George Orwell’s 1984 is a novel of social science fiction that was written in 1949. Notably, the book talks of a totalitarian super state known as Oceania that will come to control the world. The author describes Oceania as a state that was controlled by an arrogant government that concentrated more on manipulating the way of life of the citizens, affecting the people’s lives adversely.
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Additionally, Orwell states that the people in Oceania were strictly governed by influential leaders, who expected the citizens to submit to their authority completely. The essay will explore the theme of power and politic more profoundly and analyze how elements of the totalitarian system he writes against manifest in our world today.
It is evident that the state described in the novel has some striking similarities to our current government. The way of life the government of Oceania had adopted is not too far off to the world we live on a daily basis. For instance, the author shows how deteriorated the standard of living of the people in Oceania was, yet their dictatorship government made the people to believe that their living standard was better than others and to ensure that they received to contradicting information the government blocked information from other regions. The author shows how citizens were brainwashed into believing in a reality that never existed, despite that anyone who tried to oppose the government received harsh punishment and in some instances, one was sentenced to death. Additionally, people were imprisoned for giving their opinions. Similarly, in today’s world, the government is in control of everyone, for instance, spying is out of control, from Facebook to Net Neutrality. Additionally, NSA spying is depriving citizens the privacy to emails, text messages and phone calls (“NPR Choice Page”). Also, free speech is under attack. A government that is entirely in control of not providing citizens the freedom to privacy is similar to a government that brainwashes its citizen to only accessing what the government wants. Additionally, the spying relates to the author consistently used a slogan that “big brother is watching you.”
In our world today people get charged for their opinions leaving people with fear to oppose the government. Additionally, people are being muzzled, and the conservative information is suppressed, this is a clear indication of the kind of totalitarian system citizens are undergoing. Concerns about having a government that controls the media to curb the flow of information have been witnessed in our world today which is similar to what Orwell’s talks about in his book. A reporter, Politico, reports about the possibility of the White House trying to put a stamp on the Voice of America, the station that pushes democratic ideals across the world (Kakutani). Notably, this is a clear indication that the people are being suppressed from information to blind their judgment and only receive what the government sees as appealing.
His novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” presents a world that where the government uses fear to control individuals who don’t conform to the usual political orthodox. The author’s statement can be related to what is happening where the government is using the war and defeating of an enemy as a reason for the increased surveillance. In general, the way is used as an excuse to give the government a way to look into people’s lives.
Orwell indicated talked of the value of confusion that was brought about by the government. Orwell would not be surprised by the confusing state of affairs in the government (McCrum).Notably, this confusion is brought about by the denials, and the counter denials passed to the citizens. The government is continuously denying that they are spying on citizens and then going ahead to convince people the only reason it’s conducted is due to the terrorist attacks.
In the novel, Orwell calls some people as the “proles” citizens who help the state to keep an eye on people to be able to be in control. That kind of totalitarian system can be seen clearly in today’s world, especially with the advent of smartphones and the widespread of surveillance cameras, makes people’s movement or conversations in the public sphere not to be considered as private. The United States current state of war is similar to the state in “1984”. Where in Oceania the people were made to believe they were always at war and they were the victims though at times they were the ones causing war. The party members were the only ones who knew what was happening. Similarly, citizens of the US have become oblivious to actual issues, where most times people are not aware who they are fighting with and why (McCrum). People are currently living in a world where they don’t know what peace is much like the slogan “war is peace.”
The novel offers a thought-provoking learning experience. People can see the similarities between Oceania and the current state of affairs. The book makes it clear how the government is hypocritical but with a twist to make citizens believe their motive. It is a clear basis for learning and building people to be better leaders.
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