Explain the surveillance mechanisms used in Oceania. Do you think that providing illusion of war makes it easier for the party to infringe on freedom?Oceania is always at war, or at least the...

Explain the surveillance mechanisms used in Oceania. Do you think that providing illusion of war makes it easier for the party to infringe on freedom?

Oceania is always at war, or at least the populace is given an impression that there is a war going on. Oceania is also a surveillance society. You can make a comparison to the situation that currently exists with the war on terrorism.

Asked on by kingkong6

2 Answers | Add Yours

timbrady's profile pic

timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

Surveillance is everywhere ... the telescreens, the helecopters, and even, in Parson's case, children are there to spy on everyone.  Winston thinks he has escaped the surveillance when he rents the room from Charington, but he is sadly mistaken, especially when Charrington turns out to be a member of the Thought Police.

This is clearly a danger in our world.  There are cameras recording many of our actions ... you see them on "Law and Order" all the time :)  Cameras to catch speeders are becoming more and more common, and toll booths have been photographing us or our cars for years.  There were even rumors of sending us tickets based on a comparison of time between tool boths and the average speed we would have to travel to get there.   This all raises the questions of how much civil liberty we will sacrifice for security.  The pictures on tv that help catch the criminal may make us feel warm toward the cameras; but suppose those cameras were taken over by a not so benign government (some people always think the governing is not benign).  Do we want the government to know this much about us?  Is the value added tradeoff worth it?  We should always remember that the technology we put in place today could wind up in other hands tomorow.

morrol's profile pic

morrol | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

Another idea to consider here is how much people are willing to give up in order to feel safe. The French thinker Alexis de Tocqueville found, in his book "Democracy in America" that Americans were, and I think still are willing to sacrifice their freedom in order to feel safe. This is exactly why The Patriot Act was not immediately and overwhelmingly denounced by American society. Americans were willing to allow the government, and the citizens of Oceania are willing to allow their government to watch and listen to them with faith that they will be safer.

We’ve answered 318,916 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question