1984 by George Orwell - Essay Example

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In his well-known book 1984, George Orwell predicted some technological and societal developments that would happen in future. Although many did not believe what he predicted at the time, most of his predictions have indeed come to pass. …
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1984 by George Orwell
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Download file to see previous pages He predicted that this device could pick out the sounds people made and monitor the movements of a person who is within its ‘field of vision’ (Orwell, 5). More importantly, Orwell predicted that there was no way a person could know he was being watched at any given moment. This device was hidden from the view of the public. As a result, everyone lives with the assumption that whatever he/she says and does is heard and monitored. In the present times, this is actually taking place. Presently, nearly all places, both public and private, have surveillance cameras that monitor the movements of people in these places. As Orwell predicted, the telescreen stayed on even when the owner of the screen was away. Indeed, the modern surveillance cameras found in supermarkets, malls, hotels and other places stay on 24 hours. In addition, these are usually hidden from the view of the public, and this makes it difficult for one to know when he/she is being monitored. People always have the feeling that they are being monitored, even when they are not. These technologies are rapidly expanding and are used by security forces to monitor people’s activities nearly everywhere. Furthermore, with the recent developments in social media and the internet in general, it has become easy to monitor the activities of persons remotely online. For instance, after the 9/11 attack in the US, The Patriots Act was passed, which allows for security agencies to red texts, emails and wiretap phone conversations. Orwell also predicted the use of lotteries to give hope to the masses, mainly the poor. This is a societal trend that Orwell envisaged, and this mainly hurts the low income earners in the country. According to the prediction, these lotteries are not used to profit the public but as a way of enriching the state. There are very few winners, and the majority of the collections go back to the state. He states that ‘Only small sums were actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes being non-existent persons’ (Orwell, 119). Presently, these lotteries are simply used to benefit a few, while the majority of those who take part in them rarely win. In the fortunate event that a person wins, the state heavily taxes him, with more than 30 per cent of the winnings going back to the state. In the United States for instance, there are more than 50 lotteries, at least one in every state. This is proving to be a major source of revenue for these states, with some states realizing more money from them than from corporate income tax. The revenues collected from these lotteries are in the tune of billions of dollars. The society is never told exactly where such revenues go to. As Orwell predicted, such lotteries are merely used to give hope to the masses, yet the real beneficiaries are unseen. The public is fooled into believing that they have a realistic chance of winning. Such lotteries hurt the low income earners, who are referred to as proles in Orwell’s book. However, not all of Orwell’s predictions have come to pass. In the book, he foresaw a situation where the state would control the information that is given to its citizens. This was to be carried out by the Records Department, which was a branch of the Ministry of Truth. The main job of this department was to ‘supply the citizens of Oceania with newspapers, films, textbooks, telescreen programs, plays, novels…’ (Orwell,54). According to him, the Ministry of T ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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