Totalitarianism Essay

Taking this one step further, Newsinger (like Pimlott above) says “Ingsoc can be better seen as deriving from a British National Socialism or British Nazism”. is imbued with a lifetime of ideas unleashed by its author, it is fair to say the novel was physically conceived in the bombed out ruins of war-torn England.Orwell: “The scene of the book is laid in Britain in order to emphasise that the English-speaking races are not innately [immune from, or] better than anyone else and that totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere” (Orwell 1949, quoted in Hammond, 1984, p. The dystopia Orwell described would be instantly recognisable to inhabitants of 1940s London.

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Reviewing “living room” as a “horrible brainless empire in which, essentially, nothing ever happens except the training of young men for war and the endless breeding of fresh cannon-fodder”.

It is fair to say that similar notions of warfare in perpetuity – with Oceania and its two adversaries in a continuous state of conflict – permeate .

To better appreciate the extent of Orwell’s preferred polity and the increasing disenchantment he felt towards it ever being realised, one must go to Spain.

Here, he endured the perils of centralised authoritarianism first hand while fighting alongside anarchist separatists in Spain’s 1936-39 civil war.

He was scathing of the “scandalous distortion of news from Spain in favour of the Stalinists by the liberal English press” (Woodcock, 1967, p. Or as the author so succinctly put it himself: “the romantic warmongering muck that our left-wingers were spilling at that time” (1970, p. His conclusion was that intellectuals in general, and Britain’s socialist movement in particular, were being seduced by totalitarian ideas and models., recounting with horror (and with hindsight) the depths to which the truth suffered in wartime reportage within the British press: “I saw great battles reported where there had been no fighting, and complete silence where hundreds of men had been killed” (Orwell, 1970, p. Any ensuing novel or writing on the subject naturally becomes immediate and personal and says as much, if not more, about the prevailing social climate, and in Orwell’s mind, an extrapolation of ideological tendencies at the time.

Such candour did not endear him at all to many of his democratic socialist colleagues. 658) that “Orwell was vilified by the fashionable and sentimental Left in England who knew nothing of the truth and had no desire to be told it”. Again, England can be seen as the prime source in much of Orwell’s critique, derived particularly from his 1941-43 wartime employment as a Talks Producer with the BBC.The author was instead painting a much broader condemnation of totalitarianism, but one firmly wedged in the pre- and post-war England of his own experiences.Drabness, commodity shortages, personal deprivations, propaganda and an excessive bureaucracy were just some of the similarities Orwell’s own England and the novel shared.The notorious book burning episodes and Nazism’s fabricated denunciations of European Jewry serve as just two horrific reminders of totalitarian attempts to alter history.In fact, Orwell’s contempt for Germanic nationalism and Hitler’s tyrannical megalomania occasionally surfaced in some of his journalistic pursuits.Orwell had already ‘dumped on’ revolutionary Russia with his 1945 beastly allegorical fable, in that people simply disappeared in both the Soviet Union and Oceania.Consider the vanishing of Winston’s father, mother and sister and the fact that the only person Julia “had ever known who talked frequently of the days before the Revolution was a grandfather who had disappeared when she was eight”.At one stage Winston looks around the canteen imagining “the physical type set up by the Party as an ideal – tall muscular youths and deep-bosomed maidens, blond-haired, vital, sunburnt, carefree …” (1949, (1989), p.63).cannot be said to specifically satirise Stalinism or Nazism, individually or as an amalgam, though many commentators – including Hammond (1984) and Wilding (1980) – seem to suggest as much.These include the linguistic horror of Newspeak, Winston’s role within the Outer Party, and the suitably titled ‘Rewrite Squad’. 09), Orwell “felt that any connection with propaganda corrupted those who used it”.And as Syme – Winston’s comrade – rather sarcastically says (Orwell, 1949 (1989), p.


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