Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Reflect on the Ministry of Truth. What is being critiqued about Orwell’s society? Our own?

Winston works at the Ministry of Truth which is responsible for making the news, entertainment and education. His daily job involves him rewriting history so that everything Big Brother says in the present matches up with the past. Winston has to rewrite history. This is his favorite part of the job. For example, in this chapter Winston fabricates a story about a comrade Ogilvy who has unwavering faith for the party. Winston fabricates a man and knows that this is impossible to do in his world: “It struck him as curious that you could create dead men but not living ones” (47). In this quote Winston states that he can fabricate a life from nothing, but he cannot create living ones. The living people are so robotic and already dead through their unwavering faith that life is gone from them.

By describing the Ministry of Truth Orwell critiques how the dystopian society constantly lies to its people and that there is no truth to be found: “Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie” (41). The dystopian society has no truth to it anymore. The party simply makes up facts and the people believe it. This critiques how ignorant people will be likely to believe anything, even if that thing is as far from the truth as possible.

In our own society there are many ignorant people who believe anything that is told to them once. In political elections the candidates take advantage of people’s ignorance and try to sway them one way or another based on their opinions that they deliver as facts. The real truth does not lie in one source.  Orwell critiques how people believe everything they hear if it is from a “reliable source”. Yet, even reliable sources do not always contain the truth. Orwell believes that people should be less ignorant and impressionable. 

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