Common Threads in George Orwell's 1984 and Today's Society

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Common Threads in George Orwell's 1984 and Today's Society "Big Brother is Watching You"(Orwell 5). This simple phrase has become the cornerstone of the conspiracy theorists dialog. George Orwell may have writing a cautionary novel with 1984, but there is little possibility that he could have foreseen how close to reality his novel would truly become. In the past 50 years, the world has become a much more dangerous place. Along with this danger has come a call for governments to do more to protect their citizens. This Protection has changed over the years, but it has become more and more invasive in order to "protect" the populations from various "threats". Orwell introduces the reader to a future where the government monitors every citizen through a "telescreen". These telescreens broadcast news and various government sanctioned facts at all times, but they also, "Received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper would be picked up by it"(Orwell 6). These devices can also visually monitor Winston as long as he is within its field of vision. Obviously, in the late 1940's, no such device actually existed, but since then, governments have developed many other forms of electronic intrusion into their citizen's lives. In London today, there is a "ring of steel", which was set up to protect the citizens from terrorist acts. This ring is actually a system of cameras, which can zoom in on individual faces and recognize them from a database of millions of red-listed individuals. This is probably the closest a society has come to actually installing actual telescreens in homes. Our Constitution protects us from being spied on in our homes like the citizens of Oceania... ... middle of paper ... ...e world of human persecution, walking around inside of it, and reproducing it in literary form"(220). 1984 is exactly that then, a literary warning to all readers of the ultimate in human persecution, where individuals do not exist, and forces controlling society have complete and utter control over all aspects of their minions lives. Our own age has fallen into the majority of the pitfalls presented in 1984, if you have committed any crime, misrepresented yourself in any way, or simply taken out a library book that has been black listed, you can be punished by law without ever having the faintest idea of being monitored. Knowing this, and knowing where we could end up hopefully helps us to be able to correct our mistakes before they are taken too far and we end up in the basement of Miniluv. Works Cited: Orwell, George. 1984. London: Secker and Warburg, 1949.

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