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.
George Orwell’s novel, 1984, depicts a dystopian vision of the future, one in which its citizens thoughts and actions are controlled by Big Brother government. This novel relates the ruthless surveillance and lack of privacy of the citizens to government actions today. Totalitarianism, surveillance, and lack of privacy may all be common themes in Orwell’s novel 1984, but are also prevalent in modern day society and government. Many people today have and will continue to dismiss the ideologies mentioned in 1984 as unrealistic predictions which could never occur in the democratic run system they live by today. But, are Orwell’s ideologies completely implausible, or have his predictions already played a hidden role in society?
Can we still trust our government in the future? We are slowly approaching a dystopian culture where the government tend to control what we think and also control the way we live. As Raffaella Baccoloni mentions that dystopia “is traditionally a bleak , depressing genre with no space life for hope in the story” (520). In my opinion , the message depicted in this two novels warns us about the dangers of totalitarian regimes that dominates the population , leaving no space for individuality and freedom. It may serve as a very effective warning to the future generations.
In the novel, Winston Smith talks about the people not being human. He says that "the only thing that can keep you human is to not allow the government to get inside you." (page 137). The corruption is not the only issue which Orwell presents, both directly and indirectly. He warns that absolute power in the hands of any government can lead to the deprival of basic freedoms and liberties for the people.
Allowing for censorship to take part in any society is a domino effect that one-by-one removes all of its citizen’s rights and freedoms. In both societies, Bradbury’s and Fahrenheit 451, the government takes the driver’s seat and regulates what info the citizens can and will receive. Not only us this limiting the amount of knowledge learned, but is also puts all the power into selective and few hands. Lifeless and powerless, citizens are falling victim as the government controls them like puppeteers. All this control by censorship will eventually lead to a totalitarian nation.
In 1984, Orwell fears government control of media because it helped brainwash and control the citizens in Nazi Germany and the USSR and today it continues to inhibit free will and thought in areas such as China and Russia. Several times throughout 1984, Orwell emphasizes the dangers of the government having total control of the media. The government holds a tight rein over the large population of the proles by producing all of the media they have access to. When referring to the Party’s control over the media he says “the primary job was not to reconstruct the past but to supply the citizens of Oceania… with every conceivable kind of information (Orwell 43).” Orwell fears that this control over the supply of all information, which is announced and broadcasted through the media, leads to mindless citizens and brainwashed children. Winston’s work in the Ministry of Truth makes “it is now impossible for any human being to prove by documentary evidence that the war with Eurasia ever occurred (Orwell 183).” The governments control over history leads to citizens easily believing what they hear in the media and even if someone does not believe there is nothing they can do to disprove it.
1984, by George Orwell, is a novel that is ultimately about a totalitarian form of government and it's negative aspects that it imposes on society. The readers clearly see that George Orwell opposes this form of government because it limits not only freedoms, but the idea of freedom itself. The idea of pure freedom is shattered as we see the protagonist's mission to overthrow Big Brother fail. Big Brother may have not even been real. However, the fear that this imaginery person/ organization imposed on society was real.
In this society, privacy and freedom do not exist. People are constantly monitored by telescreens, and subjected to a constant barrage of propaganda. Any devious thought or action is dealt with by cruel and deadly punishment. Winston is a worker in one of the government agencies. His job: to rewrite the past so that The Party, specifically Big Brother, appears to be omnipotent.
Controversy Over 1984 Have you ever imagined living in a world with restricted public opinions? It may possibly happen someday in the future. In George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, he gives a visualization of how controlled life could possibly be if it was to occur. He fabricated a dictatorial leader, Big Brother, who is head of the mystifying Inner Party. This unknown party has entire supremacy over civilians and is able to monitor what the citizens are doing at all times by requiring a highly sensitive two-way telescreen in their homes.
We think this is crazy and could never happen, but George Orwell illustrates, throughout his novel 1984, the possible dangers of complete government control. Even though this exaggerated society seems farfetched, many of his fictional governmental qualities are starting to line up with our government today. Throughout the novel the totalitarian government, called Big Brother, is constantly attacking the people psychologically. One of the first things that strikes protagonist Winston Smith is a poster in the street, reading “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” (Orwell 5). From the very beginning of the book, the government is already shoving fear down on top of the citizens of Oceana.