1984 by George OrwellHow does the telescreen reveal insights about the value of freedom in human life?
The telescreen certainly brings up the discussion of what is more important-- security or privacy? After 9/11 that topic certainly surfaced and is fully applicable today. One definitely needs to weigh the pros and cons to this issue as our lives become more and more fused together through technology and the internet--two things that Orwell didn't know about, but certainly came close to identifying way back when. The conflict between freedom/privacy and security/safety is an ever-changing topic experienced by all of us every day. We see how some countries abuse each other in the name of government and religion on the news all the time. It's definitely a human question that each generation must ask and find the answers to.
I'm always impressed by the foresight shown about technology in this book and also in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Televisions were rather small and primitive when both men wrote, yet they seem to have foreseen how large and intrusive televisions could potentially come. I myself always like to have a television, even if the sound is down when I am working. I like to be able to look up from time to time ffrom my work, see what is on the news, and turn the sound up a bit if the story interests me.
For one thing, it shows us how stifling it is to have no privacy. Winston can't do anything without the viewscreen being able to see him. Therefore, he essentially has no private life. This really weighs on his mind, showing us how important it is to have a private space for ourselves.
People have gotten used to having no rights, but it probably started small like in our case. It might have been only outdoor cameras and one-way screens, and then over time evolved into more and more intrusion into people's personal lives.
No citizens of any country lose all their personal freedoms at once. There is an erosion of these freedoms that has come with the advancement of technology. Edward R. Murrow touched upon this potential danger in his final sign off TV.