Monday, May 23, 2016

Response to 1984

George Orwells 1984 is a story that depicts the aftermath of WWII and the separation of world into three different large super powers Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia, though the story focuses on Oceania. In this society everyone is under the control of Big Brother, a mysterious figurehead that oversees everything, and must act for the sake of Big Brother. However, there is one individual named Winston who defies Big Brother but not successfully.
            George Orwell creatively introduces us to a dystopian world that is so probable that it may have been the actual history that occurs. The book was actually written in 1948 right after the end of WWII and predicts the future of our world in the year 1984. Though nothing in the book actually happens, George Orwell actually has many things predicted. For one, there was not three super powers but two after WWII, America and the Soviet Union, and both were supposedly at war with each other just like in the book but no one actually fought. Another is that in every large country there is heavy surveillance but not as extreme as the one by Big Brother. The point is that even though the book was written over half a century ago, the book still accurately depicts the world that we live in today.
            Other than being able to accurately predict many future events, 1984 introduced new dystopian devices to condition their people such as the thought police, doublethink, and newspeak. The thought police is a type of surveillance agency similar to the CIA where they thoroughly watch everyone to find rebels and arrest them so that they can be reconditioned to love the Big Brother and never rebel again. Doublethink is tactic used by the higher members of society to purposely inforce false facts that promote Big Brother while at the same time being able to know the truth. In a sense it is almost being able to have two contradictory beliefs within your mind at the same time. Newspeak is the official language of Oceania which looks to eliminate words that allow a person to think individually and only think for Big Brother. These dystopian concepts that George Orwell created are so innovative yet so practical. Unlike many other dystopian works, these concepts are already able to be implemented into modern society if not there are already similar versions in effect that can grow into them. For example, we have the NSA which acts like the thought police but with lighter surveillance. I don’t believe George Orwell was exactly trying to predict the future but more of explaining the road that we as a world are heading down with the events that have happened.

            However, I believe the larger picture that George Orwell is looking at is the fact that we the human race are being so careless with how we live as a species. By the end of WWII we have literally killed off millions of people for power and even after we see the effects of war we continue to fight as if we are savages. If it really takes a government to brainwash us as humans to comply then we truly have fell off the wagon. It is almost as if we are all children that just don’t know how to act right and we lose our privileges of living freely. We always cry for more freedom yet we wouldn’t know what to do with it. If we look at how society has progressed in terms of government, there really is no positives, we seem to be turning more into the government in Big Brother. We only separate ourselves more from other countries, increase surveillance and get angry at anyone who has different ideals. If anything 1984 serves as warning to our potential future if we continue down this path.

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