Social Commentary of 1984 as a Dystopia

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The society described in Orwell's 1984 in known as a dystopia. A dystopia is a society almost enslaved to the power in charge. The “Party” from 1984 is an example of an extreme dictatorship, while America is perceived by the world as a society that has abundant civil rights and freedoms. Yes, they seem polar opposites, but when you compare the two core values of both societies, you may see subtle similarities between the two.

Mass 24/7 surveillance is one of the most noticeable problems in Orwell’s society. Instruments called “telescreens” serve as the primary source of surveillance. They are described as an oblong metal plaque with the appearance of a dulled mirror. This reminds many of the television. Like the television, the telescreen has audio and video transmitted to you so that you can receive it. But, the telescreen also sends video and audio recordings of yourself back to its source. It is relatively a TV/camera combo. Today, it has been discovered that the National Surveillance Agency (NSA) can view at least 75% of all the World Wide Web. They can also listen in on your private phone calls. While not as intrusive as telescreens. To me, it seems immoral that they can access your personal information without you knowing.

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The power of the press is tremendous in today's society. They can provide information in a new light to make something seem not as important, or could blow things way out of proportion. They often create unfair biases, favoring their own opinions. Being in the spotlight gives today’s press great influence but, the Ministry of Truth in 1984 would dwarf the press’s power today. The Ministry of Truth (also Winston’s workplace) deals with information and all kinds of records. Some news agencies today slightly distort information but, if the Ministry of Truth takes it to a whole new level. If they find a minuscule piece of evidence that contradicts Big Brother and the Party, they actually invent, destroy, or edit the evidence to the point where they can deny the contradicting info ever existed.

Today's American society, while not perfect, is world renowned for exercising their political freedom. On the surface, society is civilized and honorable in many ways. But when you dig deeper, you find the American society isn’t exactly picture perfect. Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do to change because of one thing. Human Nature. Someone is always going to want more power even if we wanted to start over and create a utopia. But, at least we aren’t in Winston’s shoes.

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Social Commentary of 1984 as a Dystopia. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from
“Social Commentary of 1984 as a Dystopia.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022,
Social Commentary of 1984 as a Dystopia. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Apr. 2024].
Social Commentary of 1984 as a Dystopia [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2024 Apr 19]. Available from:

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