Censorship in Gilead and Oceania Essay Sample

A state under totalitarian government shows no regard for peoples individualism and freedom. The Handmaids Tale. by Margaret Atwood. and Nineteen Eighty-Four. by George Orwell. are satirical novels that illustrate the danger of a totalitarian authorities and the dystopia that is being constructed. Censorship. defined as The act of concealment. taking. changing or destructing transcripts of art or composing so that general public entree to it is partly or wholly limited. plays a important function in assisting the writers to make a dystrophic ambiance in both novels. The authoritiess of Gilead and Oceania make usage of censoring in order to accomplish entire control over the societies. by restricting the power of linguistic communication. utilizing misrepresentation. and denying the privilege of having objects from the yesteryear. In making so. the authoritiess can psychologically suppress peoples heads and ideas.

In both novels. the authoritiess use censoring by restricting the power of linguistic communication to derive control over the citizens. In The Handmaids Tale. the authorities of Gilead does non let freedom of look or address. By curtailing the privilege of talking freely. the authorities can easy stamp down and order its people. Handmaids are fertile adult females whose societal map is to bear kids for the upper category adult females. They are out to talk in public. such an illustration occurs when they go shopping: I take the items from Rita’s outstretched manus. They have images on them. of the things they can be exchanged for: 12 eggs. a piece of cheese” ( Atwood 11 ) . The servants can merely demo a image of the point when purchasing food markets ; their voices are non allowed to be heard. Offred is the storyteller and supporter of the narrative. who is assigned to the Commander as his servant. she remembers that some vocals can non be sung in public any longer ; particularly the 1s that use words like free.

They are considered excessively unsafe ( 67 ) . Wordss are forbidden by the authorities of Gilead because they believe that by taking certain words. the actions associated with these words are besides eliminated. When Offred undergoes her monthly medical trial. she surprisingly hears the physician speak of male asepsis. I about pant: he’s said a out word. Sterile. There is no such thing as a unfertile adult male any longer. non officially. There are merely adult females who are fruitful and adult females who are wastes. that’s the law” ( 61 ) . By taking the significance of words that the authorities claims to be nonexistent and untrue ; the Republic of Gilead makes everyone accept that all work forces are fertile and productive. Offred besides recounts that reading is prohibited and those people who read will endure serious effects. Reading? No. thats merely a manus cut off. on the 3rd strong belief ( 344 ) . The authorities of Gilead is cognizant of the power of linguistic communication and perceives literacy to be a menace. therefore they limit the usage of linguistic communication in the society as a manner to stamp down its people. The authorities can easy derive control over the society when the people can non talk their heads nor have the right to entree information in words.

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Similar state of affairss besides appear in Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four. Party of Oceania realizes the power of Old English and therefore plants to develop a new linguistic communication: Newspeak. Newspeak is determined to restrict the expressiveness of the English linguistic communication by cut downing its vocabulary. it is the lone linguistic communication in the universe whose vocabulary gets smaller every twelvemonth ( Orwell 55 ) . Syme. plants for the Ministry of Truth to make a new edition of the Newspeak lexicon. says: Dont you see that the whole purpose of Newspeak is to contract the scope of idea? In the terminal we shall do thoughtcrime literally impossible. because there will be no words in which to show it Every twelvemonth fewer and fewer words. and the scope of consciousness ever a small smaller ( 55 ) . Obviously. this new linguistic communication helps the Party to accomplish its aim of commanding the people. When Newspeak comes into usage. people will non believe about arising or moving against the authorities. because there are no looks which are related to those actions. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted. a dissident idea should be literally impossible ( 78 ) .

This consequence consequences in beef uping the Partys control over the heads of their people. As a consequence. the Partys control over the society is unafraid. It is merely through words that adult male is capable of showing his potentially unsafe wants since at least so far as idea is dependent on word ( 56 ) . The use of linguistic communication is the most powerful look of individualism ; dystopia must work through stamp downing individualism. The Party of Gilead and Oceania want their Party members to stay in isolation so that cipher can band together to arise. Restricting the linguistic communication of the people is curtailing how much of their individualities can be expressed. because linguistic communication is a cardinal facet in showing individualism. When the dwellers of Gilead and Oceania are left with small to no individuality. it is easier for the authorities to derive complete control and use over its people.

Another type of censoring that both authoritiess make usage of is through misrepresentation. In Gilead. the intelligence broadcast medium on telecasting is frequently feared to be false. Offred admirations who knows if any of it is true? ( Atwood 101 ) The authorities besides seems to demo merely the winning conflicts. Offred recalls. They merely show us triumphs. ne’er lickings ( 102 ) . This gives the people an feeling that Gilead is winning all of its conflicts and stands as a powerful state. Ultimately. no 1 would desire to side with a state that is frequently defeated. By covering the lickings. Gilead seems a strong state ; therefore the people are more likely to obey to its opinion. On the other manus. in Nineteen Eighty-Four. the Party utilizations misrepresentation by changing history and practising propaganda.

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This is apparent when Winston. along with Syme and Parsons. is brought via telescreen an proclamation informing them that the cocoa ration had been additions to 20 gms a hebdomad when merely yesterday it had been announced that the ration was to be reduced to 20 gms a hebdomad ( Orwell 253 ) . There is no longer any physical cogent evidence saying that the ration was in fact reduced the chosen prevarication would go through into the lasting records and go truth ( 253 ) . Winston Smith. whose occupation at the Ministry of Truth. is to rectify the original figures by doing them hold with the ulterior 1s. ( 41 ) When Big Brother. the leader of the Party. makes the incorrect anticipations. Winston has to rewrite a paragraph of Big Brothers address. in such a manner as to do him foretell the thing that had really happened. ( 41 ) Winstons occupation besides includes modifying and changing intelligence points and other paperss that make the Party expression bad.

After he replaces an original papers with the modified 1. all the masters are destroyed: This procedure of uninterrupted change was applied non merely to newspapers. but to books. periodicals. booklets. postings. cusps. . . Day by twenty-four hours and about minute by minute the yesteryear was brought up to day of the month. In this manner every anticipation made by the Party could be shown by documental grounds to hold been right ; nor was any point of intelligence. or any look of sentiment. which conflicted with the demands of the minute. of all time allowed to stay on record ( 42 ) .

If the Party seems to be ever right. so it would derive itself a good repute and turn out to be trusty to the people. Therefore more people will believe in the Party and Big Brother. If the people have faith in and are loyal to Big Brother. so they will non perpetrate thoughtcrimes or act against the Party. Although their methods of fraudulence are different. the authoritiess of both Gilead and Oceania achieve their end of successfully change the peoples positions.

Censoring besides exists in the signifier of taking away objects that invoke the members of the old yearss ; so that the authorities can psychologically command its people. In The Handmaids Tale. when Offred is in the Commanders survey. she is surprised to see a magazine because she thinks such magazines had all been destroyed. ( Atwood 194 ) She is surprised once more when she saw the feathery frock. She wonders Where he found it. All such vesture was supposed to hold been destroyed ( 288 ) . Offred has to give up her properties when she becomes a Handmaid: I dont have those things any more. the apparels and hair. I wonder what happened to all our things. Looted. dumped out. carried off. Confiscated ( 72 ) .

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The authorities realizes that these objects are unsafe in the sense that they are changeless reminders of the old yearss. Therefore. these points are taken off and non allowed to be sent out into the populace. If the citizens of Gilead are non reminded of the yesteryear. they will probably to be content with the present government and will non oppose to it in any manner. The same construct applies to Nineteen Eighty-Four. where Winston. as an Inner Party member. is non merely invariably under ticker. but besides does non hold the privilege of having exposure or journals. Owning such points in Oceania was non illegal. but if detected it was moderately certain that it would be punished by decease or at least by 25 old ages in a forced labor cantonment ( Orwell 8 ) . Mentioning back to The Handmaids Tale. by curtailing the ownership of these objects. the people will non likely to be reminded of the old yearss. because these objects can arouse memories of freedom and pick ; hence. people are really likely to arise against present opinion. However. by eliminating all ownerships from the yesteryear. the people will keep on to the really few objects and resources that are available to them now. hence they will value and appreciate them more.

Overall. the government of Gilead and the Party of Oceania usage censoring to derive control. including psychological control. of the people. The two novels are really similar in the manner that authoritiess want control and no resistance. Both authoritiess censor information traveling out to the populace. lending to the subject that information and context gives power. Both authoritiess want to restrict the power of the populace by non offering information which would be influential.

Despite their nonsubjective being the same. the two authoritiess have differences in their methods of censoring. In Gilead. information is really limited to the general populace. because the authorities does non desire to lose control. and the information is really limited and besides really difficult to obtain. In Oceania. nevertheless. information is non merely really limited. but the lone information that is allowed to travel out is often altered. By restricting the power of linguistic communication. utilizing misrepresentation. and denying the privilege of having objects from the yesteryear. the authoritiess have succeeded in to the full commanding every facet of the society. The Handmaids Tale and Nineteen Eighty-Four act as warning-bells. coercing the reader to recognize what sort of society censoring can make if used overly.

Work Cited

Atwood. Margaret. The Handmaids Tale. Canada: O. W. Toad Limited. 1985.

Orwell. George. Nineteen Eighty Four. London: Penguin Books. 1949.

Dr. Wheeler. Literary Footings and Definitions: C. Oct 25. 2007. Date visited: Jan 7. 2008. URL