Picture this: the year is 1984. You live in a society ruled by Big Brother, a fearsome mascot whose ominous face fills enormous posters everywhere you look. There is constant surveillance in every part of your life, no matter what you are doing or where you go. Government propaganda is forced upon you multiple times a day. One wrong action, however small, could get you tortured and killed. Clothing and food are strictly rationed among other things. You must use the words of Newspeak, the language that cuts out “unnecessary” words in the English language, and regularly practice mental ideas like crimestop and doublethink to stay in line. You are a member of the Party in the book 1984, and you lead a life similar to Winston Smith, the main character of this story.
However, Winston doesn’t believe in the Party’s values and beliefs. He has been against them for seven years, but can’t do anything about it as trying to act on these thoughts would lead to certain death. As the book progresses, Winston does figure out a way to go against the Party and Big Brother, but I suggest checking out the book to read all about that!
There are parallels to today’s society within 1984, like invasive surveillance and other issues that are becoming increasingly prevalent. Reading 1984 gave me some interesting insight as to what 2019 could become if we let technology and surveillance become much more controlling and let them be abused. 1984 is a fascinating read about a dystopian world that isn’t as different from 2019 as one might think.