Comparison: Present To 1984, By George Orwell

1865 words - 7 pages

The civilization portrayed in Oceania throughout the novel 1984 is tantamount to our society today. Increased government activism is allowing a more brutal regime to emerge, thus causing major ramifications. Our once canonized system of protecting individual rights has been eradicated, replaced by an overbearing government that is currently eavesdropping on its own citizens in order to assert its clout. Fewer civil liberties equates to a stronger, more vicious government, as seen in the country of Oceania and is now being seen in the United States. By becoming increasingly authoritative, the government of the United States is progressing towards the vast level of control wielded by Oceania as portrayed in 1984.
One of the notable examples of the level of force exercised by the government in 1984 is the use of the “thought police”. This force patrolled characters’ thoughts and actions, in effect regulating the population’s minds. While this method of policing is clearly not being conducted in the United States, a form of intense control does in fact exist. The National Security Agency is collecting “phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, GPS tracks, cell phone geolocation, Internet searches, Amazon book purchases, and even E-Z Pass toll records” on every individual in the country (Bamford). In gathering this material, the NSA has left the citizens of the United States comparable to the citizens of Oceania because the populace in both nations is on edge, fearing the government will take offense to certain forms of Google searches and eventually regulate them. The NSA is also “trying to turn dull minds into creative geniuses by training employees to control their own brain waves” (Bamford). This government agency has admitted to actually attempting to control individual’s minds, which clearly violates our personal freedom. Despite all of these spying efforts, the government does not yet have the authority to place “telescreens” in every family’s home to monitor all activities.
In 1984, “The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard” (Orwell 3). Even though nearly all Americans have a television in their homes, the government has not yet attempted to place cameras inside them. The government can, however, broadcast anything that pleases it. In Oceania, the telescreens drone on and on about surpluses in goods, the victories of their army, and how great their leader is. In the United States, PBS and NPR discuss our surpluses in goods, the victories of our army, and how great our leaders are to desensitize the populace because they are controlled by the government. Because the public would take offense to the government watching us through our televisions, the...

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