Uses and abuses of information

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Introduction In George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, we are presented with a dystopian vision of the future. Orwell's book follows the life of Winston Smith, a citizen of Airstrip 1, formerly Britain and part of the nation of Oceania. The country is governed by Ingsoc, the English Socialists, a totalitarian regime led by the iconic leader Big Brother. Oceania is constantly at war with as well as always being in alliance with one of the other two nations of the earth, Euraisia and Eastasia. The population is divided into three social groups, at the top of the power structure is the Inner Party, whose members are the policy makers and number relatively few. Below them are the members of the Outer Party, who are educated and work in governmental departments. It is this group which Winston Smith belongs to. Underneath them are the proletariat, the uneducated masses that made up 85% of the population.

The life of a party member involves being constantly subjected to government propaganda by the medium of the telescreen. This is a device similar to a television placed in the home and workplace of Party members, unlike a television it cannot be turned off and it transmits as well as receives. Winston works at the Ministry of Truth, one of four government ministries. The Ministry of Love is concerned with law and order, The Ministry of peace concerns itself with war, The Ministry of Plenty which deals with economic affairs and The Ministry of Truth which is responsible for the production of news, education, entertainment and fine arts.

Orwell is said to have based the infrastructure of Oceania on that of Stalinist Russia of the 1940s. I want to compare and contrast Orwell's vision of the future and control of information to the world...