The Currency of Power in 1984 College

The power of words is enough to control an entire nation. Although many would consider physical power and brute force to be absolute power, George Orwell’s 1984 demonstrates a dystopian society where language is the ultimate form of power. The Party, the ruling force over all of Oceania, has dominion over its citizens mainly through the manipulation of language. Typically physical power has the means to control, and seems to be effective. However, the power of language is able to control the mind, which is the center of a human being. The Party reaches all the way into and mutates the minds of its citizens using language, so that each citizen is controlled absolutely. Used through propaganda, the manipulation of literature and history, and the invention of Newspeak, it is clear that the power of language is nearly absolute.

One of the most powerful forms of language in influencing the mind is music. “In the belligerent Oceania of Orwell's 1984, music is tightly controlled because of its power to communicate overtly and affect covertly the various physiological functions that influence human behavior.”(Haack 27). The music that is unique to the party is the “Hate Song”, which Winston describes as...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 2012 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10937 literature essays, 2735 sample college application essays, 784 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in