Beefeaters In 1984 Essay, Research Paper
Jessin BlossomMrs., MitchellAP English, 7th Hour17 November, 1998Beefeaters in 1984 Instantly, his face turned scarlet, and the water ran out of his eyes. The stuff was like nitric acid, and moreover, in swallowing it one had the sensation of being hit on the head with a rubber club, (8). The effects of gin are similar to that of the rubber club of the inner party s domination and their absolute control. Gin is a crucial image in George Orwell’s futuristic novel 1984. The gin further destroys the minds of the Outer Party reinforcing their subservience to the government. From the gin s texture, to its container, to who drinks it and when, gin represents the totalitarian Party influence of Big Brother over the outer party. Oily, bitter, and harsh in taste, is the gin, as is Big Brother in his truths; it is almost as hard to swallow as the party line, but Winston Smith, our protagonist, and the people of Oceania drink it; gin and the party is all they have. The specious, destructive nature of the Party is continued through doublethinking and gin. Doublethink is used to convince them when they are sober, and if not believed, gin is the next step. Gin, a hard liquor distorts the truth; moreover, alcohol changes people s perceptions, things seem safe, good, and happy, denoting a false sense of security. Doublethink allows the Party to destroy the past, to tell the people of Oceania whatever lies it wishes them to believe; in fact, the society takes in the lies knowing they are so and converts them into the truth, all the while convincing themselves that no forgery has been committed, only an update of fact. In Oldspeak, it is called, quite frankly, reality control. In Newspeak, it is called Doublethink…..Doublethink lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the party is to use constant deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes without complete honesty. To tell complete lies while genuinely believing in them, (176-77). The Outer party members do not enjoy the taste of the gin any more than they enjoy the propaganda, yet they take them both in because they have been convinced that it is good for them. Winston knows that the wars are bogus, and the rations are forged, and that life is made difficult to inspire patriotism and classes, yet he accepts it all with a hard swallow.As Orwell states: It appeared from the Times of the seventeenth of March that Big Brother in his speech of the previous day had predicted that the South Indian front would remain quiet, but that a Eurasian offensive would shortly be launched in North Africa. As it happened, the Eurasian Higher Command had launched its offensive in South Africa and left North Africa alone. It was therefore necessary to rewrite a paragraph in such a way as to make him predict the thing that had actually happened….. As short time a time ago as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise ( a categorical pledge ) that there would be no reduction of chocolate ration during 1984. Actually as Winston was aware, the chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grams to twenty at the end of the present week., (35-36). Winston succumbs to the doublethink as, He thought as he readjusted the Ministry of Plenty s figures, it was not even forgery, it was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another, (37). This act of governmental manipulation is immediately followed by another as Winston proceeds to the canteen to drink his ration of gin, he is washing away memories all day long, driving home Orwell s theme, The past is dead, the future is unimaginable, (25) The oily gin serves as grease for the Party wheel, allowing the thought control to run smoothly, erasing the past and identities. The colorless liquid, (8) is decievingly transparent, like the information the Party spews out daily from the wars on the telescreens, yet both carry a potent reaction, and are used by the Party to direct energies toward Big Brother. Gin looks like water, yet consuming it brings about a stupor of false and enhanced happiness, emotion, and life. The Party s false and unrealistic war updates, and moral activities bring about a similar fervor. Winston knows that Oceania was at war with Eastasia previously, and that the reports of the war are false, it is his job to correct these facts, yet using doublethink and gin, Winston and his fellow comrades forget any semblance of Big Brother s treachery. They cheer at the images (for they are not real) on the telescreen, emit the induced, contagious rage during the two minutes hate and worship the Party all the while. The Junior Anti-Sex League encourages chastity, not for salvation, but to conserve all energies to focus on The Party. Julia understands it best, She had grasped the inner meaning of the Party s sexual Puritanism. It was not merely that the sex instinct created a world of its own which was outside the Party s control and which therefore had to be destroyed if possible. What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war fever and leader worship, (110). The only acceptable form of energy was Party energy. Gin brought about that emotion.
The Plain white label marked VICTORY GIN, (8). printed on the bottle carries a specious message. On small scale it appears to be positive, gin is good for you, and will bring positive ends, the victory seems to suggest; consequently, when the synthetic, oily, and cheap poison hits the Outer Party members and kills their minds it is seen as a good event. The rubber club, (8). hits them with a blissful unthinking semi-consciousness, rendering them susceptible to Party influence. Gin reinforces the patriotic spirit of the Party, drinking provides a good feeling, an escape to be associated with the wars of Oceania and the goodness of Big Brother. Since the gin is distributed by the government, the comrades associate the release and temporary high with Big Brother. On a large scale, the victory represents the Victory of the Party over its constituents. The outer party members have been conquered, drinking what they are told to drink slowly destroying their livers and minds in a frenzy to worship the man. The gin wrapped in white reinforces the empty minds of the outer party filled with gin, and love for the pristine, god-like, Big Brother. White the color of divinity and purity encourages the Outer Party members to regard gin as a cure, a wonderful escape linked to the Party. The white label covers the mind numbing drug as Big Brother s mustache hides the true nature of his smile. Both mask a dangerous controlling power over the emotions of the Outer Party. Readily available is gin, throughout a comrade s life, thus encouraging a constant stupor, inducing energies that are easily converted to leader worship. Gin is in Winston s home, his cafeteria, the social clubs, and the cafes, anywhere he could possibly be or think, gin is doled out to prevent any real sobriety or thought. Gin is ever-flowing, (241). at the Chestnut Tree Cafe where Winston spends his final moments. Winston and his fellow Outer Party comrades are constantly surrounded by gin, for the entirety of their adult lives. Gin makes them tolerable. It is the one thing that the government wants them have, and consume, for it keeps them from thinking, or remembering the past, thus preventing comparison and a desire to better one s life. -nothing cheap and plentiful except synthetic gin…. if one s heart sickened at the discomfort and dirt and scarcity, the interminable winters, the stickiness of one s socks, the lifts that never worked, the cold water, the gritty soap, the cigarettes that came to pieces, the food with its strange evil tastes? Why should one feel it to be intolerable unless one had some kind of ancestral memory that things had once been different?, (52). The rough life is exemplified through the gin; hard liquor is a painful substance, providing the sense of being drunk without the enjoyment. The harshness found in life, and the gin, contributes to the ever present need for scarcity and sacrifice in 1984, which leads to the Party s valued hierarchical class system. If the differences between the classes is small, so is the chance for rebellion. For there is no standard of comparison. In principle, the war effort is always so planned as to eat up any surplus that might exist after meeting the bare needs of the population. In practice the needs of the population are always underestimated, with the result that there is a chronic shortage of half the necessities of life; but this is seen as an advantage. It is a deliberate policy to keep even the favored groups somewhere near the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction of one group and another, (157-58). Gin functions as a stimulant for accepting the party and all it dishes out, The gin was served out to them in handleless china mugs… Winston took up his mug of gin, paused for an instant to collect his nerve, and gulped the oily tasting stuff down. When he had winked the tears from his eyes he suddenly discovered he was hungry, (44). Winston finds the Pinkish-gray stew, a hunk of bread, a cube of cheese, a mug of milkless Victory coffee, and one saccharine tablet, (44). palatable only after he downs the synthetic gin. The gin, like the sugar, and food is a poor substitute of the original, constantly reminding the citizens of Oceania of their national crisis and need for The Party to protect them. When and how Winston drinks the synthetic liquor depicts his own transformation from ignorance to strength to a broken shell. During the first book Winston drinks the gin out of duty, hating it, and Big Brother all the while. Winston poured himself out nearly a teacupful, and nerved himself for a shock, and gulped it down like a dose of medicine, (8). The medicine is the principles of Ingsoc, which shock his democratic, freedom loving heart. The tears he sheds are a measure of the poor quality of the gin, and Winston s life. Later Winston writes, DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER, (19). in his journal, this prepares t