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.
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.
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.
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.
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.