English homework: “Surveillance is dangerous” by Brillentraeger1000

 

Themes

Surveillance is dangerous, a theme of George Orwell’s 1984?

George Orwell’s completely book is about Surveillance. It is the top topic. But is his intention to warn about Surveillance? It is definitely a current theme at anytime.

In 1984 we have a lot of different Surveillance situations and systems. The absolutistic system of Oceania is a monitoring state. At the top is an unknown person called Big Brother. All over hang captions with the slogan: „BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU“ (Part 1, Page 3). Big brother create a lot of more systems to observing the society.

Tele screens:

In every room hanging so called „tele-screens“. It is one of the most important way to keeps citizens under surveillance. The Tele-screen is switched on every time. even if it is in the stand by mode. They play propaganda videos the whole day.

Thought Police:

The thought police is authorised to observe every citizen. They have access to all the tele screens and could observe people all the time. The smallest bad thought about the System (thought crime) is a hard punishment. The thought police will catch you and you will be „vaporised“. The thought police also have patrols of surveillance helicopters that fly around peering into people’s windows.

Inner and Outer Party:

In Oceania they have to party: the inner Party, which is a small closed group of people which live in luxury and have more rights as other people. The outer party is made of simple employees. they are strictly monitored. the most of those people works in one of the three ministries.

Children:

The Party use children as spies to control his parents and other citizens. The youth league educate children in supervision of Big Brother. Parents just see her children for a short time at the whole day.

New speak:

Also „New Speak“ is used for controlling and observing the society. The language replace complex words and delete „danger words“ (for the absolutistic system). An example: We have three Words: bad, good and awesome. In newspeak these words are: ungood, good and double good. They just brainwashing the citizens.

All these systems just serve the system of Big Brother. I think „surveillance is dangerous“ is definitely the top-theme of George Orwell’s 1984. The book is written in 1948 and the 2. World War was just over. George Orwell went a step further and ask himself which would be worse. Therefore he has shown us this story. In my opinion it is a signal to the future.

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Characterisation of Winston Smith

Characterization of Winston Smith by Jan Zülchner

Winston Smith is the main character of the dystopian novel “1984”, written by George Orwell in 1948. The novel takes place in a future London, that is called “Airstrip One”. It is an absolutistic system by an unknown person, which called “Big Brother”. Winston questions the system and tries to find a way to abuse or overcome the gaps of the system in order to live more free and independent. The government of Oceania controls the minds of the citizens by observing nearly everybody. The party forbids words and at the same time creates new ones which are called „Newspeak“. In addition, the party forces citizens to feel certain feelings in specific moments and situations. This is possible through propaganda.

In the following I will analyze the main character Winston Smith under consideration of the first five chapters.

Winston smith is 39 Years old and has a lean physique, whose skinniness is emphasized by the blue jumpsuit of the party uniform. His hair is blonde; his face is reddish by nature, his skin rough because of sharp soap, dull razor-blades, and the cold of the winter which has just come to an end (p.8). It is peculiar that Winston has a varicose vein at the age of 39. He smokes regularly and drinks the party´s gin daily.

Smith is described as a sympathetic character. He is a member of the outer party and works as a simple employee.  More precisely, he works for the Ministry of Truth. His task is it to twist the history, the arts and the media as it suits the government. Because he is only a member of the outer party, he is under strict observation/supervision. The citizens of “Airstrip One” should not have their own opinion, and if they have an own one, they get a brainwashing from the government. The citizens are severely punished for mistakes. In an extreme case they are killed by the government. Then it is Winston´s job to make it looks like as if the person had never existed. His Job is his greatest joy, because he can live his creativity at work.

In his apartment he has an unobserved corner where he always writes in his diaries. This shows us the dissatisfaction of Winston opposite the party. He writes thoughts in his diary, starting with simple ones about the movies in the tv then moving on to criticism at the system for never thinking about anything and down with Big Brother-paroles. Too it is forbidden to have a book or paper and write a diary. To writes thoughts down is even much worse. Winston writes for the next generations. This proves his courage. In spite of everything he always deceives his feelings to protect himself from punishments. He does that what others do in the public.

He is interest in Julia, he „gazes“ on her und and gets the urge to sleep with her. Besides that he is not enthusiastic at all. He just does it without thinking about it. Winston understands how the system suppresses the citizens, and he also knows how the system works, so he can never be sure whether other people think the way he does, also because he can´t trust anyone.

Again and again he tries to remember what happened in his childhood. The memories of Winston’s childhood are largely blurred and indistinct. Only sporadically can he recall individual events (p.42). His parents and his little sister suddenly disappeared in the 1950s. He is really excited in things like his own history. because nobody knows anything about the history.

In my opinion Winston is outwardly a normal person. He just has normal needs like sex and other things but he doesn’t get this. Because of this he acts like a suppressed person, which definitely is a feature of a dystopia character. Winston rebel against „Big Brother“ and his system, which is really hazardous.