Arts & Culture, Open Mic

Open Mic: Seeping Sociopolitical Sedation by Hannah Verner

Beloved by people who relish an insightful political commentary as well as those who know scarcely of governmental inner workings, 1984, arguably Orwell’s greatest work, serves as a grave warning and an acutely penned treatise regarding the human condition. This masterful prose chronicles the causes and depicts the effects of a totalitarian regime wrought upon astounded individuals. Centered about the life of the book’s protagonist, Winston, Orwell does not color the pages of past reality by any means but focuses on the diverse yet insightful patterns of history to passionately awaken his audience to the “double plus ungood” demise of human society. Brimming with sociological, political, and economic commentary, Orwell captures the minds and hearts of his audience with astonishing plot revolutions, much like the ideology that deceived the common masses. Not too much later, the government’s jaws clenched down upon its victims, masticated their dreams, and digested their very humanity. With potent narration and reasoning, Orwell challenges his audience concerning their intellectually complacent acceptance of totalitarianism as a sociopolitical requisite to liberate the world from its seeming iniquity.

Throughout Orwell’s book, the audience quickly observes the narration techniques he utilizes, but not until much later does his purpose materialize in the reader’s mind. Combining elements of angled and nuanced narration, Winston carries most of the story initially. However, as this political theory solidifies, other characters’ perspectives emerge. Arguably, the author wishes his audience to acquire an organic analysis of 1984 in an effort to avoid the tyranny of hearing one voice by omission of others. Thus, not only does he advise his audience to resist such evils persistently, but he remains consistent within the integrity of his claim by the very nature of his reflective, literary masterpiece. For instance, Orwell warns readers of the rampant physical and psychological torture inflicted upon the citizens of his story, deprived of free thought, and bereft of free speech. Socialist critic Orwell exposes the truly insidious iniquity of “The Party’s” military, called “The Thought Police.” Essentially “The Party’s” henchmen, these “soldiers” enforce their dictators’ laws by verbally berating and physically mutilating citizens who conjure thoughts incoherent with “The Party’s” principles, simultaneously monitoring and condemning blameless passersby with video cameras, projectors, and microphones. In the twenty-first century, these “Ministries” function as variants of committees with the integrally sweeping redaction of legislative and representative civic bodies. One of these “committees,” namely the “Ministry of Love” executes the incarceration of thought crime criminals, or rogue scholars who “The Party” suspects harness this natural tendency along with their elevated faculties at their expense. By means of various “Ministries,” “The Party” thus subjugates the people. Moreover, by virtue of his exposition about the despotism of censorship, Orwell exhorts his audience to promote a society where individuals explore paradigms of contrast, spanning various economic, sociological, and governmental realms of thought. Additionally Orwell details to such minutiae the lengths to which a government overreaches in order to unveil his deeply seated, passionate animosity, pitted against the reduction of humanity into conditioned robots. Every political condition, oppressive rule, taxing regulation, economic procedure, food ration, verbal degradation, whip lashing, and blood-spilling execution, display Orwell’s agitated, embittered resentment toward aspiring politicians who power-grab; they who subsequently kick down the social ladder, murdering those who aided their ascent. Orwell’s portent clearly demonstrates to the public his desire to rescue humanity from inherently insipid totalitarianism. To this ideological “god” the people sacrificed the blood of martyrs and diplomats alike. Totalitarianism was not satisfied.

Orwell’s 1984 encompasses a vast array of subjects, making the study of the book and the attempt to capture one theme deceptively superficial. Though Orwell’s use of the English language does not deter anyone from scratching the surface, those who yearn to delve into its themes, motifs, and imagery find themselves in want of conclusive, clear-cut answers. 1984 commences with an ominous phrase which states that “the clocks were striking thirteen.” Orwell did not intend for this book to follow the military time system, enabling students to grasp toward something amiss. Orwell’s genius in his book stems from the fact that he distinctly communicates throughout the totality of his political drama. His sentences engage the reader, his phrases stimulate curiosity, and his words incite feelings of creeping trepidation, languishing sorrow, and awakened fury. Therefore, due to the apparent, rotational dance between the subject’s realistic depiction of the tone and the tone’s accurate revelation of the subject, does the tone determine the subject or does the subject determine the tone? Because of Orwell’s literary mastery of the inseparable nature of the subject and the tone, one then concludes that both intertwine, and function as causes and effects of each other. Thus, the reader observes that the subject implicates the tone, and the tone unveils the subject. Indeed, a linguistic analysis constitutes a major portion of dissecting the overarching theme of this suspenseful and compelling novel.

Gradually, yet putridly corrupting all forms of joy and pleasure, “The Party” suffocates the concept of leisure before the people’s eyes, sequesters the idea of inspiring art from the people, and deprives the people of scholarly literature, forging their newfound ignorance into tools of systemic, cerebral destruction. Permeation after permeation into every conceivable area of culture, politics, and economics, this oxygenates the burning wrath of the people against the reliably incensed Nazi propaganda. This phenomenon simultaneously erases their metaphysical humanity, their physical existence, and their legacy’s continuity. In fact, vaporization, the immediate cleansing of a person’s record from the peoples’ minds, first leveraged by “The Party” foisted upon political opponents, annihilated caressed memories of a sweetly prosperous time. During the progression of the book, protagonist Winston attempts to unravel the ruins of his city’s history under the iron fist of “The Party’s” close watch. As he questions a military veteran of past civilizations and governments of their native country, the soldier’s wasted memories unfold a tragic piece of Orwell’s pained message. Effectually, “The Party” removed men from themselves to which others looked for noble and exemplary models of greatness, “The Party” seized power from the hands of those who voted them into their offices, and “The Party” replaced all modes of communication with its encapsulated, evolving, erroneous propaganda. To physically and mentally circumnavigate the murderous clutches of this type of government renders only a citizenry which evades the inevitable. Rabidly revolting to counteract world domination while promoting more Democratic governments within the world deems one solution. Yet Orwell leaves readers to contemplate this philosophical quandary. By refusing to hold the reader’s hand by outlining political strategy, his ambiguity empowers his audience to voluntarily resist, as opposed to passively tolerating the carefully designed totality of totalitarianism.

George Orwell tells the story, and the story tells of him. His exigence fuses the quintessential underpinnings of his novel together. Throughout his contemporary tragedy, Orwell’s primary objective rests upon the exploration of totalitarianism’s seeping, sociopolitical sedation along with the unfathomable agony derived from an inflated and vitriolic entity.


When earthen fruits sprout up soiled dirt in vain,
And only to succumb slash burns, what pain!
Dread slaughters soul, whose light cascading slain,
Spring’s soft demise; its touch fall gladly drains,

When flowers weep from sun whose only gain,
Is slaughtered life; in ground plants slowly wane,
Who could long for much more their sweet refrain,
Sun’s scowl on art; must they endure cruel bane?

The little girl of innocence called Jane,
Reflects the beauty of love’s blesséd name,
But when I wake, my mind severely lame,
I find my heart adoring what I blame,

Earth’s frown upon the striving buds of May,
Is certain knowledge praising heart’s decay,


Meet the Author

Greetings! My name is Hannah Verner, and I am a linguistically intrigued and enchanted eighteen year old senior. This marks my fifth year enjoying the instruction of TPS professors and basking amidst the company of other TPS students. Though smitten from my first philosophical debate functioning as the derivatives of verbal discourse from my AP US History and AP English Language and Composition classes, I valued, cherished, and adored every interactive class period, challenging English AND Spanish oral exam, and scintillating reading material, among many other aspects. I hail from the topographically stunning state of California. As one undoubtedly suspects, the physical weather indulges all who abide within its geographic quarters, while the political weather within California “bites shrewdly,” making the Potter’s School an excellent refuge for the free exploration and colonization of ideas and theories, ranging from scientific discoveries to political philosophies, from the emergence of cultural fissures to altering economic patterns. If one inquired of me, “What is your favorite part of writing?” I dare not fathom where to begin. But to answer the question in brief, I intend to respond in two sentences, one a self-quote, and the other, a conclusion. ‘Desire is the vision of the soul.’ Writing, the expression of inward reasoning and sentiments, catapults the metaphysical vision of my soul toward the reality of the natural world. Therein reveals the reason I write. I earnestly hope you, reader, not only enjoyed the distinct insights of 1984, not only learned of the evil depths of totalitarianism, but most imperatively, acquired a desire to better the world in which we live, whether politically or within other fields of interest. When one seizes passion, one seizes purpose.


  1. Wow! This was super interesting! btw you’re sooo prettttyyyy!!!

  2. J. Montgomery Walker

    Great article, hope for more.