Suerveillance And Repression Essay

2002 words - 9 pages

Surveillance and repression can be used in the most brutal and hostile situations against
people in a society. Such used of surveillance and repression are what the totalitarian leadership
of Big Brother stated against society in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.
People living in this repressive society have to face surveillance and repression on a day to day
basis. People are being watched at all times with no privacy, even in their own homes. Winston
Smith one of the main characters in the novel, is going through such experiences of strict
surveillance and repression in the novel. Smith, a 39 year old member of the society, working at
the ministry of truth, is ...view middle of the document...

The party utilize different methods to keep society under control,
such as putting the head of big brother in posters stating, “Big Brother is watching you” at every
corner in the country. Such form of propaganda scare the people of the society, which favor the
party since the people were too afraid of getting caught that they would do as they were told and
nothing else. However Big Brother’s head in a poster was not capable of completely watching
the people, for that reason the party introduced telescreens to the population. Telescreens had the
power to view and record the people, “Unlike images on posters, coins, or cigarette packages, the
telescreen can be used for surveillance” (Michael). The party had the power to scare the people
by putting posters of Big Brother around the city, but now with telescreens the party is capable of
watching and recording the population directly. Even if the homeowners did not agree, the party
order to put telescreens in every single home in the society. With a click of a button inner party
members are capable of switching from telescreen to telescreen located at any home in the
society. The population was now being watched directly, there was no way to rebel against the
party even at your own home since you didn’t know when you were being watched and when
were you not. The telescreens gave Big Brother and his party a great advantage since they are
now capable of watching the whole society directly keeping them under much strict control.
In the novel surveillance is used in an extreme way in order to help the totalitarian party
keep the population under strict control. There are telescreens located in every household of the
society recording people day and night, leaving no room for privacy. But doesn’t such
surveillance affect the way people think and act? I personally believe that with such surveillance
people in the society are being greatly affected. William Burke in his article tells us how the
watching through telescreens affected people directly. In the novel people are afraid to show
their true selves while being around the telescreens since they know they could be watched,
which lead to the development of the “Two Selves”. As a student from Santa Clara University,
William Burke explains in his article:
This creates what is considered “Two Selves” The first is the “public” self, which is the side that is shown to the world and expressed to those you don’t know and might be watching. The other is the “private” self, which is essentially your true self, which you express when you are alone or with others you know and trust (Burke)
People in the novel have the belief that they are always being watched through the telescreens which makes them create the “two selves”. Even if they don’t agree with the party and its beliefs while they are around the telescreens they have to act as if they love Big Brother, expressing their fake selves. But once out of the range of the telscreens they...

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