In George Orwell’s book 1984 he talks about the “Obliteration of Self” in Oceania’s Society. We as Americans have the first amendment which entitles us to the freedom of speech, religion, press, petition and assembly. These five freedoms give American citizens the option to embrace their individuality.
The freedom of speech is the most important of the first amendment. People are able to say almost anything they think about the government, people etc., to some extent. If we were living in an era where the idea of obliteration of self was practiced, any attempt of protest would be punishable by law. In 1984 any attempt to speak out or rebel against the government would result in arrest, torture and removal from society. People that went against the leadership would be forgotten about and their would be no trace of their existence. In today’s society people can be praised and followed if they speak up on issues of importance. There is no punishment to voicing an opinion, threats can be made against anything, as long as they are not carried out. The opinion may be questioned, but the person can not be imprisoned, let alone be tortured as they were in 1984. Without the power of the human voiced opinion entitled to us by the freedom of speech, Americans would be living in a time of “accept the government, or die.”
The freedom of petition is another vital part of the first amendment that Americans have. In 1984 there was a resistance that was spoken of that would one day take over the government and pull Oceania out of corruption. If many people would have joined this so called “resistance” this could create a “petition” to stop the government. This was not available to the citizens of Oceania, as no freedom was available to them. In America, since January 15, 2013, if a petition gets at least 100,000 signatures, then the White House will send back a response. If there is a very important issue that needs to be brought up to the top of the government, people will sign the petition. Without this right, many issues would go unnoticed and poor and careless decisions would be made. There can not be voting on these issues as voting would occur too often and people would not bother to go. Other countries do not have the option to go online and sign a petition that they think should be brought up to their government. Having this option gives Americans individuality as long as they do not take out the actions that they speak of during meetings.
The first amendment entitles American citizens to the freedom of speech, religion, press, petition, and assembly. Obliteration of self is not present in American society as the first amendment protects us from this. This is a time where citizens may say and believe almost whatever comes to mind, without the threat of being punished by law. America is a free country and with the first amendment in place, we are secured our individuality.