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Was it just a lucky guess? Orwell's Oceania can be a bit considered to todays real...

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theycallmejonny | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 27, 2010 at 6:49 AM via web

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Was it just a lucky guess? Orwell's Oceania can be a bit considered to todays real world. How did Orwell do it?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 27, 2010 at 6:53 AM (Answer #1)

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I would be very intersted to know what it is about Oceania that you think is so similar to today's real world (at least, I think that is what you are saying).  I, personally, do not see any real similarities.

In his world, people are always unders surveillance.  We are not.  In his world, people are essentially not allowed to be in love or have romantic affairs.  At least in the United States, this is in no way true.  In his world, the government changes the past and has complete control over what people think has happened.  This is also not true in the US.

Maybe if you can tell us what things you think are similar, or what societies you think are similar to Oceania, your question will be clearer.

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 27, 2010 at 10:13 PM (Answer #2)

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The previous post was highly precise.  I think that when it is asserted that Oceania is similar to the modern setting, there has to be much in way of connection.  Orwell seems to be writing of a world where centralized authority has taken complete control over the lives of its citizens.  There is little in way of getting around this.  I am not certain that the whole of modern society is similar to this.  Take, for example, the proliferation of information technology and the connectivity of the web.  This would be something that is uniquely different from the life Orwell depicted in Oceania, and an elements quite present today which would cause a great deal of consternation to "the party."

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daveb | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 28, 2010 at 9:52 PM (Answer #3)

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I think these answers are covering it, but allow me to add one point. Depending how general you wish to make connections about similarities, you could easily draw connections, and here's why:

One thing that does not change is that people can be dissatisfied. There is always going to be something that people will be unhappy about, and those people might use exaggerated terms to describe the problems. So, for instance, you might hear someone called a Nazi, when in fact, they are no such thing; the term is used to show displeasure about something.

It's easy to draw connections to things if you look hard enough. While I respectfully disagree with some of the answers here that there are not a lot of connections to make with the book, we are certainly not living in a world that is a close parallel to the book...or else you couldn't have asked the question here in the first place.

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jglafter | Student , Grade 10 | Honors

Posted March 28, 2010 at 7:22 AM (Answer #4)

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I agree with pohnpei397 and akannan. Where in the world do you see similarities between the 1984 world and today's modern world? Following the other two posts, another example is that the totalitarian government in Oceania dehumanizes the citizens (particularly those of the Outer Party) by controlling, limiting, and regulating their emotions, thoughts, and even memories. I'm positive there isn't one country in the world like that in today's modern world.

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