1984 Essay

Anthony Arcaro

10-29-08

1984 and Present Day Society

            How would you feel if someone watched your every move and listened to everything you said? In George Orwell’s futuristic novel, 1984, society has taken a turn for the worst. Almost everywhere you go there are telescreens and hidden microphones. The telescreens are like two-way televisions; on one side all you see are the programs being showed however, on the other side somewhere else, someone is watching your every move from getting a glass of water to a facial expression just waiting to denounce you to the thought police for doing something wrong. Present-day’s society and society in 1984 are both easily shaped by media. On the other hand, in present-day society we have freedom of speech and can express ourselves while in 1984’s society if you think for yourself you would disappear in the middle of the night and made as if you never existed.

            Both the society in 1984 and present-day society are similar in how they influence their citizens. In 1984, the Party strongly uses media to influence their citizens. All day, everyday, the telescreens are running and all they talk about is the economy and war. When they talk about war or have the two-minutes-hate, everyone gets all riled up and does almost anything the Party wants to be done. When the telescreens talk about the economy, they talk about how the chocolate ration increased thirty percent when it had really decreased thirty percent last week. People believe the telescreens however because the Party is always right. The present-day society also uses media to influence everyone. Every time someone sees a commercial on television, they usually believe it. If the commercial wants you to buy a product, some people actually buy the product. Once they receive it they realize that it doesn’t do what they said it would. Most people would learn to think before they believe something the first time. However, some even try ordering it again because they think it is a defective part. Even if the commercial isn’t selling anything people still buy into it. The media is one of the big things in any society that influences the citizens.

            The society in 1984 and present-day society are different in the rights they give their citizens. In 1984, nobody has freedom of speech or even privacy in his or her own home. If you said something in front of, or near, a telescreen that went against the Party’s current beliefs you would be committing thoughtcrime. If you even made a negative facial expression, you would be committing facecrime. If you committed thoughtcrime or facecrime, you would be taken away in the middle of a night and either killed or forced to work in the labor camps.  In present-day US society we have freedom of speech and privacy in our own homes. In our homes we don’t have telescreens that watch our every move. If we say something negative about the government we aren’t killed and forgotten. Freedom of speech is one of the biggest differences between 1984’s and present-day’s society.

            1984 and present-day society are both easily shaped by media, however in present-day society we have freedom of speech and privacy but in 1984 that is all taken away. Present-day society is a lot better compared to 1984’s society. How would you have liked to live in a society where everyone does what they’re told and don’t think for themselves. The US didn’t turn out to be like George Orwell’s futuristic novel, written in the past. Even though today’s society is strongly influenced by the media, I’m still glad that we have freedom of speech and can express ourselves in many ways whether it is dance or art.

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