Doublethink In 1984 Essay

This essay has a total of 1720 words and 6 pages.

Doublethink In 1984

What is doublethink? Orwell describes doublethink as 'the power of holding two
contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.'; In 1984,
doublethink is the normal way of thought, and as a result everyone understands it and
practices it. Doublethink is different from changing ones mind, lying, and self-deception
in many ways. Doublethink involves believing in the two contradictory ideas at the same
time. This is different from lying because lying is saying something that is wrong and
knowing that it is wrong but still saying it anyway. For example lets say you broke a
vase. When your mother asks you who broke the vase and you say the dog did it that would
be lying. The reason it is not doublethink is that you do not believe in two different
beliefs at one time. You don't believe you broke the vase and the dog broke the vase, you
absolutely know you broke the vase and are trying to put the blame on the dog as to avoid
trouble. Changing ones mind is also different from doublethink. Changing ones mind is
accepting or believing one thing, then deciding to accept or believe something else
different then what you thought before. An example of changing ones mind would believe the
earth is flat and then after seeing sufficient evidence that it is not flat but actually
round. Due to the new evidence you would change your mind and now believe the earth is
round as you previously thought it was flat. This is clearly different from doublethink
because you are not believing in two ideas at the same time and accepting both. You are
believing one thing, then completely change your mind and believing in another. Changing
ones mind involves completely dismissing one idea to believe in the other, which means
you, cannot believe in both at the same time. Finally doublethink is also different from
self-deception. Self-deception is to mislead or be unfaithful to the way someone perceives
him or her self or to mislead the way they think about something else. Self-deception
would be the closet to doublethink then the other two examples given before. However it
still is different from doublethink. With self-deception you are fooling yourself to
believe something that really is not true. It is like your not accepting a fact or idea
and replacing it with one that you believe, either if it is right or wrong. As said before
doublethink is the belief of two contradictory things at once and believing both, and
self-deception would be replacing one belief with another more acceptable to the self. An
example of this would be thinking that you are such a smart person that you do not have to
do any homework or studying and expect to do well in class. This is self-deception because
even geniuses have to learn the material at one point. Some people, such as geniuses, may
learn it at a faster rate but they do have to learn it. So by thinking you are smart
enough to do well in class without doing any work would be self-deception. Now that
doublethink is distinguished from lying, changing ones mind, and self-deception, some
examples of doublethink will be discussed and whether or not it is necessary and virtuous
for contemporary American society.

Affirmative action is an excellent example of doublethink. Affirmative action is the idea
of ending discrimination by basically practicing it. Affirmative action says that no
matter how many qualified people there are for a job there has to be a certain number of
minorities let in. Which means, in turn, if your white it will be harder to get a job due
to affirmative action, because employers will have to hire a certain number of minorities
even if they are not as qualified as you. This is to justify for generations of
discrimination towards minorities by creating a new era of discrimination toward
non-minorities. This is a clear example of doublethink in that one is led to believe that
by discriminating you can justify for discrimination. Interestingly enough, this idea has
gained a great deal of support. It is the normal way of thought in many social circles,
and as a result, many institutions have begun to practice it. Whether or not this form of
doublethink is necessary or even virtuous for society is a heated topic. It is not
necessary because people should be hired based on their credentials and not what their
skin color is. However because of the history of the America discrimination has been and
still is a real big problem. Because of this affirmative action appeals to the morals of a
lot of people in the country that makes it virtuous to society in the fact that there are
minorities in the country and they feel they are treated unfairly. So in the case of
affirmative action, doublethink is virtuous to some members of society because it helps
their moral level to help them feel more equal even though some other people may be being
discriminated against. So this shows that affirmative actions is doublethink because even
though people who where once discriminated against are being let in to the workforce a lot
easier people are still being treated unfairly. People think it is ok to fix
discrimination by discriminating against a different group of people.

Jury duty is another example of doublethink in modern society. The idea here is to enforce
justice by enslaving citizens. People selected for jury duty are expected to give up their
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