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1984 - Quotation Analysis and Interpretation

on Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:13 pm
My quote:

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were- cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?"

In this quote, O'Brien explains to Winston how the Party has, and will continue to dominate and repress the population of Oceania. The Party's principle objective is to acquire power, and they will stop at nothing to reach this goal. The difference, however, between the Party and other other totalitarian regimes, as explained by O'Brien, is that they do not hide their motive. The Communist Party in the Soviet Union justified their actions by saying they would bring equality between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, while the Nazis in Germany pretended that the atrocities they committed were for the advancement of the "German race". The Party, on the other hand, does not pretend that any of their actions are for any other purpose than to maintain and expand their power. In O'Brien's view, that is one of the main reasons that the Party will stay in power forever.

This quote also speaks to the ruthlessness of O'Brien and the Party. They persecute for the sake of persecution, and they torture for the sake of torture. Establishing dominance over others by means of persecution and torture, as O'Brien later explains, makes them feel powerful. The Party  disregards  the needs and desires of the people of Oceania, wanting solely to dominate.

Thanks for taking the time to read my analysis of this 1984 quote! Tell me what you think in the comment section bellow! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Re: 1984 - Quotation Analysis and Interpretation

on Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:54 pm
Edit: Just wanted to add that I chose this quote because I feel like it perfectly portrays the extent of the Party's evil. I also find it interesting how OB'rien want Winston to truly understand and believe in the Party and Big Brother.
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Re: 1984 - Quotation Analysis and Interpretation

on Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:07 am
This was quite a riveting analysis! I appreciate that you explained what reasons totalitarian regimes (Nazi Party, Communist Party) used to justify their actions. It accentuates the contrast between them and the Party.

When I read this quote, I was particularly captivated by this sentence, “Power is not a means, it is an end” because it is eerily similar to the quote by philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, “the end justifies the means.” I believe that in this quotation O’Brien is expressing his adherence to the concept that “the end justifies the means.” He is saying that although many people might believe that power is the means, meaning using power to execute a higher order, it is in fact the end, that is to say, the end result. Indeed, when people achieve power, they do not want to relinquish it, they want to maintain it. Therefore, power will always be of utmost importance because without it there is nothing.

Anyways, I think it is really peculiar as well as interesting that the Party only seeks power for the sake of power. I would normally think that seeking power would ultimately go hand in hand with wanting to advance another agenda. Nevertheless, this is not the case for the Party and the fact that it does not seek power as a means for something else, but that its quest for power is simply for power further differentiates them from other totalitarian regimes. For example, the Nazis seeked power as a means to purify the German race. Perhaps, we could establish that the Party's motive, power, and only power, was purposely created as different from motives of previous totalitarian regimes (Nazis, Communist Russia) to ensure that they are not defeated like the others were.

Thank you for sharing your ideas!

Sources:
Lord of the Flies essay: EAE3U
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Re: 1984 - Quotation Analysis and Interpretation

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