Relevance of Novel 1984 Nowadays

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‘The real power, the power we have to fight for night and day, is not power over things, but over men’ (O’Brien 266). In the novel, 1984, there are many concepts that can be related to today even though this book was written many years ago. In 1984 the people have no privacy and that’s how the party gets power over them. The movie, The Matrix, takes a person’s whole life and puts them in a computer program, they get total control of the person and the Matrix becomes more powerful.

Companies will use technology to grow by being able to access private information. In the documentary, The Corporation, it presents us with the problem that corporations are getting more powerful at the expense of all people. Whether it’s a company, party or a group of people, if they want power, they’ll make the people around them less, in other words dehumanization is used to take power.

George Orwell’s, 1984, takes place in Oceania, here there are three social classes, Inner Party, Outer Party and the Proles.

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The Inner party is at the top with the most luxuries, then comes the Outer Party, they are the workers and have the least privacy. Proles are the majority of the population and are also the poorest. The protagonist Winston is in the Outer party and he doesn’t agree with Big Brother and the Party. Big Brother is a face on a screen who everyone is supposed to obey and glorify.

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In the novel a screen is known as a telescreen and they are everywhere; just like you can look at it, there is someone on the other side who can see and hear you. When you do or say any little thing that might go against the party, the Thought Police come looking after you. There is no sense of privacy ‘Big Brother is watching’ is constantly repeated throughout the novel and this makes people be afraid of what could happen if they ever do something wrong and it makes the party more powerful because it’s feared. It’s practically a ball that keeps rolling, the more fear towards the party the more strength the party gets from the people.

O’Brien has a pretty big role in this novel; he is in the inner party and he gets to explain many things to Winston while torturing him, after Winston was found acting against the party and was taken by the Thought Police. During Winston’s torture, O’Brien wanted him to confess, learn, understand and accept the party. While teaching him about the party O’Brien said ‘Power is tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing’ (O’Brien 266). This is showing how the party is dehumanizing people by taking their privacy and humanity and making them into what they want in order to become powerful.

The Matrix also had a similar concept but very action filled. The movie was based on computer programming. Neo is the protagonist and he is taken out of that world that everyone is in because it is believed that he is the one that could go up against the secret agents that protect the Matrix. He is taken to the last human city and there he gets the choice to either go back into what everyone knows as the world and forget about the last human city or learn more about the matrix and live the rest of his life running from or fighting with the secret agents. He chose to know more. Morpheus, who is the captain, teaches Neo about how the people aren’t in the real world but in a computer program that gives them an illusion ‘The Matrix is a computer generated dream world built to keep us under control in order to change a human being’ (Morpheus). The Matrix is dehumanizing people by taking a person and placing them in a computer program so they can be able to control them every second. Just like in 1984, they took the privacy of people to be able to have better control and increase the party’s power.

Technology is what The Matrix is based on, but technology is also a great part of our lives today. With so many new devices, practically everyone has a way to get online. We visit many websites a day, we enter our information to create our social media pages, but we never think about who really is receiving our information. In the article ‘George Orwell…Meet mark Zuckerberg’ Lori Andrews tells us about where our information in the internet goes.

But without our knowledge or consent, virtually every entry we make on a social network or other website is surreptitiously being tracked and assessed. The information is just as sensitive. The harms are just as real. But the law is not as protective (Lori Andrews).

Every click or tap we make doesn’t just go away, anyone could find exactly what you were looking at and that may or may not be an invasion of privacy but no one takes the time to think about this because the internet is seen as a great resource. No one is telling us about this and we are getting stripped of our privacy because we enter our information thinking that its private and no one will see because it’s your devices but little do we know that many times companies are taking the information we enter to their advantage most likely to make more money. This is just like in 1984 because companies will go through our devices history to see what we see like, the Thought Police will uses telescreens to have eyes on everything. The Party wants power and so do companies but for companies money means power.

Corporation is another name for companies that come together to be greater and over time corporations have been getting more powerful because they are getting wealthier. In the documentary, The Corporation, it talks about how corporations are getting more and more money. Many times corporations have factories or offices in other countries especially poor countries and they claim to be helping the people but the reality is that they may be causing more trouble in these countries.

The prospect that two thirds of the world’s population will have no access to fresh drinking water by 2025 has provoked the initial confrontation in a worldwide battle for control over the plant’s most basic resource. When Bolivia saw to refinance the public water service of its third largest city, the world bank required that it be privatized. Which is how the Bechtel corporation of San Francisco gained control over all Cochabamba’s water even that that fell from the sky (The Corporation).

This corporation is making a lot of money by owning all the water and it’s a really selfish act because not all the people can afford to buy water at their prices and this is the point where corporations stopped thinking about the people and their wellbeing. Like in 1984, the party isn’t thinking about how to make the situation better for the people, but how they can become powerful over it all.

George Orwell’s 1984 used the element of taking people’s privacy to obtain control of the people and make the party stronger. The Matrix takes a person’s humanity, puts them in a computer program and leads their whole life with a false sense of reality. The use of technology is really high in the world right now and it should make us wonder if anyone sees the information we think is private. Corporations have stopped caring about the people and will do almost anything to get more money because the more money you have the more powerful you are. Some people really crave power and they dehumanize people little by little, taking small things at a time until they have power over men, which is what they consider real power.

Works Cited

  • Andrews, Lori. ‘George Orwell…Meet Mark Zuckerberg.’ Reading America, edited by Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle, Bedfort/ St. Martin’s, 2013, pp. 707-721.
  • Orwell, George. 1984. Signet Classics, 1950g The Corporation. Directed by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan, performances by Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, and Milton Friedman, 2004.
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Relevance of Novel 1984 Nowadays. (2022, Feb 07). Retrieved from

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