In the novel "1984", what are the various forms of privacy invasion in Oceania?

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karaejacobi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The world of Orwell's 1984 is characterized by its citizens' lack of privacy and total government control and surveillance. The citizens are told that everything they say or do is being heard and watched, so they must be extremely careful that they never so much as utter a word that could be considered inimical to the government's wishes. Of course, the most ubiquitous symbol of government surveillance in the novel is Big Brother himself. His image, accompanied by the very apt phrase "Big Brother is Watching," appears throughout the nation and is encountered by citizens multiple times a day, each day. No one knows who Big Brother actually is, or if he is even one man. The members of the Party, who enforce Big Brother's laws, can also fly under the radar, blending in as everyday citizens. Thus, the government creates a culture of distrust, suspicion, and fear. 

All citizens are further required to have a telescreen in their home. This screen directs them to do daily activities, such as exercise and the ritualistic "two minutes hate." The screen is also supposedly a camera that can watch and hear everything in the house. Citizens do not have privacy even in their own homes.

On an even more extreme level, the totalitarian society of Oceania charges and prosecutes citizens for "thought crime." This implies that a citizen does not even have to act in a rebellious manner; if a citizen even has a rebellious thought, he can be captured by the Party and tortured until he once more worships Big Brother. In 1984, the government's invasion of privacy extends even into the citizens' minds. Citizens are also not allowed to keep journals or diaries in which to record private thoughts. Winston's decision to write in his journal is his first major act of rebellion. The government hopes to gain so much power that, eventually, citizens will not even have private thoughts and that there will also be no possibility of rebellion, even through thought crime. 
Simply put, the citizens of Oceania have no privacy at all.
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is total invasion of privacy.  No matter where you are in Oceania there are cameras, or people watching, listening, and reading what you do, say, and write.  Even the bathroom facilities have cameras.  Winston mentions that one of the places you can be sure Big Brother is watching is in the stall of the bathrooms.  The screens in the rooms, the cameras in the streets, at work, in restaurants, everywhere.  The only escape Winston can find is in an old junk shop.  Occasionally he and Julia also escape to the woods, but they can't make the visits in the same place twice without the fear of being followed or caught. 

Even people's children are spies for Big Brother.  The children are constantly turning in their parents.  If you write on a scrap of paper Big Brother can get hold of that.  Even your personal thoughts are not totally private from Big Brother because of the Thought Police.  The main theme of this novel is the loss of privacy and the individual thought process.

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most notable form of privacy invasion involves the ever present telescreens mounted in the homes of Party members. These telescreens see and hear virtually everything that is going on in a citizen's home and are essentially twenty-four hour surveillance. Additionally, the Thought Police roam the streets to spy on the citizens and are often undetected because they dress in disguise. Children are also trained at a young age to spy on their parents and report them for unorthodox behavior. This organization is called the Junior Spies which is an extension of the Thought Police. Winston also takes caution and looks out for hidden microphones that are commonly planted throughout the forests. In the dystopian society of Oceania, it is virtually impossible to escape the ever watching eye of Big Brother. Citizens cannot even trust one another and are forced to repress their feelings in order to survive in Oceania. 

The telescreens are the biggest invasions of privacy you could not control them they monitored you all the time, and only the government could control when to turn them off or on. their entire country was under surveillance. another was using the children for capturing people who have committed thought crime.