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In "1984," what does telescreen symbolize?note specific quotes

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aertviation | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 8, 2011 at 10:35 PM via web

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In "1984," what does telescreen symbolize?

note specific quotes

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ajonu79 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 8, 2011 at 10:59 PM (Answer #1)

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The telescreen in 1984 symbolizes the constant monitoring of the government's citizens, and also how a totalitarian government misuses technology in order to monitor its citizens instead of using it to better society.


The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live -- did live, from habit that became instinct -- in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

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