Pursuit of Truth in 1984 College

Contemporary political discourse often references George Orwell’s 1984 as an example of how government interference infringes on our rights as individuals while we remain complacent in the face of these violations. For example, the falsification of facts in news articles constantly goes unnoticed because we accept information as truth if it comes from a medium that makes a claim to objectivity. We link appearance to content. While we can connect these concerns to Orwell’s novel, a deeper reading of the novel dredges up far more troubling issues that extend beyond the reach of politics by questioning our intellectual capacity for determining the “truth.” One aspect of this Orwellian future society is the practice of revising written records in order to eliminate inconsistencies in leaders’ statements and actions. The original written records employ the same falsifications as the revised ones, making it impossible to determine if a recorded event actually happened. Additionally, the newspaper, propaganda pamphlets and the Newspeak Dictionary are the only existing forms of literature in this totalitarian society. Winston discovers that the one way to resist this rights violation is through memory. However, without physical...

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