjects them to wear same clothes eat the same food and live in similarly dilapidated apartments. The system had made life easier and uniform so nobody could complain or incite another to rebel against the party. This situation was to limit people from having independent thoughts, and hence documents events as Winston used to do was considered illegal, and culprits were eligible for punishment. People were only allowed to have thoughts that the party promoted, to avoid independent mind which may result in resistance. This theme comes out clearly during the torture process when Obrien was trying to compel Winston to think only as deemed right by the party. Winston in his rebellion replied by saying that he was equally a man as Obrien and that he has no right to tell Winston what to think (Brax 10). This was a typical situation of showing authoritarianism perpetrated by the communism as revealed by Orwell in his effort to urge the western countries not to embrace such as system.

In conclusion, 1984 by George Orwell was a novel that was meant to enlighten western nation on the evils of the communist system of governance. The author had a firsthand experience in England and Spain on its brutality to the citizens and used various themes to reveal them. Some of the themes include propaganda, independence and identity, sexuality, technology, poverty vs. wealth, and totalitarianism.

Works cited

Brax, Emelie. “A Rhetorical Reading of George Orwell’s 1984: The brainwashing of Winston in the light of ethos, logos, and pathos.” (2015).

Bloom, Harold, ed. George Orwell’s 1984. Infobase Publishing, 2009.

Eckstein, Arthur. “” 1984″ and George Orwell’s Other View of Capitalism.” Modern Age 29.1 (1985): 11.

Yeo, Michael. “Propaganda and Surveillance in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: Two Sides of the Same Coin.” Global Media Journal 3.2 (2010): 49.

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