Are the events depicted in the story happening today? Could they happen? Why might a society allow them to happen?I didn't think anything like this is happening right now. I was wondering what's...

Are the events depicted in the story happening today? Could they happen? Why might a society allow them to happen?

I didn't think anything like this is happening right now. I was wondering what's your opinion

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with you.  I have always wondered why novels like 1984 are so popular when I do not think they resemble the modern world in any way.

I do not believe they could happen today, at least not in the United States.  We are too accustomed to freedom and to luxuries that I cannot even begin to imagine us becoming a society like that in the book.

As far as why a society might allow them to happen, I would think it would be because the society is already in pretty bad shape.  If you are already poor and oppressed, you might not care all that much if some party takes over and starts imposing laws like these.  This would be especially true if the party was offering some kind of hope (as the Communists offered to the oppressed Russians and as the Nazis offered to the Germans when they were having such problems after WWI).

Okay... I'm sorry that Pohnpei397 has bought into the common beliefs of the common American. The belief that all is well in America and nothing can happen here because we are too well off. I am here to tell you that America is at just a high of risk as any other country. I am currently writing a research paper upon this very subject. From my sources I have determined that something akin to George Orwell's 1984 can happen very easily in our country.

The key word for change is a catalyst. We have seen examples of such a catalyst in the bombings of 9/11. During the time period following the terrorist attack George Bush helped a bill get passed named the USA PATRIOT Act. This acronym stands for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism." This terminology sounds really good to me but in reality it is a sugar coating for what the government can do. This act gives the government the power to conduct surveillance upon anyone they think to be suspicious and to act upon that suspicion in any way they see fit. If you think Guantanamo is filled with Afghans only, you are sadly mistaken. There was a man from Sweden who was charged with terrorist acts and has now been released. His story tells of torture the likes of which only Vietnam has experienced.

Also, who is to decide what is the appropriate thing to do in a given situation concerning terrorism? I know that I do not go to the polls to vote on how the CIA should act regarding a man who might be innocent. These people are just that, PEOPLE! As of late the American government has treated prisoners as any other third world country would. But we are getting away from the issue.

In the UK, a system very similar to that of our own, the government is gearing up to spend 700 million dollars on surveillance cameras that go inside private homes. We are not talking about cameras in gas stations, we are talking cameras inside a person's house! Their reason for these cameras are to make sure the youth get good meals and lots of sleep. Isn't that how things like this start, with little things? And isn't it just like a government to say that the cameras are for one reason but they can also be used for others as well? Pretty soon the UK will say that the cameras also help them catch criminals and if there is enough success in that regard, America will follow suit.

Again, the key word to change is catalyst. If our economy goes down too much or a crisis breaks out, like a pandemic or war the government will have total freedom. In America we like to hear that the government will take care of everything so we can sit back and relax. What we do not realize is that our "relaxing" may get us into some major trouble in regards to freedom. The government might call it federalization, like they did in during the Roosevelt administration, or something else but it can happen. Just know that it can happen and we, as Americans and human beings, should be aware of the fact that our country/government is fallible.

p.s. Watch the videos, they are enlightening. :)