What is the problem with Winston's society in 1984?

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The problems that open up the book 1984 stem from a total lack of privacy, but paradoxically a total lack of connection between people. The state, or "Big Brother" has ways of watching people on the street, in their homes, and in nearly every building and public space.

Winston also can't escape the language - though he knows it's false - of Newspeak. He can't get out from under the yoke of constant slogans meant reinforce Newspeak.

"Peace is War" and "Freedom Is Slavery" (which hearkens back to the slogan over Auschwitz, "Work Will Make You Free") are repeated on billboards, over television, between citizens as a way of greeting or connecting.

Winston is living in a nightmarish reality in which no one can really speak the truth. It is a daily struggle to remember the truth. The society is bombarded with false information, officially presented by the four ministries that rule government.

The escape Winston finds is a small room above a shop, dusty and antiquated, where he and his lover can have privacy. This remedy completely encapsulates what is wrong with the state: lack of love, lack of private space, and lack of historical truth - in fact, an accurate set of historical facts has been stolen by the ministries.

Even Winston's lover, Julia, is working in the "fiction department" when he meets her.

The book itself is set up to reveal the falsehoods of misinformation and the ways in which society promotes them.

While 1984 seems to be a bleak and extreme dystopian future, many of the flaws of that society are clear and present today: fake news, cameras in public spaces (especially in London), abuses of police power through interrogation, and the rise of jails and criminalization of citizens, and the rise of the police state, especially in its weaponry.

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In a word, everything. The party oppresses people, crushing them, at times literally, through torture, but always emotionally, symbolically, intellectually, economically, and spiritually. Physically, things are in poor repair and of low quality. Relationships among people are suspect. The party is revising English to make it harder to think. The nation is at war, and it is a manipulated war, for the purposes of maintaining power. The government spies on its citizens and revises history. Yes, just about everything is wrong.

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