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1984 a Novel by George Orwell

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The novel 1984, by George Orwell, made me paranoid. It made me suspicious of our government's power and intentions. I became aware of the potential manipulation which the government could impose upon us. I came to see that the people I believe to be wholly dedicated to the well-being of society, the people I rely so heavily on to provide protection and security have the power to betray us at any given time. I realised that in my naivety I had gravely overlooked the powerful grip government has over society, and what it can do with that power. 1984 tells the story of Winston Smith who lives in Oceania, a dystopian nation ruled by a strictly totalitarian government know only as ‘The Party’. The Party controls everything in Oceania, even people's history and language. It uses telescreens which are everywhere-you can’t speak, breathe or sneeze without the government knowing about it. The Party even enforces a new language to prevent political rebellion by eliminating all words related to it. Even thinking rebellious thoughts, known as thoughtcrime, is illegal: "Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death." I thought the first few chapters of 1984 were a bit ridiculous. In what world would a government ever act like that and get away with it? It's just way too extreme. But as I continued reading I realised that the government is doing some of these things already, even if it’s in a subtle way. One major example of this is internet spying. In the past few months there have been several controversies surrounding governments using the internet to spy on business, organizations, individuals and even civilians of their own nations. One recent example of this is the case of Edward Snowden, a former technician for the Natio... ... middle of paper ... ... way about the world I live in, and who is controlling it. I loved how the use of such brutal twists created a sense of realism, turning a book with an extremely fictitious story, into what the world may look like in the near future. But a part of me wished I had never read it. Books like these cause me to over-think, to over analyse the world around me. Ever since I picked up 1984 I have constantly thought “I wonder what the government is doing now? Are they working to better our society or finding ways to better control it?” A part of me wishes I could go back in time and warn myself that this book will cause me to be slightly paranoid for a couple of weeks. However, I’m glad I read 1984. It is a marvellously constructed text that had left me asking questions and has altered my perception about the capacity for betrayal by governments and even individual citizens.
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