1984 Final Project
Period 2
Tara Woodward and Kathryn Clifford
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Essential Question: How and why does the goverment change/control people's perceptions of reality?

Introduction: In 1984, and the world in which Winston lives, the party has ultimate authority. They have complete control over the relaity in which the citizens live. Everyday Winston goes to a aimless job, where he rewrites history in order to fit with wahat the party want's. The party is constantly distributing false facts about production, the encouragment of doublethink, using proprganda, and completely erasing people and events out of histobecause of all this they distort people's perception of the reality that they live. How and why does the goverment want ultimate authority and control of people's reality? Is there any way possible for people to realize their skewed perceptions? This question goes far beyond 1984, the novel by George Orwell, it can alos be seen in modern society,in countries such as North Korea, Russia and China, as well as in history in many other areas.
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Removing people from history

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Political cartoon, comtemporary politics

Examples from 1984:

" 'Who controls the past', ran the Party Slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present contols the past'"(34).
" If the party could trust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened-that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death"(34).

" At this moment, for example, in 1984(if it was 1984) Oceania was at war with Eurasia andin alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia"(34).

" Reality Control, they called it; in Newspeak, doublethink"(35).

" Day and night the telescreens bruised your ears with statistics proving that people today had more food, more clothes, better houses, better recreations- that they lived longer, worked shorter hours, were bigger, healthier, stronger, happier, more intelligent, better educated than the people of fifty years ago. Not a word of it could ever be proved or disproved"(74).

"In memory. Very well, then. We, the party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we contrl the past, do we not"(248)?

"But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and no where else"(249).

" Whatever the party holds to be truth is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the party"(249).

" Winston's job was to rectify the oiginal figures by making them agree with the later ones"(39).

" All one knew was that every quarter astronomical numbers of boots were produced on paper, while perhaps half the population of Oceania went barefoot. And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or small. Everything faded away, into a shadow-world in which, finially, even the date of the year had become uncertain"(41).

Examples from society:

After Kim Jong-il passed away, his son, Kim Jong-un, banned everyone from using cellphones and trying to flee the country. Anyone who was caught doing so would be charged as a war criminal.


In Russia, people are trying to control the weather, and some businesses can even gaurantee that they will prevent rain from happening on your wedding day.

When Hitler was in control of Germany, he made it seem that Jewish people were inferior, and because he led the way, people followed, and turned what Hitler thought was right, into a reality.

Advertising is proven to change individuals perceptions of things. Corporations, businesses, and governments all have the power to change how we percieve things.

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Moscow Victory Day celebrations (AFP)
Moscow Victory Day celebrations (AFP)

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Images can be altered, and history can be erased.

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For our visuals we chose to represent what we thought was altering of perception by powers. We display many different pictures that show different ways perception is changed. We have powerful leaders who changed the way people thought, and acted. We have political cartoons that show just how easy it is for people to be fooled by mass media, and what we hear. There are pictures that display how easy it is to erase and alter history by changing photos so that people who were there, are no longer associated with the picture . All of these images come together to show just how powerful the Party is in 1984, and how easy it is to change the past if you have the power and means. If people do not maintain their rebellious nature, and fight for their freedoms, we could end up like North Korea, or Oceania, and be totally controlled.