Red Azalea

Totalitarian Techniques in 1984 and Red Azalea 10th Grade

In order for one to exist in a totalitarian society whose government is successful in its control, one must deal on a day-to-day basis with strong persuasion and propaganda. These totalitarian societies have an iron grip on their people, leaving their citizens with absolutely no hope or chance of escaping. George Orwell's 1984 blatantly suggests how, with proper use of brainwashing and propaganda, the unrelenting Party can enforce brutal and complete control over its people, and how the protagonist, Winston Smith, is gravely endangered by a mere strand of individual thought. He feels frustrated by the strict boundaries of government control and starts thinking rebellious thoughts, such as sex and any expression of individuality that differs from a regular “puppet” of the Party. Winston's character can be compared to the protagonist, Anchee Min, of the memoir Red Azalea. Recalling Winston, Min exists in a totalitarian society under the reign of Mao Zedong in China's Cultural Revolution, a period of time in history where the ideas of communism were enforced in China, resulting in totalitarian methods of control. Both Min and Winston show subtle signs of rebellion in their respective societies; that rebellion eventually grows...

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