In the range of human thought, many different patterns appear. There are those that display the range of written and spoken words; there are those that express emotions; there are thoughts that process logic, mathematics, and cognitive skills. The range of thoughts capable by the human brain exceeds expectations of many; the human brain is able to make many subconscious decisions at a startling rate: it is “estimate[d] that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. an average of 2500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. ”
The Party, the governing entity in the society of George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair)’s utopian-themed novel 1984, in contrast to what is commonly thought today by those who have invested research into the matter, believe that the range of thought, thus, the thoughts and expressions of the people, can be controlled by the limitation of vocabulary; however, the brain itself should not be, and is not restricted by the range of vocabulary alone.
Young children are able to think and make concrete decisions about objects; they can determine significant differences in shape, size and color long before they can speak; this shows a cognitive ability encompassing a large variety of the skills utilized in everyday living by us who are capable of speech, though the vocabulary of said young children is nonexistent at the time. As shown through the thought processes of animals and young humans, the range of thought is really immeasurable; the extent of one’s vocabulary limits the efficacy of the expression of thought, but does not narrow the range of thought.
The Party believes that they can control the range of thought, as being able to express one’s thoughts is generally through words, thus, they believe that they can squash expression of any thoughts that oppose their views by simply removing the means to express said thoughts. Counterexamples to the Party, however, include the movements of protest stemming from the attempt to squash the expressions of protest; satire and irony turn those words of non-expression ‘on their heads’, so to speak, forming a movement by the very means used by the government to stop such.
The human capacity for thought is quite wide and unlimited by vocabulary; in fact, many decisions are made unconsciously by the mind but are essential in the realm of self-expression. Many experiments have been done on such patterns of subconscious thought; all of the data and analysis gleaned from the windows into the human brain showed that the human brain was quite capable of detecting the expressions behind data or symbols shown to the subjects.
In one such experiment, the cognitive ability of humans to subconsciously detect the underlying meaning of a word or phrase was superb; while a word was seemingly undetectable, the subjects still produced data that “yielded statistically significant and replicable influences of the semantic content of apparently undetectable words. ” Another experiment, run separately from the previously mentioned trial, showed that “in humans, the primary visual cortex (V1) is essential for conscious vision.
However, even without V1 and in the absence of awareness, some preserved ability to accurately respond to visual inputs has been demonstrated, a phenomenon referred to as blindsight. ” What both of these remarkable experiments show is profound: the human mind is capable of perception, even judgement, without the use of expression through the written or spoken word. Though the human mind may seem without a sense of judgement or reason without the use of a qualifying means (in this case, a spoken or written language), it is quite clear that it is fully capable without.
As seen in both cases, the range of human thought extends far beyond what we perceive as what we can and cannot think; the range of thought is not controlled by vocabulary, nor is it controlled by any other conscious means that the human body or mind is capable of. In addition, the range of vocabulary is not a thing that can be controlled by a government, even if certain words have been censored from the public. As seen throughout the course of human history, as humans evolved, “genuinely new behavioural patterns emerged from collective exploratory processes that individuals could learn because of their brain plasticity.
Those … practices that were consistently socially and culturally selected drove a process of genetic accommodation of … general and language-specific aspects of cognition. [Thus, it can be] … argue[d] that the evolution of human emotions co-evolved with that of language. ” What this hypothesis shows us is that censorship or lack of vocabulary is meaningless when it comes to expressing one’s self–that which one feels can be developed into the spoken word, as demonstrated through the broader historical censorship of lack of such vocabulary.
Thus, as history has the tendency to repeat itself, we can say with some degree of assuredness, that though censorship and banning of words may appear in human society, we can overcome such linguistic barriers by developing our own means to conquer that ‘wall’; as in the past, the creation of vocabulary to meet the needs of self-expression “can be interpreted as a special case of self-domestication, culminated in the construction of human-specific social emotions, which facilitate[s] information-sharing.
The Party, in contrast, believes that they can control the emotions and expressions of the people by limiting their vocabulary; as shown above in both examples, that is quite obviously not the case. The expressions of a people are much more than their vocabularies; in fact, the thoughts of the people may not be controllable by the people themselves; in addition, even adding the censorship of vocabulary makes little difference-human nature will (as it formerly has and can be guessed to do again) provide a means of expression through the transformation of social and emotional traits into vocabulary.
Though the range of vocabulary determines a portion of what thoughts can be shared or expressed, it does not control completely the range of thought. The human brain can express itself through many forms, those including numerical reasoning, logical reasoning utilizing symbols, the expression of one’s emotions through gestures, and facial expressions. These forms all provide a vital part of communication in addition to the verbal aspect of expression, showing that an individual need not have an extensive vocabulary to express oneself in an adequate manner.
The Party, in contrast to what the above sources say as true, believes that they can control the thoughts and expressions of the people by limiting their vocabulary. They believe that “the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought … [and to] make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept … will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.
The Party believes that the range of human thought is defined by the range of vocabulary in one’s mind. However, as the previous examples show, that is not exactly true. The Party simply controls the means of expression, not the expression itself. In contrast, the expression of thought is what is visible to the government (the Party), thus, in a way, their belief that they can control the thoughts of the people by limiting their vocabulary is an illusion, but one they strongly believe.
As a process of eliminating the expression of thought, the Party believes in the censorship of vocabulary as a means of elimination of thought; a process that works well to dampen the ability of the people to express themselves, thus effectively creating the illusion that they can control the people’s thoughts. In contrast to what the Party believes, the expression of people’s thoughts using only ‘permitted’ vocabulary is quite possible. The development of satire or expression through vocabulary permitted or understood by all is an old precice, widely known as satire.
In his book The Cat in the Hat, author Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) expresses the wide public opinion on events of the time, such as the Cold War and the fear of communism, especially among the children of the day; “symbolically speaking, [Seuss’s audience] might see the Cat and the Things as Communist invaders corrupting [their] youth—in their very homes—while [they were] away. ” This is simply one of the many examples of satire that have appeared under our noses over the years-political propaganda has used seemingly harmless words to express radical thoughts or ideas for many years.
The spread of ideas through the spoken and written word is not limited to the vocabulary available, as the Party believes, it is as broad as the interpretations applied to the text or speech that is given to the individual. As historical trends show (See above mention, Footnotes 5 & 6), we as humans tend to evolve to find ways to express ourselves, even when those means do not formerly exist, thus, would it be a difficult process for us, even with a vocabulary limited by censorship, to develop ways of verbally fighting back against that censorship?
In our society, expression has always been a central part of who and what we are; it develops as a separate entity from what we try to control; like our thoughts, it seemingly always finds a way to ‘sneak through’ the barriers placed in front of it, whether those barriers are censorship or lack of presence of ways to express oneself. Although the range of human expression is limited by vocabulary on some fronts, the human mind is capable of far more than what can be controlled by the bearer of the mind, much less the government controlling the people.
Control of the mind is nearly impossible; the mind unconsciously acts to express itself regardless of what one wants to believe or thinks they believe. The evolution of human thought is great, with pathways branching far further into our past than many realize. The development and facilitation of linguistic additions to the human vocabulary have been developed, are still developed, and will be developed as according to the needs of expression. The Party believes opposite to that, yet they really just have an illusion of control, as they only limit the range of what can be expressed, not the expression itself.
However, in contrast, the people can still protest the government with what the government allows them to use; akin to the use of pitchforks and clubs as weapons, the people use what they have and make excellent use of it as a weapon. In finality, we are capable of much with ur mind; we cannot be stopped or limited by vocabulary, and we are all the better for it, as its development, addition, and ue had benefitted our lives in its means of interpretation, use, and expression.