IV) The importance of language for an authoritarian regime.

1) A brief introduction to 1984. (see rebus: http://p4.storage.canalblog.com/41/04/1478758/119004728.pdf

2) Follow instructions on doc 7.    

Generally, dictators want to limit/forbid freedom of speech in order to control what people think and to stay in power. Thus, people cannot rebel against dictatorships. Their objectives are to control people’s mindsets by propaganda, censorship of the media, imprisonment of political opponents, torture, curfews, and espionage. They can have them killed or sent away. Controlling the education of the new generations can also be useful for the dictatorship because children’s minds can be easily manipulated and by teaching them the ideas of the regime they will become model citizens (for example Nazi youth camps).

Luckily, ideas can’t be eliminated as easily as people.

In Orwell's novel, however, Big Brother kind of (style oral, écrit = somehow ) manages to do that. The regime creates Newspeak, which is a sort of simplified language based on the destruction of words, synonyms for example, with a view to control people’s ideas. Indeed if there are no words left to express ideas, there are no ideas, no possible protest. Not only are synonyms destroyed, but also contraries. It causes a standardization of language and of thoughts and to a larger scale the standardization of society. On top of things, bad becomes “ungood” which is just a variation of good, it follows that bad things are not as bad as they seem, because the concept of badness disappears. Negativity is eliminated and positivity is promoted.