‘1984’, a novel by George Orwell, represents a dystopian society in which the people of Oceania are watched by the government almost 24/7 and have no freedom which is a society we could never imagine real. But, today citizens of North Korea can be considered the same way as the novel. Though different technological and personal ways of keeping watch, today’s government is able to monitor most aspects of people's lives. ‘1984’ might be a dystopian society, but today's world is moving towards a controlling state in some countries. This is where the citizens are surveilled by the government. And this essay I’ll be showing how ‘1984’ is similar to North Korea.
To begin in ‘1984’, the Party has the Ministry of Truth to control the information that goes out into the public. They do this by editing newspapers, books and other sources of information to what they feel is appropriate for their reality. Therefore, the Party effectively controls reality itself. The same can be said in North Korea, where there is a law were North Korean libraries are not allowed to stock books fifteen years or older. North Korean libraries must re-edit and reprint all their books every five years, which means that the leaders control the reality in their country. This is almost the exact same concept as the novel. North Koreans are also continually told that the United States is much crueler than they are as the government has not forgiven them for the Korean war. People are lied to in many other fields. For example, access to the Internet is banned for most citizens. If they do get access to news, it is usually changed by the government.
To continue, the Party is always in the state of war with three other superpowers which sometimes creates terrible living standards. Running low on bread, a poorly-maintained infrastructure are all because of this stalemate type war between Oceania, Eurasia and East Asia that try to destroy the others resources, economy and citizens. You can see a similar battle between North and South Korea as the have been at ‘war’ with each other since the split of the country in 1945. This war is only to affect one another’s living not to take territory from each other. North Korea has one of the biggest military groups in the world with 24% of North Koreas GDP spent in this field which makes you understand why it’s such a powerful military. They have a whopping 950 000 active soldiers but, that doesn’t top their 5.8 million paramilitary soldiers. Their paramilitary is what makes the army so powerful.
My last point is that in ‘1984’ Big Brother is always watching you. It can be via cameras secretly hidden within citizens' telescreens or the spies and informers who rat out citizens regardless of the situation. As a result, the characters have a hard time feeling safe because you will be vaporized if you were ever to make a mistake or get caught doing something unacceptable in the party’s view. North Korea has a similar program in place as all citizen's life choices are not kept private. They also have informants who monitor internet and telephone usage without you knowing. This can go one step further with wired microphones and wiretapping of phones all controlled by the government. The worst thing now is with all the technology in our pockets and around our homes, things can easily be caught on a microphone.