Surveillance And Repression Essay

1600 words - 7 pages

Surveillance and repression could be used in the most brutal and hostile situations against
society, which is what the totalitarian leadership of Big Brother stated against society in the
novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Society in the novel had to face surveillance and
repression from a day to day basis, they were being watched at all times with no privacy even in
their own home. Such surveillance and repression is what Winston Smith one of the main
characters in the novel had to go through. Winston Smith a 39 year old and member of the
society is completely against Big Brother and his party. Smith beliefs in the existence of a secret
brother hood who is plotting the ...view middle of the document...

The party used 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 would scare 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 society,
for that reason the party introduced telescreens to the population. Telescreens help make
surveillance stricter towards the people, “Unlike images on posters, coins, or cigarette packages,
the telescreen can be used for surveillance” (Michael). Telescreens help the party keep the
population more under control since they were now capable of directly watching them. The
telescreens were put in every single home in the society, even if the homeowners did not agree.
With a click of a button inner party members were 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 were now capable of watching the whole society directly keeping
them under much worse strict control.
In the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four surveillance was used in an extreme way in order to
help the totalitarian party keep society under strict control. Surveillance was very strict, there
were telescreens located in every household in the society. There was no room for privacy, you
were being watched day and night. But doesn’t such surveillance affect the way people think and
act? I personally believe that with such surveillance people in the society were being greatly
affected. William Burke in his article tells us how the watching through telescreens affected
people directly. In the novel people were afraid to show their true selves while being around the
telescreens since they knew they could be watched, which lead to the development of the “Two
Selves”. As William Burke explains:
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)
Society in the novel taught that they were always being watched through the telescreens which
made them create the “two selves”. Even if they didn’t agree with the party and its beliefs while
they were around the telescreens they would have to act as if they love Big Brother, expressing
their fake selves. But once out of the range of the telscreens they would express how much they
hated Big Brother, making that their true...

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