The novel 1984 by George Orwell exemplifies the theme of corruption of power through the three most important events which proves essential to the development of the theme. Firstly the idea of corruption goes hand in hand with those in a place of power who control the society and overpower all those below. The novel shows what could potentially happen to our current society if power ends up leading to corruption. The Party controls everything, from the past, to the present, as well as the future, by controlling historical records, language, and even thoughts. The Party tortures and vaporizes those who harbor rebellious thoughts.
” People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, and your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word ” (Orwell 21). This quote indicates that the Party’s way of dealing with a subversive person or anyone who may simply not agree and believe in the party is to make them disappear, and subsequently, to remove them from history altogether. Secondly the Party recognizes no concept of family other than the collective family under rule by the Party.
“With those children, he thought, that wretched woman must lead a life of terror. Another year, two years, and they would be watching her night and day for symptoms of unorthodoxy. Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party.
On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it. ” (Orwell 26). The Party seeks to maintain power by severing private loyalties and relations, and replacing them with loyalty to the party. With children, the success of the Party’s plan is furthered in that the children serve as extra surveillance forces for the Party. “You’re a traitor!” yelled the boy. “You’re a thought-criminal! You’re a Eurasian spy! I’ll shoot you, I’ll vaporize you, I’ll send you to the salt mines!” Suddenly they were both leaping round him, shouting “Traitor!” and “Thought-criminal!” the little girl imitating her brother in every movement. It was somehow slightly frightening, like the gamboling of tiger cubs which will soon grow up into man-eaters.
(Orwell 25). The Party holds their power by using children as extra surveillance forces for the Party. This younger sister is learning how to spy by following her brother’s lead, and will one day want to be a spy too, thus being beneficial to the party. Lastly, the Party wants power for its own sake. The Party carefully monitors the behavior of all of its constituents as well as tries to be puppet master to the lives of the people of Oceania, the party abuses their “power” to infringe on the people’s privacy as well as their own right to decision making, as they have made it almost impossible for the citizens to have a life.
“We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends.
Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card.
We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are mat work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother.” (Orwell 280).
The world that the Party aspires to create is a world unlike what has ever existed before, outside what is the norm of living, fear and torment will replace love and happiness, destruction will trump advancement, sexual desires and family will be eliminated and loyalty to the party will be the only loyalty acceptable. The party refers to the people as animals, when they are compared to taking a child from a mother to taking eggs from a hen, this demonstrates how the power of the party is abused and how corrupt the party is to even recognize human desires and needs in life. Therefore it is these important events help develop the prominent theme of corruption of power in the novel 1984.