Control. Control. Control. I feel like that’s all we’ve been reading about this semester. Again, in George Orwell’s 1984 we see control, control over the population to be exact. The control in this novel, however, has eery similarities to what we have going on in our society today. In the novel, the governmental group is known as The Party. The Party controls the public both psychologically and physically. I find the similarities to be more with the psychological factors rather than the physical.
In the novel, there are televisions everywhere that stream propaganda constantly, forcing the citizens to view. This propaganda is designed to make The Party’s failures and shortcomes look like successes. This reminded me our our political system, where what we see through propaganda is not fully representing of what is going on and is often times untruthful. Also, The Party makes sure the people know that they are being watched. Quite literally, there are billboards that say “Big Brother Is Watching You”. This, to me, is similar to today’s conspiracies of the government watching us and everything we do. Like I mentioned in class, even I take my computers camera and turn it toward the wall when I’m not using it. I’ve watched too many csi episodes to feel safe. Haha. Also, I was reminded of the news a few years ago leaking that the government was tapping phone lines and listening to random conversations.
There isn’t so much of a connection with the physical control as there is with psychological between the novel and our real time society, but it is still an interesting concept. The Party makes everyone partake in a brutal daily exercise so the people are at a constant state of exhaustion. This way, they wouldn’t have the energy to rebel.
By far, my most favorite form of control this this novel, is The Party’s NewSpeak — a language to replace English. It’s goal was to remove any and all words related to rebellion so that no one would even be able to conceptualize anything that might question The Party’s power. I can only imagine what would happen in the United States if our government were to implement a new language to replace English. The closest we’ve come to that (I think) are/were the book burnings. I’d like to think that our country would rebel against anything of that sort. 🙂