top-rated free essay

Propoganda: Today and in George Orwell's 1984

By DiPietro22 Jan 14, 2014 643 Words
AP English 12
Thought Control Essay:
We live in a world that George Orwell predicted in "1984." And that realization has caused sales of the 1949, dystopian novel to spike dramatically upward recently - a 9,000% increase at one point on Comparisons between Orwell's novel about a tightly controlled totalitarian future ruled by the ubiquitous Big Brother and today are, in fact, quite apt. Here are a few of the most obvious ones. Tele-Screens, in the novel, nearly all public and private places have large TV screens that broadcast government propaganda, news and approved entertainment. But they are also two-way monitors that spy on citizens' private lives. Today websites like Facebook track our likes and dislikes, and governments and private individuals hack into our computers and find out what they want to know. Then there are the ever-present surveillance cameras that spy on the average person as they go about their daily routine. This causes people to change their behavior and mannerisms for fear of being made a suspect. The Endless War, in Orwell's book, there's a global war that has been going on seemingly forever, and as the book's hero, Winston Smith, realizes, the enemy keeps changing. One week they’re at war with Eastasia and buddies with Eurasia. The next week, it's just the opposite. There seems little to distinguish the two adversaries, and they are used primarily to keep the populace of Oceania, where Smith lives, in a constant state of fear, thereby making dissent unthinkable - or punishable. Today there is the so-called war on terror, with no end in sight, a generalized societal fear, suspension of certain civil liberties, and an ill-defined enemy who could be anywhere, and anything. This Concept of an endless war causes people to become irrational and therefore make ill-informed decisions. Newspeak, the fictional, stripped down English language, used to limit free thought. With examples in the modern age such as OMG (oh my god), RU (are you) serious, TTYL (talk to you later), and LOL (laugh out loud) Newspeak may be closer than we think. Memory hole, this is the machine used in the book to alter or disappear incriminating or embarrassing documents. Paper shredders had been invented, but were hardly used when Orwell wrote his book, and the concept of wiping out a hard drive was years in the future, but the memory hole foretold both technologies. The Anti-Sex League, this was an organization set up to take the pleasure out of sex, and to make sure that it was a mechanical function used for procreation only. Organizations that promote abstinence-only sex education, or want to ban artificial birth control, are the modern versions of this. So what did this all mean? In 1984, Winston Smith, after an intense round of "behavior modification" (torture) learns to love Big Brother, and the harsh world he was born into. Jump forward to today, and it seems we've willingly given up all sorts of freedoms, and much of our right to privacy. Fears of terrorism have a lot to do with this, but dizzying advances in technology, and the ubiquity of social media, play a big part. There are those who say that if you don't have anything to hide, you have nothing to be afraid of. But the fact is, when a government agency can monitor everyone's phone calls, we have all become suspects. This is one of the most frightening aspects of our modern society. The even more frightening thing is the fact that we have gone so far down the road, that there is probably no turning back. Unless you spend your life in a wilderness cabin, totally off the grid, there is simply no way the government won't have information about you stored away somewhere. What this means, unfortunately, is that we are all Winston Smith and Big Brother is the modern surveillance state.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • George Orwell's 1984

    ...George Orwell's 1984 Introduction- This story takes place in a state called Oceania. The main characters introduced are Winston Smith who is a worker on one of the four branches of government on Oceania. This four branches are "The Ministry of Truth" where they falsificate or remove all past documents such as books, newspapers, magazines, reco...

    Read More
  • George Orwell's "1984"

    ...Through its portrayal of human experience, Orwell’s 1984 reinforces the significance of absolute power and control. To what extent does your interpretation of 1984 support this view? In your response, make detailed reference to the novel. George Orwell’s 1984, is a political novel representing the dangers of a totalitarian government, vi...

    Read More
  • George Orwell’s Novel -1984

    ...Kelton Scott Miss Svatek English IV AP –7 9 February 2012 George Orwell’s novel, 1984, includes many power struggles throughout the book involving various characters. If you delve into the content of almost any novel, there’s usually always some sorts of struggle for power. The novel 1984 bases itself on the totalitarian power to...

    Read More
  • Love in George Orwell's "1984"

    ...George Orwell, in his novel, 1984, has created a bleak totalitarian society in which The Party has become all powerful and their goal is to control all thoughts, all actions and to suppress all individuality. Love of family, romantic love and sexual love are all key to a person's individuality and are, therefore, completely forbidden within Orwe...

    Read More
  • Is George Orwell's 1984 Becoming a Reality?

    ...Is George Orwell’s 1984 Becoming a Reality? George Orwell's vision of 1984 is a dark and immoral place to be, where freedom and trust are nonexistent. It is a world where most people do not know the meaning of privacy and have no sense care or love towards one another. Orwell's depiction of 1984 is possible and our own world is slowly becomi...

    Read More
  • 1984. George Orwell’s novel ssay

    ...Hayden McCutcheon Mrs. Platt English 102 13th December 2012 1984 In George Orwell’s novel 1984, he portrays a society run by a totalitarian government. His novel is an example of Dystopian Literature, which literature that shows a dysfunctional society usually run by a despot. Winston Smith, the main character in the novel, has his own, ...

    Read More
  • Criticism on George Orwell's 1984

    ...Sydney Muscat Mrs. Kimber ENG 4U 6 May 2013 The Madness of the Last Man Madness is a label created by society in order to imprison its dreamers. It is often usual to lock up critics of cruel commands, because creative people can be dangerous to totalitarian control. The critical essay “George Orwell and the Mad World: Th...

    Read More
  • Essay on George Orwell's 1984

    ... Unit 3: A Struggle for Freedom Activity 8: Literary Essay Brittany Ennis ENG3U Mrs. King July 19th, 2013 In the book 1984 by George Orwell, there is a lot of symbolism that represents one major themes of the book. These symbols reflect the theme that a totalitarian govern...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.