The Role Of Society In George Orwell's 1984

1015 Words 5 Pages
Prior to last couple of months, the most recent time I read George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, was during my undergraduate years. It had an impact on my thinking, which became fairly fixed over time. Last year, when I read Dave Eggers’ The Circle, it set certain reverberations echoing in my mind, especially through the correlation of The Circle’s three slogans, “SECRETS ARE LIES, SHARING IS CARING, PRIVACY IS THEFT” (Eggers 305), with 1984’s “WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH” (Orwell 6). I then began to see, like others, that Eggers’ dystopia is a contemporary 1984; therefore, I felt it would be appropriate to compare them. In almost all the reviews and essays written on The Circle, there is not one critic who fails …show more content…
But, the society in Dave Eggers’ The Circle takes a different path; it depicts an active society in a form of company, the Circle, which actively supports its own oppression. This idea is further explained in the next section. The contemporary society, Nicolas Carr argues, “expose[s] personal information far more frequently and extensively than previous generations. Due in part to the ever growing social media landscape, contemporary society has publicly shared more details about themselves than any previous generation” (Carr 82). That is to say, we would be reporting on ourselves, which is now obviously very true with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and the growing dependant on mobile phones, which now know exactly where we are and some are even being used to monitor our moves. This rapid development in media forms has started to shift the narrative towards depicting a society from passively undergoing oppression, in case of 1984, to actively supporting the systems that allow for their oppression, in case of The …show more content…
In 1984, the cause for the unfortunate ending of Winston Smith is, in part, due to the political nature of the novel. Robert Resch states that, “Because of this political nature, the structure of oppression in these novels [1984 and Brave New World] is portrayed as a top-down system in which the state or government holds all the power and has achieved more or less complete control over society” (Resch 141). That is, in 1984’s narrative, the government is controlling its citizens, in essence, taking the blame away from the people and putting them in a passive role,

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