How Orwell Predicted the Future: A 1984 Essay Example
George Orwell managed to become a visionary of world literature, whose predictions still excite consciousness. His neologisms "Big Brother," "Newspeak," "Police of Thoughts," as well as the phrase "Cold War," which was well-known to everyone and appeared in the lexicon with a light hand of the writer, are used everywhere today. While not being properly geared during his life, Orwell managed to create a masterpiece that is remembered by the modern generations due to the precise predictions regarding the totalitarian regime that the author made in his book 1984.
The novel tells of a possible scenario for the development of the world. After a series of bloody wars and revolutions, the Earth was divided into three superpowers that permanently fight among themselves in order to distract the population from unresolved internal problems and fully control it. The description of the book 1984 is worth starting with the main character. In one of these empires, a hero lives - an employee of the Ministry of Truth, a government body specializing in the destruction and rewriting of the past to new standards. Besides, it promotes the values of the existing system. Winston every day sees how what is happening in real life is being redrawn to please the political interests of the ruling elite, and thinks about how right what is happening. Doubts creep into his soul, and he starts a diary to which they boldly believe them, hiding from the ubiquitous cameras (his television screen not only broadcasts what you need to watch but also removes his chambers). This begins his protest.
There is no place for individuality in the new system, so Smith carefully conceals it. What he writes about in his diary is a crime of thought and is punishable by death. It is not easy to conceal anything from Big Brother (the supreme ruler of Oceania): all houses are made of glass, everywhere there are cameras and bugs, the police of thoughts monitor every movement. He meets Julia, a very liberated person who also conceals an independent personality. They fall in love with each other, and they appoint the abode of the proles, the lower caste of workers, as the place of dates. They are not watched so zealously, because their intellectual level is below average. They are allowed to live according to the customs of their ancestors. There, the heroes indulge in love and dream of revolution through the hands of those same proles.
Being a fictional story, 1984 appeared to be visionary as every reader may find at least a few traits of the Oceania politics in the way their state is currently regulated. This is not solely a problem of totalitarian states, such as North Korea or China, where the freedom of the individual is disrespected openly: the modern countries that claim to be democratic and put the freedom on the place of the principal value also tend to sacrifice it for other goods. In his book, Orwell wrote about curtailing, destroying democracy. After all, elections, the most well-known tool of democratic regulations, are easily manipulated by the politicians. It would seem that this is the last institution of democratic influence on power, but in reality, it has long been not the same. That is, the elections are manipulated, and quite successfully — only the approaches differ from time to time.
Another core issue that was depicted throughout the book is a state of constant war that is needed for each country to manipulate its citizens. If the people are in constant tension, thinking that he is fighting, he will be obedient. It cannot be stated for sure that the modern states consciously use wars for their own benefits; however, it is also impossible to deny that the whole world currently lives in the mode of war. Each time, a military conflict takes place somewhere in the world, with the most powerful states being involved. What is also essential, the conflicts are usually located in the strategically important points, where money or political control is involved. Even if the states directly do not use wars to make the citizens obedient, they still get the benefits from them in terms of enrichment or political expansion.
Orwell also wrote about the distortion of reality, the disappearance of truth in any area of human existence through lies, official fraud, and the creation of information noise that drowns out the truth. This is one of the signs of our current reality, which received a new phase of development thanks to the development of the Internet. American elections of 2016 have proved that the truth is no longer objective: anyone can create any truth they like, and having enough budget, they can widespread this "truth" by the different means. The arsenal of the approaches is now as vibrant as it has never been, involving mass media, official statements, so-called independent opinion leaders, social networks influencers, and even artificially created Internet users that spread the necessary information to others. Being the victims of the masses of information, people nowadays cannot rely on any source, being totally lost in the informational noise. As a result, people either believe in everything or do not trust any sources at all; both approaches are not correct, even though the second one leaves the space for critical thinking and the freedom of intellection.
Finally, Orwell also highlighted the total surveillance as one of the tools used by the state to control its citizens. In his book, the people were surrounded by cameras everywhere, having no hidden place to stay alone. Cameras, bug tracking, and even other people could listen to the characters of the book on each step, leaving no possibility even to state their own thoughts. The modern world has more sophisticated methods: even though the big cities are already covered with lots of cameras that are operated from the one system, other tools help to control people even when they are staying at home. It is not a secret that the virtual network knows maximum information about each user and generates content on the Internet based on his requests. Each year, the companies develop new algorithms that allow understanding of a person more than they can even understand themselves. Moreover, people ease the life of the companies by providing much personal information to everyone.
Sometimes it is scary to read Orwell's 1984 as it is too similar to the current reality: even the most democratic countries tend to use the approaches from the book, not speaking about corporations and others interested in human minds. However, this novel is essential to be studied by everyone so that people could understand how they are controlled and manipulated so that these actions could be stopped on time.