Big Brother is watching you!
1984 by George Orwell
I know that most people read 1984 in high school, but for some reason, I just now got around to it. This is Orwell’s frank look at a world he saw coming; a world where right was wrong and people were scared to death of their Government.
In Orwell’s nightmare, the nations of the world have divided into three superstates—Oceania, Eastasia, and Euroasia. All parts of the world not taken up by one of the three are generally considered not worth the time and effort.
The Nations exist in a perpetual state of war. There are shortages in almost everything that a person would require for a decent life. Our story takes place in what was once Great Britain now joined with North and South America as Oceania. The Government is known only as The Party, which ascribes to a philosophy known as Ingsoc (English Socialism.) In reality, it is worse than a total dictatorship.
The Party controls everything. What doesn’t fit in with current affairs is forbidden. The party has four basic divisions. As the government, the Party controls the population with four ministries:
- The Ministry of Peace deals with war and defence. (If the war switches from one nation to another, everything is adjusted so that the current enemy has always been the enemy.)
- The Ministry of Plenty deals with economic affairs (rationing and starvation). (This is the art of cutting rations but brainwashing the people so they thank the Government for raising the ration!)
- The Ministry of Love deals with law and order (torture and brainwashing). (If the party says 2+2=5, it is treason to deny that they are wrong.)
- The Ministry of Truth deals with news, entertainment, education and art (propaganda). (Documents are purged every day to reflect only current events. They are even rewriting the dictionary!)
Opposed to this tyranny are the followers of Emmanuel Goldstein, a nebulous character that may or may not exist. Outer Party member Winston Smith has rebelled against Party Policy as he begins to realize he has memories of a past that the party wishes forgotten. He is also pursuing an affair with a young woman of like mind named Julia. When caught they are forced to confess a load of bull and be reeducated to party policy.
After reading about erasure of the past even to the point of rewriting historical fact, renaming streets and destroying landmarks; I began to wonder if perhaps the only thing that Orwell got wrong was the date…
Quoth the Raven…