George Orwell’s 1984 is a dire warning. Explore the means by which Orwell reaches through the decades and grabs us by the neck: what is he trying to tell us?
The surveillance and invasion of privacy is relevant to today
The black mustachioed face gazed down from every commanding corner. There was one on the house front immediately opposite.BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU,the caption said.
The voice came from an oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the right hand wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice sank somewhat, though the words were still distinguishable. the instrument (the telescreen, it was called ) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely.
compare these to cellphones
in the real 1984 it was very different because it shows the freedom of people compared the the 1984 text.
1949 more closely resembled 1984 text because it
Wartime rationing of sweets and chocolate ends in the United Kingdom, but is re-instituted shortly thereafter as shortages return.
all broadcasts in The UK are controlled by the BBC
Britain is recovering from WWII and still has post war rations in place
The USSR developed and detonated a nuclear bomb.
State control and surveillance
the KGB spied on the Soviet Bloc countries to keep people supporting the communist government and stop revolutions like the 1956 Hungarian revolution. the KGB would have spies pretending to be western tourists that support the revolution.
During the Cold War, the KGB actively sought to combat “ideological subversion”
A politician who worked under Stalin Nikita Khrushchev’s memoirs show some of the terrible actions that Stalin has taken.
“Stalin called everyone who didn’t agree with him an “enemy of the people.” He said that they wanted to restore the old order, and for this purpose, “the enemies of the people” had linked up with the forces of reaction internationally. As a result, several hundred thousand honest people perished. Everyone lived in fear in those days. Everyone expected that at any moment there would be a knock on the door in the middle of the night and that knock on the door would prove fatal … People not to Stalin’s liking were annihilated, honest party members, irreproachable people, loyal and hard workers for our cause who had gone through the school of revolutionary struggle under Lenin’s leadership. This was utter and complete arbitrariness. And now is all this to be forgiven and forgotten? Never!”
KGB favoured active measures (e.g. disinformation), in discrediting the USSR’s enemies.
state surveillance is still common today with security cameras, mass monitoring of peoples internet by governments and private companies.
The CIA has developed a way of using someone’s cellphone as a listening device
Google has everything you have ever looked up and telecom has every text you’ve sent.
earlier in George Orwell’s life
he was a member of the Indian Imperial Police, in Burma in the thirties. “This increased my natural hatred of authority and made me for the first time fully aware of the existence of the working classes”
he was influenced by the Spanish civil war.
George Orwell hated the misuse of the English language, he loved vivid and descriptive language but hated unclear works. His criticisms of the loss of words in the Newspeak language.
in his essay “politics in the English language he expresses his hate for over used metaphors that lose their meaning this is also shown in 1984 by BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU because the first you hear it t has impact but throughout the text the quote becomes overplayed and boring. (kind of ironic how it is still used)
George Orwell’s 1984 is a dire warning, where Orwell reaches through the decades and grabs us by the neck and says the mass surveillance in 1984 is what will become of today’s society…
in 1984 the state has strict surveillance in everybody’s homes
this parallels his fears of communist Russia and the Great Britain Communist Party that was at the height of it’s power from 1945 to 1950
because Socialism gives the government control so the government will use it’s power to stay in control instead of helping the citizens.
this control is through mass surveillance.
in 1984 it has telescreens, propaganda and war to keep people supporting the government.
now we have cellphones that can monitor your location, E-mails, calls, texts and internet usage. Instead of lies fabricated by the ministry of truth, we have “alternative facts”, lies with no grounding in reality. using war as control can be seen in the USA after the 911 attacks people lost freedom and privacy from the PATRIOT act. Innocent suspects were tortured and Guantanamo Bay still exists, a prison built out of USA’s borders so they don’t break the law.
Surveillance through other people
Parsons – He was a man of paralyzing stupidity, a mass of imbecile enthusiasms one of those complacently unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom the stability of the party depended.
It was almost normal for people over thirty to be afraid of their children
All children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by the means of such organisations as the spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages.
For hardly a week passed in which the Times did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak had overheard some compromising remark and denounced it’s parents to the thought police.
What is Orwell trying to tell us?
What is 1984?
1984 is about surveillance from telescreens and other people.
telescreens are watching you , quotes .
why Orwell wanted to show this .
comparing them to cellphones
saying they want you to know they are watching
BB is watching you quote
like security cameras.
Orwell’s felling on the quote.
Other people are watching you
being alone is dangerous, no witnesses
even though two people may be against the party they will not know , like Winston and Julia
When Winston sees her in the prole’s quarter “Winston was too paralyzed to move .” ” There was no doubting any longer that the girl was spying on him. She must have followed him here , ” ” Whether she was really an agent of the thought police , of simply an amateur spy actuated by officiousness, hardly mattered. It was enough that she was watching him.”
What is Orwell trying to tell us?
What are the ways of solving this?