Essay, Research Paper: 1984 And Big Brother

Literature: George Orwell

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1984 shows how our lives will not be as secret as they are now. Oceania has no
privacy and America is turning into that. In some ways America already is like
Oceania. There are many elements in the book to compare with aspects in American
society today. So in many ways George Orwell was right and maybe there soon will
be a government very similar to the one in 1984. One element in the book 1984 is
Big Brother. He is the ruler of Oceania. He is not one person but a name for the
whole government. Big Brother could represent our government today. We may not
know it but the government knows everything about us. All they need is our name
and social security number and they could learn a lot about us. The government
has our previous jobs, where we went to school and where we live. Big Brother is
also like that in the book, probably even worse. Big Brother is even more
intruding than our government today and the only way to get away with things is
by thinking them. It even says on a sign, “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” (5).
Another element in the book is the Thought Police. They are much different than
the police in our society today. The police in American society can arrest you
for things you only do while the thought police can arrest you for things you
think. “It was even conceivable that the Thought Police watched everybody all
the time” (6). If they don’t see you getting involved or screaming during
the two minute hate they will arrest you. The only similarity is that they both
enforce the law. Otherwise they are totally different. The telescreen in the
book watches almost every move you do. It invades your privacy and you have no
way of getting away from it except by thinking. “Any sound Winston made, above
the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it” (6). Today we have
surveillance cameras, which watch you too, but these are for safety purposes so
no one can rob a store or commit a crime. These cameras are not everywhere
either, only in stores, banks, buildings, etc. So I don’t think surveillance
cameras and the telescreen are comparable. Another element is The Brotherhood,
“an underground network of conspirators dedicated to the overthrow of the
state” (15). This can be compared to God. It is the people’s hope. This is
the only way the people will overthrow the government. God is our hope in
society while Big Brother was their hope. Only some people knew it because
others were happy with the government. But they didn’t know the government was
taking too much control. The Brotherhood is trying to save the people. I think
there is a similarity between that and God. One last element are the Ministries.
There are four ministries “between which the entire apparatus of government
was divided” (8). This can be compared to our government. We are divided into
sections too. Ours are different and we usually have one main person in charge
of those sections such as, the secretary of defense and secretary of state.
These are much similar to the Ministry of Peace and Ministry of Plenty. So it
shows they had a state of order as we do. In conclusion I think America is
turning into Oceania. Your credit card knows a lot about you, like what you buy.
With computers today all your information is out there. We give out our credit
card number when it comes to computers so we have to trust a lot of people.
Certain people know things about us that we don’t know about. It is not as bad
as Oceania but they are secretly taking over.
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