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Abigail Thompson
Professor Batty
English 114B
7 May 2014
1984 in Current Century
To live in a dystopian society is like living in a non-free world. Every country has their
own extended amount of freedom, along with an enforced set of laws. The word dystopian can
have many different meanings. Some use it to signify different beauties, and ways of living. The
novel written by George Orwell 1984, expresses a true dystopian society, where every
individuals free will is taken over and controlled by a superior force known as Big Brother.
Orwell emphasizes the consequences of a dictatorial society. Meaning, the society of Oceania in
London, being the novels setting is completely controlled in a forceful unjust way by a higher
system known as the Party. Everyones complete emotions and values are stripped away from
them. The people of this time are forbidden to have the values every human being should be
entitled too. Therefore, people could not love who they wanted or express feelings to the people
who are closest to them. It is important to be able to identify the contemporary issues in this
novel, and what Orwell was trying to show future centuries what may come about in the world,
as well as the underlying message behind writing 1984.
Big Brothers position in leadership is a similar representation of our president. In the
U.S. president Barack Obama is the man who lays out regulations amongst America.
Constitutionally, he and his other forces that he works neck and neck with would be known as
the Executive Branch in power. Therefore, the people of Oceania abide by the leaders rule, no
exceptions, what Big Brother wants goes. Although, both rulers and what complies with them is
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very different, they share their similarities and this is becoming more recognizable to people
living in 2014. Big Brother was a force watching everyones next move; it had access to every
aspect of an individuals personal life. In comparison, Today websites like face book track our
likes, dislikes, and private individuals hack into our computers and find out what they want to
know(Beale.CNN). Nevertheless, this is just a prime example showing the eye opening
comparisons between what Orwell envisioned in 1984, before he could even live through that
year. In addition, in the novel Orwell discusses how Oceanias governmental force, also known
as the Party, would use telescreens to watch over its people. To no surprise, people of this
century have come to believe that the Government can not only hack into our personal lives if
they want too, but they watch our daily lives from cameras. Along streets, businesses, computer
technology and even cell phones have been a juggled thought amongst civilians as to how the
government is using different ways to tap into our lives.
People who make up a country usually understand the different laws that they have been
brought up around. However, how does one know they are living a free life? Are people
realistically being subjectified to what they think they must follow or believe? Thus, in 1984 the
people contributing to Oceania had set laws that they must obey, or they would be punished by
strict forces controlling this city. Orwell uses a man named Winston Smith as his protagonist
when writing the novel. This man is the one who is first to acknowledge what his government is
doing to his society. He longed to know why the Party in Oceania practiced such harsh relations
with its people. Winston was born before the existence of Big Brother so he knows deep down in
his mind that this is not how his society should be run. In addition, anyone born in this century
would grow up believing that this is normal amongst their people. They would have no doubts or
no other thoughts as to why they cannot show affection nor do as they please in everyday life.
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Orwell uses Winston as his bird trapped in a cage, because he knows the truth about his
government and secretly tries to do whatever he can to prevail against the regulations.
Furthermore, Winston is a man who is made up of aggravation and disagreement. He does not
believe that he deserves to be constricted to what the government wants him to do: hes a man of
free will.
The escape that Winston seemed to grasp onto was his diary. The diary was used as
something he could confide his feelings in. However, the telescreen that was programmed to
watch Winston gave him a limit at how much he could use it. The diary would only be used if he
was able to find his way in the far corner of the room: back turned to the camera watching him.
The diary in ways is used as a symbol in the novel that represents disobedience through the
protagonist. If Winston was to be caught for his actions he could be sentenced by the Party to
death, or twenty five years in a forced labor camp.
Love and affection plays an important role in the lives of humans. We do not have
sympathy reactions for good or bad things in life, if we are not capable of showing emotions
such as the two. Big Brother restricted all people of any emotions within themselves. Individuals
were forbidden from showing or receiving love from anyone, including family. In addition, in
1984 you were not allowed to have sexual conducts with who you pleased; there were strict laws
and forces against it. Big Brother, prevented this to keep people from any emotional
companionship with one another. The idea of sexual conduct with another person was only used
for procreation in the novel. In comparison, the anti sex league is something made of in present
time, an organization made up to take the pleasure out of sex. (Beale.CNN) This organization
expressed how abstinence and the ban of birth controls should be in affect to lessen the
willingness of sexual relations between people. Winston in the novel attempted to have an
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intimate relationship with a woman named Julia. They had worked together for a while, and
through that they began to have an undercover sexual attraction to another. He knew that this
was an illegal thing to do, and went completely against what Big Brother allowed. However,
Winston knew that his relations with Julia would be temporary. They both did what they could to
get out of sight from the Thought forces to have their sexual relations. Furthermore, this shows
many traits that the protagonist Winston has: he is not afraid of the Government, yet would
rather take a risk and disobey to receive what he wants.
The Party in 1984 uses public mind control as one of the largest factors in controlling
society. Psychological manipulation in the novel was made to overpower the peoples mind.
Through the telescreens, not only were there devices that watch ones every move, but the
overwhelming screening of propaganda being shown would over time completely brainwash
citizens. Propaganda being displayed through the screens would be future plans that Big Brother
may have put out for the people. In other words this could be compared to the news that may be
on television now, expressing what is happening next or what has happened already. Whether the
people of Oceania agreed with it or did not, it is what they must follow. Double think is known
as, The power to hold completely contradictory beliefs in ones mind simultaneously, and
accept both of them (Orwells 1984 becoming) Thus, is another example of how Big Brother
had control over the people. Manipulation and mind control was the biggest concern of the Party.
Without this, people would not feel limited to what the Government wanted them to do: they
would have free will, freedom of thoughts, expression, and speech.
Orwell writes this novel in an eye opening manner, as he conveys the visions within his
mind of what the year 1984 would be like. He breaks down every normal aspect of life that he
was used to physically, emotionally, mentally, that all would change amongst himself and others
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around him. Orwell felt strongly about his vision, and portrayed it through Winston in 1984. He
used this novel as a warning for future centuries to be aware, and not nave of who runs the
world around us. If society goes through everyday life not realizing what is in effect in the world,
we will be blindsided and manipulated into believing that those actions are only to benefit us.
However, in reality are doing more harm than good, as what took place in the end of the novel.
People that continuously allow Government forces to justify what they do in their lives will only
confine them to boundaries that they set upon you, yet, isnt this supposed to be a free country?
This is believed by society living in America.

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Beale, Lewis. "We're Living "1984" today." CNN opinion. CNN cable News, 03 August 2013.
Web. 25 Mar 2014. <>.
Payne, Michael. "Orwell's "1984"becoming a reality in modern day America."
Populum, 02 may 2010. Web. 25 Mar 2014.