What is worse, mind control or physical control?
Control is the most evident theme throughout the entire book, both mentally and physically. The party successfully controls the minds of every one of its citizens through various approaches. The most obvious one is the telescreens-- everyone has one telescreen in the dead-center of their homes that constantly expresses a running stream of mindless propaganda, brainwashing the average man to be unable to recognize the evil nature of the totalitarian party. The telescreen also acts as a window for the government to literally watch everyone, individually, and how they act at home. It eliminates any chance of having privacy. Another approach the party takes to brainwash the minds of the citizens is persuading the youngest generation, the children, to join an organization called "The Junior Spies". Their mission as a part of this organization is to spy on their families and report suspicious behavior.
Our government is guilty of the same atrocities, and more, as those committed in the Nazi concentration camps. These practices are not just happening to an isolated group of people; they are happening to normal, everyday people--like you and me. No one is out of the grasp of the government. And ironically, it is you and me, the American taxpayers, who are underwriting the research and technological advancements that are being unleashed upon us in these top-secret, classified, government experiments. The use of mind control has been going on in one form or another since the beginning of time. This overview will begin from the Babylonian era to current time. The Babylonians and the Egyptians helped lay a foundation for occultism and the seeking these human experimentations in mind control and human behavior continue today, though not quite as apparent as in 1984.
Physical control is also apparent in the story. Winston can not even face the telescreen in his home without putting on a fake optimistic facial expression. Any physical evidence of mischievousness or disagreement could result in torture or death. Sexual desires have been suppressed to such a degree that participating in any sexual act is simply for the reason to reproduce more children, to make the party thrive and exist for more generations to come. The book concludes with the idea that there is no pain worse than physical pain. Winston gave up all of his emotional commitments to Julia just to resist physical pain, and ultimately, conform.
The control our government has over us as a whole is greatly through technology. Of course we know police officers are around to watch for potential law breaking and you know if you don't abide you'll be thrown in handcuffs, but if you're being watched unknowingly through your everyday tools such as phone and cell phone, isn't that worse? How much freedom do we actually have?