A. P. English 12 21 March 2011 Contemporary Society vs.
1984 In his dystopian novel 1984, Orwell reveals his vision of the nearing future through an imaginary plot. Within the plot, Winston Smith, the book’s protagonist, lives a life controlled totally by a manipulative and exploitative government. He, embodies the stereotyped character of each person of Oceania– an individual who complies with the laws of the ruling Big Sibling federal government. Through the developing setting and characterization of our protagonist, the reader is able to witness the numerous aspects of control, manipulation and exploitation worked out by the Party and Big Brother.
As his frustrations with the Celebration’s control of history and longing desire to consult with a female colleague increase, Winston starts to question the society he when aimlessly complied with and the laws he once followed. Through Winston’s experience, Orwell expresses his concerns with a tremendously expanding American federal government. Such gross violations of individual liberties have played a prominent role in America’s past in addition to in its present. While composing the novel, Orwell remembered his childhood experiences in an oppressed India and began to draw contrasts to the then-current state of America.
During the 1940s, America experienced increased military involvement, significant expansion of the federal administration and world supremacy. In turn, Orwell’s writing of 1984 apparently serves a cautionary and educational function. Truthful government may expand into an overbearing one if its people do not vigilantly monitor its activity. In contemporary society, Americans deal with comparable situations to those subject to the environment depicted in 1984. The unfortunate happenings of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11th, 2001 still impact Americans currently.
Consequently, Americans knowingly positioned higher rely on their federal government and compromised particular liberties for superior security. Resulting legislation, such as the Patriot Act of 2001, enables the US federal government to bypass specific privacy rights in order to make sure safety within the country. Throughout the summertime of 1798, the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by congress brought the United States closer to a “Big Bro” organization than ever previously. The Alien Act “authorized the president to apprehend and deport aliens suspected of ‘treasonable’ leanings” Davidson 219). With no clear meaning as to what actually makes up a “treasonable leaning,” the president could’ve forced someone out of the United States the immediate they participated in a kind of anti-American protest. Security cameras in the majority of buildings and some public streets further shows the continuous and grim reality of governmental supervision. US soldiers are stationed throughout the Middle East in addition to their already inhabited places.
Comparable to those based on the omniscient Big Sibling federal government in 1984, Americans are controlled by particular qualities and concepts, social constraints, manipulated by a homogenous and monopolized society and exploited by the falsified allure of the “American Dream.” “Liberty is the liberty to state that 2 plus two make 4. If that is given, all else follows.” (Orwell, p81). Such a simplified definition of liberty deceives those pursuing absolute flexibility. In fact, American and Oceanian citizens share ultimate flexibility if flexibility was exclusively restricted to its formerly stated meaning.
However, the reader understands that those within Oceania are oppressed by their own totalitarian government. Therefore, freedom’s true definition is far more complicated and frequently inconsistent. The inconsistent nature of liberty and democracy shows the similarities in between America and Oceania. Although not as radical of their 1984 equivalents, Americans defer to an elitist society to preserve their “liberty.” “In a paradox for democratic theory, the masses express the best self-confidence in the most elitist, nonelected branch of the government” (Dye 309).
With greater self-confidence, comes blind trust. Since Americans enable a minority of elitists to dictate their society, true freedom and democracy can not exist. Therefore, Americans are more like pawns that are governed by a select few, which was the reality of those subject to the Celebration, rather than the presumed impression that the majority managed its own destiny. Throughout Orwell’s unique, 1984, an imaginary character called Big Bro exists. Throughout the town of Oceania are continuous pointers of Big Sibling’s existence and his unlimited oversight on the neighborhood.
In addition to the sense of security by Big Bro, telescreens within every home and microphones scattered across the town, even more highlight the lack of personal privacy within Oceania. Eventually, in 1984, innovation’s sole function was to horn in each citizen’s personal and personal life. As innovation further engulfs itself in modern-day society, aspects of 1984 are become more prominent. While telescreens are not precisely monitoring us every second of the day, many people are probably uninformed of how public most of their personal life really is.
In between computer systems and security video cameras, it really is not too tough for a member of some government firm to monitor what someone does everyday. In contemporary society, human interaction and innovation are ending up being extremely linked. The rapid advancement of technology has actually permitted the possibility of an inseparable combination of humans and technology. Upon composing his book, Orwell extrapolated much of the detail about the innovation within 1984 since of its unavailability or primitive features.
The technology of modern-day society far goes beyond that of 1984. If government could use lower quality technology and manage an entire population, what could amass if the technology transcended? Mobile phone, computers, video cameras, global placing systems (GPSs) and other considerable technological developments in modern-day society have many advantages, but beget numerous disadvantages to consider. Within each computer and cell phone are locating gadgets which permit the highly regarded business to observe the sites went to and the location of the each gadget.
Wiretapping, legislated by the Patriot Act of 2001, permits governmental tracking of telephone and Internet conversations to ensure safety. Security electronic cameras survey the actions of pedestrians to prevent criminal offense. Although most of these cams are operated by private organisations, privacy is still gotten into. Reasonably, the federal government’s use of technology as a means to intrude on American personal privacy is a certain possibility. In the past, and presently, the United States government has used technology in order to guarantee safety despite compromising specific liberties.
With human beings bearing a higher dependence on technology, the exploitation of technology by the federal government would prove devastating and irreparable. “War was a sure protect of sanity, therefore far as the ruling classes were worried it was most likely the most essential of all safeguards. While wars could be won or lost, no ruling class might be completely irresponsible” (Orwell 198). The focal point of the Oceania’s economy was its overextending military. The constant war, overshadowed by the developing plot involving Winston, supplies validation and a secure against its people.
The function in participating in a perpetual war is to take in human labor and products. Without products, Oceania has the ability to justify their engagement in an unwinnable and “essential” war. In addition, constant warfare keeps the population afraid, and creates emergency situation conditions whereby the federal government can expand its powers. Individuals, controlled into fear, will respond more favorably to guidelines in times of war. Accompanying the sacrifice of individual liberties, following the stressful events on September 11th, 2001, includes an extension of military activity.
First beginning with Former President Bush, and current President Obama, the US Army is combative throughout the world, specifically the Middle East, in its effort to cut acts of terrorism. Seemingly, as in the event with Oceania, the United States is constantly in a warring state. When peace is made with one country, war is declared or threatened on another nation to continue a military existence. The Department of Defense, similar to the Minister of Peace, allocates the largest level of financial resources and collaborates the activity of the United States armed forces. Not counting the cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Defense budget plan is anticipated to be $553 billion in 2012, up from $549 billion in 2011″ (Factor 24). In addition, the Department of Defense posts worthless statistics, incorrect economic predictions, and slanted opinions surveys. The most infamous example of inaccurate statistics and bias speech was Previous President Bush’s Mission Accomplished speech. In spite of the continuing warfare, Bush mentioned this was the end to significant combat operations in Iraq. Particular elements of the Oceania war machine even more manipulate the actions of the Oceanian people.
The government of Oceania, orchestrated by the Celebration, affects its citizens into believing that they have a common opponent in the Brotherhood, particularly Goldstein. The Two Minutes of Hate, an everyday duration in which Celebration members of Oceania should watch a film illustrating The Celebration’s enemies, lures mob action and a blind expression of hate. The image of Goldstein turns up on the screen, while individuals shriek in anger and scary at the image. Goldstein, they are informed, is everywhere and should be damaged.
The similarities to contemporary society are more genuine than evident and talk to what has actually been taking place in the United States considering that World War II. Each significant event in history has seen wicked characters that have actually been determined on destroying “the American way of living.” During World War 2, Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin led the increase of fascism and versus democratic principles. Throughout the Red Scare, Mao Tse-Tung of China disrupted American peace with communists influence on the American public. During the Arms Race, Lenoid Brehznev of the USSR challenged the social integrity of America.
During the 1980s, Saddam Hussein of Iraq and now Bin Laden promoted use of terrorist attacks to hurt Americans. Like Goldstein in Oceania, each guy alarmed society, striking fear and hatred into the peoples’ hearts. After their deaths, American society was not more secure and right after a replacement continued to scare America. Ultimately, the Celebration’s slogan “War is Peace” perfectly represents their exploitation of war and fortress over their citizens. Through the expression of the motto, the Celebration competes that in times of war, Oceania is at peace.
Such a contradictory declaration offers an example of the Party’s usage of “double think” and control of individuals. Oceania– the Celebration– is able to stay at peace throughout times of war because of a war’s natural personality. War serves as a method to make sure a stagnant social structure and avoid true socialism. War, particularly in 1984, guarantees a damage of produce (Orwell 191). With a shortage of produce, financial disparity emerges and overprotection of fruit and vegetables becomes not likely. Therefore, the Celebration is “at peace” due to the fact that transformation or any social change is unlikely.
Likewise, war has a parallel result in modern society. In times of war, America is economically and socially steady. War creates an abundance of tasks which distills any opposition from the lower class which has an inherent propensity to protest the actions of the greatest class (Orwell 199). Industries rejoice as the federal government agrees to purchase any and all military related products. The government expands its power by restricting a number of individual liberties which are voluntarily and voluntarily bequeathed by the individuals. The country rallies around a typical opponent, fueled by propaganda, and self-confidence in its government reaches a peak.
War establishes peace to authorities determining the course of the country: War is peace. Throughout 1984, the Party, in accordance with the Ministry of Reality manipulates its control of the past and rewords history. In rewording history, the Party guarantees the completion of among its motto: “Lack of knowledge is Strength.” The consistent modification of the “fact: and damage of supporting records, enables the Party to keep its residents ignorant of its true actions. Thus, the Party avoids confrontation with questioning and mindful people. To resolve those unaffiliated with the Celebration, the Party ses a more indirect technique to keep the Proles ignorant. With ensured liberties, the Proles are content with their unusual privileges and do not look for to disrupt their happiness and therefore do not challenge the Celebration. According to the Party, promoting ignorance avoids doubt and develops a powerful strength in the concept. The only way to keep an idea strong is to eliminate all suspicion of doubt. If one has no factor to question a belief, then that belief will stay despite its unreasonableness. And if this lack of questioning can end up being indefinite, then the belief is likewise indefinite.
In American history, some events are downplayed, while others are overstated to glorify patriotism or comply with modern belief. Most just recently, President Bush’s vacillation through a number of factors to attack Iraq provide an example of understatement and deceit in politics. At First, President Bush stated that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which would show damaging to Americans in the future. After no weapons of mass destruction were discovered, President Bush specified that then President Saddam Hussein had anthrax and other biological damaging weapons.
Anthrax was found in Iraq; nevertheless, the United States did not point out that the very same anthrax was offered to Iraq by America. President Bush, then, validated the military activity in Iraq by declaring to fight terrorism and spread democracy. Congressmen, who supported the War of Terrorism, ultimately reversed their opinions of the war and stated that the President and the Department of Defense provided inaccurate accounts of the terrorist activity in Iraq. President Bush’s waving in between his thinking to attack Iraq demonstrates a capability to keep Americans oblivious of the true motives of US invasion in Iraq.
In 1984, there was an obvious separation of wealth. The London that Winston Smith calls home is a shabby, rundown city in which structures are crumbling, benefits such as elevators never ever work, and necessities such as electrical energy and pipes are very undependable. The filthy urban decay provides insight into the Celebration’s top priorities through its contrast to the immense innovation the Celebration develops to spy on its people. The conditions O’Brien, an Inner Celebration member, coped with considerably differed from the income of Winston.
O’Brien’s home was ornately supplied and enjoyed the likeness of stogies, coffee and tea. In contemporary society, the trend continues. The wealthy can pay for to live lavishly, while the poor can barely manage to live. The concentration of wealth substantially prefers the elitists. Those poor, in America and Oceania, ignorantly abuse their cash on lotteries with the false hope of prospering. Despite being considered an imaginary novel, 1984 and its portrayal of a managing and exploitative government are equivalent to the existing conditions of modern society.
Through Winston’s characterization, Orwell reveals his worry about a greatly broadening American federal government and a foreseeable future. Orwell, as informed through 1984, visualized a world of continuous monitoring, where the personal privacy of the individual was virtually extinct. Although the innovation he anticipated seems unsophisticated, the concept of monitoring applies. Naturally, as the federal government expands, intrusion on the personal lives of its residents is ending up being available and basic.
The use of technology, such as computer systems and cell phones, is becoming considerably intertwined in human interaction and daily life. These advances in technology can be analyzed both favorably and negatively. Legislations, such as the Patriot Act (2001) and the Alien and Sedition Act, have actually provided the government an almost unlimited methods to question extreme thinkers. With the preliminary reading of this polemic book, Orwell’s work was subjected to pillory of all sorts; nevertheless as society has let time take its course it appears that those who slammed this work were the most jejune of all, about our Lugubrious society.