Can society survive under total control of something that doesn’t even exist? In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, readers find a dystopian society under totalitarian control. Big Brother controls all aspects of people’s lives. Jobs, housing, even sex and marriage are controlled by the party. By the end of the novel, it is revealed that Big Brother is merely an idea used to keep citizens under control. Orwell paints a picture of a society that is destroyed by political lies, spy technologies, and social segregation. Orwell’s novel is a warning. A modern society could very well fall into a position similar to Nineteen Eighty-Four. With political scandals, advancement in technology, and a great division in social class modern American finds itself along a path which can ruin the future.
Society relies on political leaders to make the right choices and protect the citizen. Many times, political leaders can become corrupt and abuse their power. For example, people might put their trust into a president but ultimately have that trust broken by something like the Watergate Scandal. The Watergate Scandal refers to several scandals involving President Nixon and committee members close to him from 1972 to 1974. Nixon was secretly taping white house conversations and stealing documents. On an early June morning in 1972 several people were arrested in connection with Nixon. Although the president’s actions did not come to light for another two years, Society’s view of political leaders changed. Americans were shocked when his actions were revealed, “Although Nixon was never prosecuted, the Watergate scandal changed American politics forever, leading many Americans to question their leadership and think more critically about the presidency (History.com Staff).”
Another example of political betrayal that can be tied back to Nineteen Eighty-Four would be forced disappearances. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston discusses the disappearance of his mother and sister. The Party erased people whenever they wanted. Society refuses to accept that just like in Orwell’s novel, governments and political leaders can force people to disappear. According to Amnesty International, “An enforced disappearance takes place when a person is arrested, detained or abducted by the state or agents acting for the state, who then deny that the person is being held or conceal their whereabouts, placing them outside the protection of the law.” Although enforced disappearance does not happen in the United States it is common in places like South America. Amnesty International reported a case study that found 43 people were abducted from a Columbia community. The motive for the abduction was reportedly theft of cattle from a paramilitary commander. The assumption is that all 43 abductees were taken to a farm and murdered. Though much of society places its trust in appointed leaders, it is important not to become complacent and let things slip by and put the future in jepordy.