Postman: Nineteen eighty-four and Instant Gratification

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Society Easily Influenced

The contemporary critic Neil Postman contrasts George Orwell’s vision of the future, as expressed in the novel 1984, as well as Aldous Huxley’s in the Brave New World. Orwell makes assumptions about society as a whole, that by the year 1984 a totalitarian government would take over the country. In Orwell’s novel, society is revealed as a dark vision of the future “controlled by inflicting pain”. On the other hand in Huxley’s novel, Huxley fears that what we love will ruin us and society is “controlled by inflicting pleasure”. Postman’s assertion that Huxley’s vision of the future is more relevant today than Orwell’s is correct as revealed by society’s rising need for instant gratification for technology, as well as the need for distractions from important concepts.

Society’s need for instant gratification is revealed through new technology being introduced. For instance, in today’s society when the newest piece of technology is available, everyone jumps to a conclusion that since the product is new, it must be better than the old, thus they go and purchase it. Huxley had feared that what someone loves would ruin him or her, which is accurate. Civilization today has become expected of instant gratification. Therefore, it is expected to have the newer, improved piece of technology when the original one has a simple defect. For example, the Gazette newspaper had stated that when the iPhone4 presale went on they sold out in twenty hours. However when the iPhone5 presale had been released it just took about sixty minutes. Also with new technology advancing, machinery and devices are increasing. NASA created weather satellites to help distinguish the weather patterns. Today weather satellites are vital in our everyday lives; they determine the weather for the day. If NASA had never created them, today’s society would be different because it has helped with instant access to many aspects of the world. Society today revolves around the...
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