In "1984" by George Orwell, what are some aspects of Oceania’s governmental policies that we can equate with factual or historical characteristics of society.

1 Answer

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If one watches the news and engages in social media, it may very well seem that George Orwell's nightmarish vision in 1949 has, indeed, been prophetic. Here are some aspects that may contribute to this opinion:

1. "Big Brother is Watching You"

The possibility of governmental spying. In the news there have been reports of overreach on the part of the National Security Agency (NSA). Major news networks have reported that the NSA secretly implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world. Computers do not need to be turned on because spying can be done through radio waves. 

AT&T has also been involved in NSA's surveillance:

AT&T’s counts 301,816 total requests for information — spread between subpoenas, court orders and search warrants — in 2013. That includes between 2,000 and 4,000 under the category “national security demands,” which collectively gathered information on about 39,000 to 42,000 different accounts.

2.  Constant War

While the United States has not been involved in declared war continuously, it has been involved in wars since the Civil War in 1865 approximately every 20 years or less.

3. Distracting the people

In the Orwellian world, the Proles are distracted with lotteries, pornography, food, etc. Nowadays, many people spend their waking time in cyberspace more than they do in reality. Many occupy themselves with pornography, games, social media, etc. Some news media do not report all that occurs. For instance,  reported the "inadequate" reportage of NBC Nightly News on the attack of the US embassy in Benghazi.

4. Newspeak

It is evident that "political correctness" demands that people use euphemisms in many situations. One incident which is cited as an example of this euphemistic speech is the Ft. Hood shooting in which Maj. Nidal Hasan while yelling "Allahu Akbar" killed 13 personnel was termed "workplace violence" rather than terrorism.