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OPINION: Are We Living in 1984?

Are+we+living+in+Orwell%27s+1984%3F+Some+say+yes.
Are we living in Orwell's 1984? Some say yes.

Are we living in Orwell's 1984? Some say yes.

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Are we living in Orwell's 1984? Some say yes.

Riley D’Angelo, Student Writer

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Nineteen Eighty-four is a book of warning. The reason it was written was to discourage readers from conforming to a controlling government. It shows the lives of ‘comrades’ in Oceania, a totalitarian country that controls everything its citizens do, including what they are allowed to think.

Many who have read the book say America has reached this level of governmental control, and that author George Orwell correctly predicted the future in only 1949. However, I do not see the correlation. Yes, our technology today may have capabilities far above what were initially expected, but it’s not necessarily used to bring us down.

Yes, our technology today may have capabilities far above what were initially expected, but it’s not necessarily used to bring us down.”

A huge theme in the novel is government surveillance. The Party, which is essentially the ruling government, uses telescreens to monitor citizens. Some say our phones record what we say, and keep track of what we are doing. Whether they do or not, is anyone actually listening? If you look at your phone and say, “Our government needs overthrown,” you don’t have to worry about your safety. In the novel 1984, if you said this you’d be publicly executed and tortured as well.

Freedom of speech is a right that Americans take very seriously. Protesting and social media platforms are constantly being used to spread ideas and reform laws people don’t agree with. Don’t agree with Congress on a law just passed? Then go join millions of others in protest and have the opportunity to prove a point and fix that law. If America was truly in 1984, this couldn’t happen. A protest could never be organized without the Thought Police catching on.

Another anomaly in the comparison to 1984 is the idea of sexuality. The Party discourages sex for anything besides reproducing, and the citizens are brainwashed into thinking it is a duty and nothing else. However, in America this idea is not present and, in fact, is probably seen as the opposite. Never has our country been so accepting of different sexualities and open to education on the matter.

In conclusion, America is far from 1984. When books of warning are written, we always try to somehow relate it to our world and see the negative. America has become far more technologically advanced than in 1949, but by no means has the government used that to control the thoughts and actions of its people.

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