Nineteen Eighty-Four has an atmosphere of distrust, fear, and coldness. The Thought Police, seems to have “reasonably,” at least not strangely, existed in such an atmosphere. By contrast, they are compatible with the modern world. However, just because the political situations today are democratic and ruled by laws does not mean that “mind control” disappears in our society. Mind control prevails everywhere.
The field I am exploring is the invisible, shrewd, and justifiable power which makes us “willing” to be controlled and dominated. Besides discovering this power, to what extent we human being is involved in it without being aware is my concern.
In chapter one, I will use The Lucifer Effect as my approach to discover the relationships between individuals and between individual and his surroundings. I suppose that behind our daily behaviors there is a power that dominate and influence people in an obscure way. To admit this power, the myth of Good-Evil dichotomy should be broken first. Then, we could focus on the situational power rather than dispositional distinction. In doing so, we could start to reveal the obscure power.
In Chapter two, I will discuss Doublethink and Newspeak, both of which are the ideologies the Party uses to control its people in Nineteen Eighty-Four, to reveal the similarity between the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four and that of ours. Thus, we can realize that we are not so different than the “bad guys,” or the submissive people and the ruthless Party in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Besides, Baudrillard’s theory of simulation is borrowed to illustrate the relationship between 1984 and our real world.
In chapter three, I will discuss this topic according to another article collected in On Nineteen Eighty-Four: Orwell and Our Future, “Sex, law, Power, and Community.” In his article, power is divided into two kinds: public power and private power. Public power is the authority of government. Private power is the power of “individuals, associations, religious, racial, or ethnic subcultures”. (250) According to West, private power is probably more dangerous than public power. And West argues that Orwell is “off the mark” because he neglects the danger of private power while exaggerating the threatening of public power. In fact, Orwell doesn’t ignore private power at all. And West’s misunderstanding of Orwell is probably caused by the Good-Evil dichotomy. Besides, I’ll use Foucault’s positive viewpoint about the relation between power and knowledge to rethink the role of sex in 1984.
In the fourth chapter, I would suggest a way to prevent the future of coerce by elevating human nature. Inspired by this article “the Death of Pity: Orwell and American Political life”, which happens to serve as On Nineteen Eighty-Four: Orwell and Our Future’s conclusion, my conclusion is aimed at the humanity—by education rather than regulation.