George Orwell's "1984"

Essay by usamabinladen March 2006

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In the novel 1984 by George Orwell, all the citizens of a continent called Oceania are controlled in every aspect of their lives by Big Brother, or more specifically, the Party. The Party uses a combination of mind games and physical force to keep these people in constant anxiety. The Party controls their jobs, relationships, personal lives and even their own private thoughts. Many believe that Orwell wrote 1984 with the intention of showing people what the future could be like if totalitarianism was accepted in North America. Even though it was not, there are still many similarities in the world in Orwell's book and in our world today. For example, in 1984 the Party imposes the fear of war as a way of keeping the community under their control, just as our government tries to get us very distressed about the current war with Afghanistan. Surveillance is an extensive issue in the book as well as today.

There are more concerns now than ever before about putting cameras up in schools and other public places. The media is also a comparison; in both 1984 and today, the government uses it to whitewash its actions. This is just a few of the many examples comparing 1984 to 2002.

Primarily, one of the ways the Party keeps control and power over everyone is by keeping them frightened. The telescreens in every room constantly remind the listener about Oceania being at war with Eurasia: "'Attention! Your attention, please! A newsflash has this moment arrived from the Malabar front. Our forces in South India have won a glorious victory!'" (25). Here in North America the government constantly shows us replays of September eleventh and videos on the news of the wars going on in Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. This is to keep...