- Published: September 4, 2022
- Updated: September 4, 2022
- University / College: Stanford University
- Language: English
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Nobody can disagree with the fact thatGeorge Orwell’s vision, in his book1984, didn’t come true. Though many people worried that the world might actually come to what Orwell thought, the year 1984 came and went and the world that Orwell created was something people did not have to worry about anymore. Many people have wondered what was happening in Orwell’s life and in his time that would inspire him to create this politically motivated book. A totalitarian world where one person rules and declares what is a crime and what is not, is something many people would have been scared of a lot.
The totalitarianism in 1984 is very similar to the Nazism that was occurring in Germany with Hitler. This could have been the key thing that motivated George Orwell to write 1984. Nazi Germany used propaganda andcensorshipto control what people saw, heard, and read. Hitler appointed Joseph Goebbels as the Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda. Goebbels ” would destroy anything which he felt disagreed with Nazi views” (Bradley 1). This is much like The Ministry of Truth, which is where Winston, the protagonist of 1984, works. In the book, The Ministry of Truth controls all of the news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts.
Winston’s job is to rewrite history, to make it seem like the party is always true, and to get rid of ‘ unpersons’ from all papers in the past. Hitler’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda produced books, newspapers, and posters of all sizes to control the public opinion, which is much like all the posters of Big Brother. Winston described him as a ” black-mustachio’d face [gazing] down from every commanding corner” (Orwell 6). The poster has a caption at the bottom saying BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU. With The Ministry of Truth producing the books and rewriting history and newspapers, they are basically controlling what people see, hear, and read, just like in Nazi Germany, which makes a concrete example of one of the reasons that made Orwell motivated to write the book. In 1984, the youth is taught to support and love The Party and Big Brother just like the Hitler Youth, which was ” designed to indoctrinate Germany’s young with the ideology of Nazism” (Conley). In the book, kids are brainwashed into spying on their parents and turning them in to the Thought Police if ever they commit a thoughtcrime.
The Party was creating what Winston describes as ” ungovernable little savages, [which] produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the party” (Orwell 24). Winston also says that they love everything associated with the party and hate everything that is enemy of the State. The Party focused on the young, because they were the next generation and they needed people who would stay true to The Party. Hitler focused on the young for the same reason. He wanted strong boys so that the next generation of Nazi soldiers wouldn’t be weak and strong girls to be able to take care of the home and do things that before only boys could do. Many of the activities that they did made German boys think that in Nazism they can be superior over others. Hitler once said his ” program for educating youth is hard.
Weakness must be hammered away . . . [he] want[s] a brutal domineering, fearless, cruel youth” (Conley). Big Brother wants all of the kids to learn the ways of The Party, and wants them very strong willed, just as Hitler wanted his next generation of soldiers to be. The Hitler Youth, because of the similarities of both leaders wanting the youth strong and loving either The Party or the Nazis, influenced Orwell’s vision of the Junior Spies. The Thought Police, in 1984, is a group of the Inner Party who captures anyone who would think negative thoughts against The Party or Big Brother.
They watch all the people in Oceania with telescreens, hidden microphones, and helicopters that fly around spying into people’s windows. Winston explains that ” thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death” (Orwell 27). There are also many secret spies, who disguise themselves as regular orthodox people, either as a Party member or as a prole. An example from 1984 would be Mr. Charrington, the shop owner of a secondhand store where Winston buys a diary and a glass paperweight. He is not what he seems when he captures Winston and Julia, Winston’s lover, in the room above the shop, with a uniform of the Thought Police on. The Thought Police reminds me very much of Hitler’s secret police, the Gestapo.
They were a group chosen ” to investigate and combat all tendencies dangerous to the state” (Bradley 1). Many people were scared of them because they would arrest people and make them guilty of a crime, and without a trial, they would go straight to a concentration camp or some other place. Many people, like churchmen, had to be cautious because ” anything they wrote or said would be noted by the Gestapo” (Bradley 1). Orwell couldn’t have thought of everything involving the Thought Police by himself, which is why the Gestapo is a great inspiration to create something like the Thought Police. Living the life of a member of the Outer Party is not easy, just like it was not easy being a Jew in Nazi Germany. The concentrations camps and the many race laws made it difficult for many people. The Jews could not do things like take a pre-college exam, be in a Nazi youth group, or be in the ‘work service’ because of the race laws (Crane 53).
This is kind of like the proles, where there were things that they could not have and do that The Party could. Just like in 1984, where Winston had to do morning exercises called the Physical Jerks, ” a number of [concentration] camps insisted on morning calisthenics . . . for half an hour” (Kogon 32). During the Physical Jerks, Winston always tried to wear the expression on his face of ” grim enjoyment which was considered proper” (Orwell 30). Another similarity in the book is that Winston talks about there being rations on Chocolate, and with the concentration camps there were also rations made onfoodlike bread at different times in the barracks.
In addition, life in the Outer Party district wasn’t the most sanitary place you could be. Winston describes London with ” vistas of rotting nineteenth century houses, their sides shored up with balks of timber, their windows patched with cardboard and their roofs with corrugated iron, their crazy garden walls sagging in all directions” (Orwell 7). The concentration camps weren’t that clean either. They were filthy and rundown because that is just the way the Nazis left it for the people in the camps. The concentration camps could have made a great influence on George Orwell’s book 1984. George Orwell’s book 1984 is not only a very politically motivated book, but also something that frightened people, in 1949, into thinking that this could have really happened thirty-five years later. The Nazism that was happening in Germany is the key thing that influenced Orwell’s writing of his book 1984.
Similarities would be the Junior Spies and the Hitler Youth, ith them both concerning the next generation of soldiers or members of the Party. The Thought Police and Hitler’s Gestapo are also very much alike, and the use of propaganda and censorship are similar with what Hitler created and with what Big Brother created. Of course, there are also the similarities between the life in Nazi Germany and that of The Party and the proles. There are similarities with all of these things, because Orwell had to be motivated by those kinds of things. It couldn’t have just been a coincidence that things like these were so generally similar. Works Cited Conley, Patti. “ Pulled into evil: The history of the Hitler Youth.
” The Beaver County Times. 9 Nov 2009, 1. EBSCO Publishing. CD-ROM. 10 Nov 2009 Halleck, Elaine. Eugene Kogon. “ Living in a Concentration Camp.
” Living in Nazi Germany. Farmington Hills. Greenhaven Press. 2004 Halleck, Elaine. Cynthia Crane. “ The Impact of Nuremberg Laws. ” Living in Nazi Germany.
Farmington Hills. Greenhaven Press. 2004 “ Life in Nazi Germany. ” 10 Nov 2009. Online. http://socyberty. com/history/life-in-nazi-germany/ Orwell, George.
1984. New York: Penguin Group, 1949.
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