Big Brother is Still Watching You
“They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol
In the novel, 1984, Winston Smith realized the change that had to be made in him, or rather his environment. The author, George Orwell, emphasizes the change of character and growth of Winston throughout his journey in a totalitarian state, Oceania. An ongoing battle of struggle and acceptance is apparent in Winston to and fro. On one hand, Winston hates the Party and hopes Emmanuel Goldstein and the Brotherhood overthrow it. On the other, he is reluctant to rebel through fear of Room 101. Contrary to the fact, in the United States there are many similarities and differences from 1984; The U.S. Government does not control all aspects of life rather it is a democracy. However, Osama bin Laden is the same public figure as Emmanuel Goldstein and the Brotherhood. Lastly, the U.S. Prison System, like Room 101, fosters fear into Americans alike. In 1984, George Orwell emphasizes the term totalitarianism. According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, totalitarianism is the political concept that the citizen should be totally subject to an absolute state authority. In 1984, there is the inner party (which controls and regulates the laws) and the outer party (which abide by the rules). There are four subgroups which make up the government: “The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and fine arts; the Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war; the Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order; and the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs.” Winston Smith worked in the Ministry of Truth where he rewrote history in order for the Party to maintain power. Winston knew that “Oceania, four years ago, had been at war with Eastasia and at peace with Eurasia” but the history books, telescreens, and everything in between said differently. “I thought we’d always been at war with Eurasia, she said vaguely. It frightened him a little. The invention of airplanes dated from long before her birth, but the switch-over in the war had happened only four years ago, well after she was grown up.” This was how the Party maintained power. They kept everyone in a state
of orthodoxy. If one did not know their “real” past, then one could never question the state of being. “In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding the remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.” On the contrary, the United States Government allows, rather gives citizens opportunities to broaden their horizons. Although the U.S. Government is broken up into three branches similar to the Party’s ministries, the legislative, executive, and judicial branch remains “sane” through a system of separation of powers and the system of checks and balances. In this system, the power is not vested onto one single being. Although there is a President, he does not have the power to solely make a decision without consulting the three different branches. Unlike the totalitarian Party in 1984, the United States we live in today is a democracy. According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, democracy is simply a government by the people. Therefore, one can see the distinct difference from society in 1984 to modern day United States. Emmanuel Goldstein and the Brotherhood were mere public figures that the Party created to instill fear and hate in the eyes of the people. “As...
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