What is the message conveyed by the book, 1984?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the most profound messages of Orwell's work lies in the basic relationship between human beings and their government.  It seems that Orwell is advocating that individuals possess a much more skeptical and vigilant view of their government.  Orwell is not one to claim passivity here and suggest that individuals "trust" their government.  Rather, the narrative presented in 1984 is one where individuals have to be mindful of what government can do in order to consolidate their own power and control individuals.  In this message, Orwell is demanding that individuals be more aware of the motivations of their government and speak out more in a public and demonstrative manner.

Nothing seems to be gained from silence, other than that government benefits when people say nothing.  It is one of the critical points made in the novel that any government might be predisposed to wanting to consolidate their own power at the expense of the people and their need for a transparent government. The use of intelligence and technology against its own people is a part of this process and there is little surprise that government can and has utilized these ends in order to substantiate their own control.   Orwell's message is to this point and that individuals must be aware of this risk and the potential for its reality in the modern setting.

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