The gradual evolution of privacy from a legal right to a Utopian dream in modern day society is portrayed in a creative yet somber manner in the novel “1984” by George Orwell. Everywhere we go, everything we see and everything we undertake, is being monitored by someone or something. This is an unnerving idea when brought to mind, but the fact that it could become reality at any given moment is even more frightening of a thought. By using intricate technology and forms of social media such as webcams, laptops, Facebook, Snapchat etc. people often overlook the degree of privacy of others without a second thought. Have you wondered why there has been an increase in the amount of webcam covers on laptops over the past few years? With confidentiality becoming more of a luxury, users have begun to take action to retain what they have left. You may call it paranoia, but others call it safety, “I put a piece of tape over the camera because I saw somebody smarter than I am had a piece of tape over their camera.” said James Comey, FBI director. The bare resemblance “telescreens” in the novel have against monitors, laptops and contemporary televisions is highly comprehensible. Serving as an object by providing entertainment while doubling as a security system monitoring everyday activity will leave anyone in a vulnerable state. Winston and Julia were in that exact scenario, being observed day and night. They managed to find a secret hideaway room which acted as a safe haven and allowed them to be "normal" people instead of the personas they had to embody when privacy was stripped away. However, the two did not realize that the room was ultimately a set up until the telescreen behind a quaint painting spoke up, just moments before the “Thought” police burst into the room. Winston and Julia had been under Party surveillance the entire time, while they believed they had complete privacy (PAGE 279). Connect to something George Orwell published his novel “1984” in the year 1949, greatly depicting a Dystopian society in the near future. As humans and technology continue to evolve at this rapid pace, how long before this Dystopian nightmare becomes our reality?
Living in Canada, we are amongst a society of prominence. Run by a democratic government, the citizens have the opportunity to express their will in the form of voting. Other citizens living in other countries are not so fortunate however. Countries ruled by dictatorship externally and internally such as North Korea are a prime example of the form of government closely resembling the Dystopian society portrayed in the novel. “Big Brother” serves as the leader of Oceania, a totalitarian government employing absolute control towards its citizens. The current supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, is a comparison of high degree to “Big Brother”, both dictating their citizens without any questions or resistance against them.
Freedom of speech is the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint. As social media has become imperative to this generation, people utilize outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. to express their thoughts daily. Posting a condescending thought online may lead to considerable consequences pertaining to the certain individual or group. James Gunn, director of “Guardians of the Galaxy” had been fired from directing the sequel of the movie due to a few offensive tweets he posted on Twitter around a decade ago. Controversial tweets regarding topics of pedophilia and rape resurfaced causing shock to the general public. Evidently humoring those controversial topics, James Gunn was caught by the “ Thought Police”, losing his position as director. Cultures, humour, automation, social media and we as a whole learn to adapt according to time. What was considered a “joke” a decade ago, may be a very serious hate speech crime in the future. Early in the novel, Winston unconsciously committed a thought crime towards the government, relentlessly writing “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” in his diary (PAGE 24). This type of treason is punishable by torture, and even death. Connect to something. Are we really given freedom of speech in modern day society, or are we under an illusion allowing us to think that we can say whatever we want without severe consequences?
China’s “Great Firewall” acts as a suppression of knowledge to the public censoring search engines, social media, music, cultures, etc. Not having the ability to access certain information, the citizens are constantly living in a facade created by the government, concealing any critique against the country. China recently banned “Winnie the Pooh” as the public began to comically mock their president by comparing the two characters. This type of censorship is identical to the novel although to a lesser extent.
During World War 2, propaganda contributed to major successes increasing the funding and support of the citizens. Publicizing false media and news, people were doctrinated believing anything the government says. Having to watch specific government programming as well as attend a pep rally, “2 minutes of hate” (PAGE 186), strikes shocking similarities to tactics used by “Big Brother” in the novel. Through corresponding methods, both forms of propaganda deliver a contrasting message as one induces hate, while the other prompts love, polar opposites. Modern day propaganda
Appearance vs. Reality is a major theme in the play Othello and the novel “1984”. Iago and O’Brien both have personas assisting the protagonist of the story while ultimately being the antagonist. O’Brien, a member of the Inner Party deceives Wiston, impersonating a comrade of the “BrotherHood”. Iago took advantage of Othello’s trust, constantly embedding erroneous thoughts inside Othello’s head causing resentment and suspicion towards his closest friends.
No matter the degree of loyalty, everyone can be broken. Winston