1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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How is technology portrayed in George Orwell's novel 1984?

How is technology portrayed in George Orwell's novel 1984? 

In George Orwell's 1984, technology is largely portrayed in a negative light. The advanced technology of Oceania, rather than being used to help people, is used to control the population through methods such as brainwashing, to torture, and to provide near-constant surveillance of Party members to the government.

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The technology in 1984 is all very much portrayed to drive home the fear of an absolute surveillance state. Cutting-edge technology is used in Oceania as a means of repression and fear and revolves largely around the spread of information. This ranges from the personal information of all citizens to a vast network of propaganda sharing that is used to control the Outer Party's emotions and force them to direct all of their negativity toward entities that oppose the party. Sometimes these enemies seem to not exist in reality.

Emmanuel Goldstein, for example, is the subject of the daily "two minutes hate," a ritual wherein the subject's face is projected on screens throughout the entire city for citizens to deride. This is an example of how technology in 1984 helps to facilitate propaganda. With huge screens all over the city, people begin to look at the information that these screens present as coming from an omnipotent source rather than a totalitarian government.

By constantly bombarding...

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