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Comparing George Orwell’s 1984 And Our World Today

1443 words - 6 pages

George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, set in Airstrip One, originally named Great Britain, is a fictional story that describes a time where England is overruled by English Socialism. The story’s point of view is through the main character, Winston Smith, who is an intelligent member of the middle class. The audience is walked through the later stages of his life, where his intellectual thought is most prominent. Throughout the book, Winston goes through everyday life, as well as visits many places that are described in great detail. Every place he goes has varying effects on him and other individuals surrounding him. The place that has them most effect on Winston is his home in the Victory Mansions, which ironically, are just apartments. This particular space affects how he walks, talks, and even thinks. Fortunately, in comparison to our world today, we don’t have to be as precautious about our every move.

In Winston’s home, there is a “telescreen”, which is actually in every resident’s home. This device is embedded with a surveillance camera that watches every move made, and can hear every sound made. This is how “Big Brother” (BB) is always watching, and if someone does something that BB doesn’t approve of, they have the ability to arrest and completely erase their existence. Winston has to be careful in his own home and can’t make any sudden movements that may attract negative attention. Therefore Winston is very delicate in his movements just so he can avoid any trouble. In a particular scene, all the citizens had to participate in morning exercises, while the instructor watched from the screen. All of a sudden, “Smith! 6079 Smith W! Yes, you! Bend lower please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower please! That’s better, comrade…” (Orwell, 36). Winston is called out for not doing a stretch well enough and forced to try harder. That struck nervousness amongst the other participants, and everyone begins trying their hardest to avoid similar embarrassment. This shows just how strict BB is, even about the slightest mistakes, and will continue to harass someone till they get it right enough for their approval. Therefore Winston always is cautious of himself, and things in his home to keep BB happy, which also includes sounds.

The closest thing to BB that is represented in today’s society would be the National Security Agency (NSA), who “spies” on the public through many sources, one being street cameras. There are street cameras everywhere, watching the sidewalks, the cars on the road, and appear at every entrance and exit on public property. We are constantly being observed no matter where go, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With the recent terrorists’ attacks and threats, our society should feel protected by the cameras, knowing that if someone attempts to create chaos, it’ll be easier to capture them if they are caught on video. Even though this is form of protection, the government has been over zealous...

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