Influences on George Orwell: Who is Watching Whom?

Better Essays
George Orwell once said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Orwell understood that telling the truth was an anomaly. He lived in a world full of lies and hatred. Consequently, George Orwell wanted to show people the real dangers of a totalitarian government, and he wrote two political novels that warn people of those dangers. These novels are still respected today, as some believe the world is turning into the “Orwellian” society he created in his most famous book, 1984. Although George Orwell wanted to tell the truth, he lacked a father figure, lived during the Russian Revolution, and had strong political biases that also influenced the writing of 1984, which ultimately influenced the political advocates of his time. George Orwell developed a habit of spending time alone because he was unpopular at school and his father was never home. Orwell, therefore, strongly disliked him (British Writers 275). The main character in 1984, Winston Smith, also had no father figure in his life. In this way, Orwell and Winston share the common characteristic of the desire to have deeper connections with others. In 1984, the government despises intimate relationships. Marriage has been restricted to reproducing to make more party members. All marriages must be approved so that two people, who actually love each other, cannot get married. At the same time, Winston is searching for a deeper bond, so he breaks the rules and sneaks off with a woman to spend more time with her. This goes against all of the party’s laws that keep people, like Winston, from having the relationships that he yearns for. Winston goes on to say, “…you could not have pure love or pure lust nowadays. No emotion was pure, b... ... middle of paper ... of 1984. Many people were shocked by Orwell’s novel. He was one of the first people to openly condemn these forms of government. Unfortunately, the government he created in 1984 is slowly becoming a reality today. Most places and streets have video cameras. Some believe that phones are tapped by the National Security Agency to listen to what people are saying. Losing privacy may be the first step before losing freedoms. The question is who is watching whom. Works Cited "George Orwell." British Writers. Scott-Kilvert, Ian, ed. Vol. VII. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1984. 273-88. Print. "George Orwell." Magill's Survey of World Literature. Magill, Frank N., ed. Vol. IV. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1993. 1412-420. Print. Orwell, George. 1984. New York, NY: Signet Classic, 1961. Print. Orwell, George. Why I Write. London: Gangrel, 1946. Print.
Get Access