In 1984 by George Orwell, the society is presented as oppressive, and is set in a totalitarian world. The supreme power in this book is the Party and Big Brother. The Party seeks to control every aspect of life, and is able to alter the ‘truth’ through the manipulation of people’s thoughts, as well as language. Truth is necessary for a functioning society because it allows you to access your freedom of thought, and without truth it allows power to be used for manipulation, perhaps in a bad way.
In 1984, freedom of thought and speech is limited. The society has regulated rules which prevents anyone in this society from expressing their freedom of speech and thought to its fullest, certain actions can be punished by death. Winston had a diary, and wrote his thoughts down about Big Brother and the party, and this was seen as defying the party. For example, in the text it states, “The thing that he was about to do was to open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was illegal, since there were no longer any laws), but if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least by twenty-five years in a forced-labor camp” (Orwell, 6). Winston discerns the injustices of the party, as they alter the truth, and this is why he ends up defying the party. The truth being altered changes what people think and believe, and whatever the party says is true is considered to be true as it as to be or is punishable, demonstrating their dominance. This also brings up how without the truth power can be used for manipulation.
Without truth, power can be used in a negative way such as manipulation. Whatever is established to be true, can be altered with power. For instance, “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows” (81). In a sense it is saying that the party has the power to say that two plus two can equal to five and as long as the party says so, and you’d have to believe it. By altering facts, the party is able to manipulate people into believing what the party thinks should be established. The truth is what is established to already be true, being able to alter the truth just goes to show how powerful someone may be. The party demonstrates that truth is a necessity by altering the truth to make people believe things, manipulating people to think a certain way. Establishing the truth or altering it may lead to manipulation but establishing it also sets a guideline, a structure for people to follow.
Overall, the truth is a necessity for a society to function. You are able to express the freedom of thought and speech and this is shown by when freedom is limited when the party alters the truth. Without the truth, power can be used in negative ways which is also demonstrated by the party as they alter facts and manipulate into believing certain things. This book describes a society where the maintenance of truth is reliant on only what the party thinks, and demonstrates how ‘truth’ is necessary for a society to function.