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When George Orwell wrote the book 1984, he had no idea how accurate his depictions of the future world would become. 1984 is a novel about an extreme totalitarianistic country where the government has absolute control over the people.  The government is always monitoring their every move, whether it be through undercover thought police, or through their tele-screens, the government knows what they’re up to. The foresight was remarkable, and it was outlandish to think that the fictional sci-fi story about a country known as Oceania would actually become somewhat of a reality for America today.  George Orwell accurately predicted many ways in which our society functions today. War is something that is present in both the book 1984 and in 2017. Very similar to 1984, America has been at a place of constant war for as far back as most teens can remember. “Winston could not remember a time when his country has not been at war” (Orwell, 30).  The same is true for all young Americans now, in their late teens or younger” (Ricks).  In just the last ten years America has been at war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Ukraine. The environment that wars create is an extremely unhealthy one, and just one of the major similarities between America and 1984.     Censorship is present in 1984 as the people of Oceania are never allowed to turn off the television and can only watch the stations that the government approves. There are people called thought police who make sure that everyone’s actions are as robotic as possible. The citizens are constantly seeing the propaganda put out by big brother ( the one who is believed to be the overwatch of the government ) all throughout the town, as it is on billboards and screens for everyone to see. Censorship also takes place here in America.  Americans are constantly hearing and seeing news that often doesn’t give an accurate depiction of both sides of the story on the news and through social media. In an article about 21st century censorship the authors discuss how governments are manipulating the media, “Censorship will rise and fall as technological innovation and the hunger for freedom clash with governments bent on controlling their citizens, starting with what they read, watch, and hear” ( Naim ). Just as in the novel 1984, Americans only see the portion of the news that the government wants them to see.Spying is another commonality between the society in the book, 1984 and today.  In 1984, Orwell refers to what he calls “Telescreens.” In the novel, nearly all public and private places have large screen televisions that broadcast government propaganda, news and approved entertainment. These screens are two way entertainment systems that spy on people’s private lives. The spying noted in the novel parallels the spying taking place in America today, but along with TV screens, today it happens through computer screens,  small hands free activation devices, cell phones, and social media. “Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden jump-started a national debate on government spying when he leaked information about several top-secret mass surveillance programs in the U.S. and Britain” (“Be Very Afraid”).  Though, once outraged by this, we as a whole have become tolerant. We allow our phones to track us, we offer private information online, our internet usage is tracked, and our computers even have cameras watching our every move. Just as they were being spied on in the novel, Big Brother is watching us and we know it. In Winston’s society, pleasures were limited.  It was against the rules to have intimate relationships, eat certain “pleasure” foods, or drink fine alcoholic beverages.  These strict rules kept people from losing focus of what was important, their loyalty to their government or “Big Brother” who was always watching them.  Today we may not be completely kept away from these pleasurable desires, but we are penalized for using them.  We have something called, sin taxes that create an additional revenue for our government when these specific foods or products are purchased. In Texas alone, “Sin tax collections reached 3.8 billion dollars in 2015” ( Minton 1 ). We are forced to pay more for cigarettes, alcohol, and gasoline.  The more we use theses guilty pleasure items, the more we pay to the government, giving them more control over us, causing America to resemble 1984 just a little bit more. In many ways, desensitization is a common theme between the book and today’s society.  As a whole, we are becoming increasingly desensitized to the brutal world around us.  Over time we are often desensitized to our original intuitions by the media’s influence or the overwhelming opinions of those around us.  Eventually, we begin to doubt ourselves and submit to the culture around us.  In 1984, children looked forward to seeing hangings and different forms of murder. The children of 1984 were conditioned to not feel emotion or value human life. As disgusting as it is, trading one human’s life for another is something people have grown accustomed to. Regardless of what society may say, being sensitized is how people are able to tell right from wrong, and good from bad. American’s are continually becoming more and more desensitized with the violent movies, video games and Youtube videos children and adults spend hours watching. In America, “The average 18 year old observes approximately 6000 acts of violence on television and in movies in one year” (Mrug et al. 1093). America is on track to be just as decentizised in 2017 as Oceania was in 1984. One of the largest techniques used in 1984 was the manipulation of the people’s minds.  The people’s standard of living was continually declining, yet they were lead to believe that it was of the highest quality. Information was held from the people in an effort to keep them ignorant. They were brainwashed into believing false realities and criticized when they questioned what they thought to be true. In fact, they were to be “vaporized” if they did not show support for Big Brothers opinions. After a while most began to accept the new reality as truth, knowing that their very existence would cease to exist if they did not comply. While some of this is extreme, many of the themes within 1984 are parallel with 2017’s America. George Orwell somehow managed to accurately depict how most Americans live today.                                                 

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