AN ANALYTIC ESSAY ON
Who is watching us? Who judges us? And most importantly who controls us? In George Orwell’s novel 1984, Big Brother was in charge of all these crucial aspects of everyone’s lives. This book which was written long before 1984 can really take place at anytime and anywhere. The concepts and themes of this book are very real and very frightening. May be telescreens do not exist but V-chips and Pentium III computers are very much alive. Even though we live in modern times how do we know who is insane? The world is flat and the planets revolve around Earth were once sane statements. Finally do we control ourselves in this Democratic country or are we just puppets dancing to the high and powerful affluent members of our society. Or maybe G-d himself is the one who makes us do the things we do.
The thought police seek out and cure the misguided people who simply think too much. They look at you minute by minute to see what you are doing and how u are doing it. I think more interesting than the thought police are the teaching of the morals of the land to the children. They are taught the ways of Ingsoc. They know right from wrong. One of Winston’s peers was taken away because his own daughter told the thought police on him. In this society children are at school more than they are even home. It is very possible to have a closer relationship with a teacher than with a parent. On top of that, Big Brother and the inner party teach that it is only ‘you and the party’;. Meaning the party is very individualized. This allows the party to function very nicely because people do not make relationships with other people only to the party. People in Oceania are never left alone. If you are alone and you are not sleeping this would definitely be looked at by the thought police. To keep people occupied there are hate speeches in order to show your love to Big Brother and Hate to the opposing country that Oceania is at war with. Everyone has a job and they are many organizations to belong to like the junior anti-sex league.
Surveillance is a frightening thing. If you knew that everywhere you turned you were being recorded it could drive you crazy. The truth is that most of the places we go we are recorded. Such as security cameras in schools, malls, stores, and even on the street near ATM’s. Phone lines are easy to tap and most calls you make to stores or businesses are recorded. They even tell you that your conversation is being monitored for your protection. The V-chip that would allow the government to monitor and control what you watched on TV exists. And even without it the government controls most things from the media. We do not know exactly what goes on in other countries. We see wars on TV and the news but what don’t we see. The Pentium III computer by Intel is able to note everywhere you go online in order to get feedback of what people like to see on the Internet. Tracking is being done too on a daily basis. How many people have Easy-Pass? It tracks the amount of times you go through a bridge. Who knows if they could track that from a satellite? Everything from Caller-ID to punching into work tracks your every move. Just like Winston doesn’t know who is in the thought police, we don’t know who is an undercover police officer. They are in malls, schools and in the streets all the time.
Ignorance is Strength. Ignorance also keeps you from knowing the truth. The people of Oceania accept ignorance. In the novel, Winston was thought to be insane for not loving Big Brother. Then after torture and pain Winston gave in. He did love Big Brother. The irony is that this is probably when Winston truly became insane. I believe that the people of Oceania as a whole were very ignorant. They did not realize, question, or care that the history was being erased, that their allies would change constantly, that Big Brother was immortal since he had invented everything including the question mark. But what I find interesting is that as individuals they did know what was happening. Look how many people worked with Winston. Changing the past was not just Winston’s job. As I said before, the silence was mostly because it was ‘you and the party’;. No one socialized. There were no friends, family would turn on you, and most people did not love their husbands/wives. It was impermissible to show affection to your spouse. The board would choose who should get married. If the two people were shown to be in love then they could not be married. Winston’s wife would not have sex but do her ‘duty to the party’;.
The insanity of life in Oceania was not being able to trust anyone. I don’t think that there was a revolutionary group. But people did see what was going on. People did think about revolting. But in Oceania one man can’t make a difference. Without people backing you there can’t be a revolt. People were thinking about revolting and hating Big Brother. If not, why were there thought police? When Winston went to be cured in the Ministry of Love there were other people there. If no one felt hatred to this way of life then Winston would have been alone.
Big Brother is the leader of Oceania. No one has actually seen him in person. He controls everything and has been around forever. The people love him even though they can’t see him. He is like G-d to them. In the bible, G-d is everywhere. He sees everything and hears everything. He knows what you are thinking and sees your good deeds. Big Brother as well does all of this. With the help of the telescreens all of this is made possible. The people do not even question his existence. I feel that if O’Brien was working all along for the inner party that maybe Goldstein is really Big Brother. The book he wrote did not really explain everything and Goldstein is really somewhat of an unknown as well.
The novel 1984 opened the minds of many people in the 1940’s. More importantly, is that even today 1984 still allows us to view the world with Winston’s eyes. It shows us how many things we do on a daily basis for no other reason then that’s what we are supposed to do. The ideas of the book are truly a parallel to Big Brother because they are both timeless entities.
AN ANALYTIC ESSAY ON