What is a telescreen in 1984?

In 1984, a telescreen is a technologically advanced surveillance device that functions as a camera, microphone, radio, and television. Telescreens are shaped like oblong metal plaques and are stationed everywhere throughout Oceania. Telescreens allow the government to constantly spy on civilians and represent the intrusive nature of the totalitarian regime.

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In George Orwell's novel 1984, a telescreen is a technologically advanced surveillance device that displays the Party's propaganda while simultaneously recording and monitoring the surrounding environment. A telescreen is shaped like an oblong metal plaque and resembles a dull mirror.

Telescreens can record anything in their field of...

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In George Orwell's novel 1984, a telescreen is a technologically advanced surveillance device that displays the Party's propaganda while simultaneously recording and monitoring the surrounding environment. A telescreen is shaped like an oblong metal plaque and resembles a dull mirror.

Telescreens can record anything in their field of vision and pick up on the faintest sounds. Telescreens can also read the pulse of civilians and are stationed everywhere throughout Oceania. Given the ubiquitous nature of telescreens, civilians are constantly under surveillance and being monitored at all times by agents of the Party. In the story, telescreens symbolically represent the intrusive, oppressive nature of the Party and Big Brother's omnipresence.

In addition to using them as spying mechanisms, the government also issues announcements over telescreens, and Outer Party members cannot turn them off. Outer Party members like Winston Smith are only capable of turning down the volume of the telescreens but can still hear the annoying announcements and patriotic songs.

Winston Smith is forced to maintain a sanguine disposition at all times and remain aware of his actions and words due to the presence of telescreens. One of the primary reasons Winston decides to rent the apartment above Mr. Charrington's shop is because he does not see a telescreen in the room. However, the telescreen is hidden behind a painting on the wall, and agents of the Party are able to spy on Winston as he conducts his affair with Julia.

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