The Party's Denial of a Persons Natural Rights
The novel 1984 touches on many disturbing aspects about the denial of a person's natural rights. In today's society people are granted certain rights which the government or anyone else can not take away. These rights are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In the novel 1984 the government which the people of Oceania live under has taken away all of the rights of people, including natural rights. The right to life has been taken away in the sense that a persons life is the party. A person is born for the party, works for the party, and dies for the party. Liberty is taken away by not allowing the privacy of thought or action. To coin the phrase "Big Brother is watching you". The right of a person pursuing happiness is unquestionably taken away because all forms of pleasure (games, sex, laughter) are illegal. The government promotes hate and unhappiness.
The life of a person living in Oceania is strictly controlled. A person does not choose what they do for a living, or who they associate with. The party is the center of everybody's life. The only reason anyone marries or has children is so that the children can live for the party. The children grow up learning how to defy and betray everyone for the party. Children will tell on anybody, even their parents if they see them acting in a unorthodox or peculiar way. When Winston was in the Ministry of Love he discovers that a co-worker of his, a man by the name of Parsons, who had been turned in for thoughtcrime by his own daughter. This is a quite disturbing incident because Parsons was proud of his child and happy that he had been sent to the Ministry of love before he had committed any other thoughtcrime. He is a prime example of a person whose entire life was for the party and for Big Brother. Even though Winston and Julia were enemies of the party their lives were still spent doing work for the party. They would still participate in the two minute hates and would still do their jobs, which both helped the party brainwash more and more people. No one ever outwardly betrayed the party.
Liberty can be defined as exemption from control of another, freedom from external restraint, and the power of choice. All of these definitions defy the very basis of the party. The party controls everyone, restrains everyone, and limits the choices a person can make. For example a person has no choice whether they would like to be for or against the party. Everyone is for the party. There are no cons. The telescreen is a perfect example of external restraint. The telescreen restrains people from displaying their true emotions. People force themselves to act within the limits that the party allows in fear of being punished. In the case of Winston, he had a secret place in his house in which he could write in his journal. Only because in this one place he could not be watched did Winston find the courage to defy the party and speak his own mind. In the case of some people, they have been so brainwashed that they do not know what they think and they have no true beliefs of their own. Their thoughts have been limited to the ideas presented by the party, and whatever the party defines to be true, they believe. For example, throughout the book, Oceania is constantly changing between being at war with Eurasia or Eastasia. Whenever the enemy changes, the party always tells the people that they have always been at war with the enemy. Everyone excepts this as true. The party destroys all evidence of the past and all evidence that establishes the idea that the party is faulty. Because the party does not allow people to believe what they find in their own mind to be true, the party is violating the natural right of the freedom of thought, and the power to choose what they want to believe.
The right to pursuit of happiness is undoubtedly denied by the party in 1984.