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As Seen: On The Telescreen! Essay

1219 words - 5 pages

Telescreens: A wall mounted electronic device that doubles as a television and a surveillance camera, used to monitor the citizens of 1984. In the novel 1984 by George Orwell, these telescreens play the most critical part in keeping Oceania’s citizens under control. With telescreens, it’s almost impossible to have any freedom. People are constantly being watched, the slightest act of rebellion can be easily caught, restricting people from being able to truly express themselves. Other techniques the party use may contribute to the control of its citizens, but nothing keeps everybody’s back straight quite like the telescreens of Oceania. Due to the unbelievable amount of telescreens there is no privacy what so ever. Without privacy, no one can think of rebellion, much less act upon those thoughts. Because of this, it is clear that telescreens are the most affective method the party can use to keep the citizens of Oceania under its control.
With telescreens, citizens of Oceania are always being monitored but don’t have any idea when someone actually watches. Since no one knows who watches and when they watch, they have to constantly live on the lookout, “Oceanians are used to living in a constant state of surveillance—either through technology or police patrol” (Orwell ). Oceanians have to learn to not think against the party due to the fact they have to live without privacy for their whole life. If they do think against the party, they won’t risk letting a telescreen catch them. They learn not to think, in fear of the telescreens picking up on their thoughts. Eliminating thought eliminates bad behavior and gives total control to the party. “The party employs science and technology to curtail human freedom and privacy, and to control human behavior” (Orwell ).
Telescreens can not see into the mind, however, actions speak louder than words. Telescreens can pick up on the slightest action, a twitch, a nervous move of thumb. Anything that can be a hint of a rebellious thought can get a person vaporized if the telescreen can see it. “The party’s surveillance tactics and technology are so advance that even the smallest twitch can betray a rebellious spirit” (Orwell ). Furthermore, the people of Oceania have to be cautious of their actions. Private or public, it’s dangerous to let any thoughts show. No one wants to be vaporized, so it’s better to have no thought and unnecessary actions. This is just how the telescreens control every aspect of a human. Telescreens help give the party more control, preventing rebellion. “It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced,...

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