Through the details is where we can find the most challenging ideas of books. The details are used so that we have a better insight into what the book is saying to us overall. This is why I agree with this statement, The most challenging ideas are found in the detail. The book nineteen eighty-four, written by George Orwell confronts us with a warning that we need to be more aware of the manipulation that exists in the world we live in. He does this by giving us exaggerated details about this made-up society in the hope that we reflect this back onto the world we live in today. Without the detailed explanations we get, there would be no way we would reflect on the warning or even pick it up, this being the most challenging idea. Orwell uses the though police, the new language of newspeak and telescreens/surveillance as the details to present this warning of manipulation.
Orwell uses explicit details to explain the actions of the thought police to explore the most challenging idea of manipulation over individuals. “the man’s face was suddenly contorted by a sort of spasm…. it was only a twitch, a quiver, rapid as the clicking of a camera shutter… that poor devil is done for” By just having a wrong thought in Oceania you are already gone. The thought itself is the crime and to even conceal it is hard. He has no control anymore as the thoughts have been building up in his head for too long that they are coming out in physical features. “The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself … There was even a word for it in New- speak: FACECRIME, it was called.” They could actually punish you for having an expression. Anything that could give you away, did. Explaining such in-depth details such as facial expressions helps us understand the bigger idea of manipulation through the book. For someone to be prosecuted for such thing as a facial expression is normal in the town of Oceania. We are able to understand this through the detail given. He explicitly explains there is such thing as Facecrime and it is displayed through the book. We can come to the conclusion that the thought police have total control over Oceania
George wanted to warn us of the dangers of manipulation in hope to change future generations. He confronts us with a new language, this being the detail. Newspeak is the official language of Oceania. It consists of abbreviations and replaces the use of the English language. For example “the word UNCOLD meant ‘warm’, while PLUSCOLD and DOUBLEPLUSCOLD meant, respectively, ‘very cold’ and ‘superlatively cold’.” Newspeak cuts the language right down to the core, leaving a very small and bland vocabulary. Association words are also removed. The idea of newspeak is to make all other ways of thinking impossible and remove all opposing thoughts. People were only able to describe the bare minimum with the language they were given. The language continued to be cut down even further as time went on. We can see that they are trying to make it as much emotionless as possible. By using the same word as plus, it cuts out all adjectives. The emotion of the sentence doesn’t sound great or horrible but just okay. This making people slowly turn into emotionless robot people. The party wanted to “consciously introduce unconscious and then once again to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis they had just performed.” They knew what they were doing was taking full control over these people of Oceania life but they wanted to look like they had no idea what was going on and therefore manipulating the whole of the city. The party wanted to be perceived as powerful and looked up upon instead of manipulative and controlling. Creating a new language gave them just this.
The explicitly explained telescreens used through this novel are able to further our knowledge of the challenging idea of manipulation. Telescreens are put throughout people’s houses as well as public spaces in order for the party to look over everyone. The party is able to invade people’s private lives. The use of technology of telescreens is the manipulation that causes the diminishment of people in the city of Oceania. Winstons explains that “it is terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when in range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away.” This device was able to pick up your every move, every facial expression and therefore every though. If you were to commit Facetime and through crime, you were held accountable for it and punished. People were forced to be in fear all the time as that what being watched does to you. The party was able to get you to do whatever they wanted because of the fear. Fear was a factor of manipulation that was used. Winston continues to explain that he “kept his back turned to the telescreen, it was safer, though as he well knew, even a back could be reveling.” The party had tricked everyone into believing that anything could give them away. There is no way a back can be revealing but due to their being such this as face crime and thoughtcrime, the people had been manipulated into believing that no matter what they do, they can’t hide. The party created fear through the whole of the city, scaring everyone into doing whatever the party wanted.
Throughout the whole of the book, we are given great detail in hope that we pick up the most challenging idea of manipulation. The use of the thought police, the new language of newspeak and telescreens/surveillance gives us a vivid idea of how the party manipulated the whole of Oceania into being controlled. The challenging idea created a warning for the world we live in today. Orwell hoped that by writing this book we would become more aware of how manipulation works and to protect ourselves from being controlled. In Orwell’s world, manipulation was achieved by people in authority and similar acts happen all the time in today’s world through such platforms as social media. This is what makes it such a challenging idea and without the detail given we wouldn’t be able to pick this up or even understand it so yes, the most challenging ideas are found in the detail.
- List of Quotes Used:
- “The man’s face was suddenly contorted by a sort of spasm…. it was only a twitch, a quiver, rapid as the clicking of a camera shutter… that poor devil is done for”
- “The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself … There was even a word for it in New- speak: FACECRIME, it was called.”
- “the word UNCOLD meant ‘warm’, while PLUSCOLD and DOUBLEPLUSCOLD meant, respectively, ‘very cold’ and ‘superlatively cold’.”
- “consciously introduce unconscious and then once again to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis they had just performed.”
- “it is terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when in range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away.”
- “kept his back turned to the telescreen, it was safer, though as he well knew, even a back could be reveling.