1984 by Orwell Themes of Government and Big Brother
Big Brother is Watching You is the famous phrase from this book. This classic fiction is a near future sci-fi story from 1949. It was probably was a political critic of the early Labor governments of the mid twentieth century in the UK. Much of the context can be associated with the historical back ground of those days. Wearing overalls, a bombed and shabby London, rationing and rats all were part of that city in the forties. Even the ministry buildings that towered above London’s sky line might be a take on the flak towers of Berlin.
The telecaster a device, not digital, was a two way TV. In the book it both brain washed and spied on people. While the two way TV never materialized the same functions are today done with other technologies. Computers have two way functions and data tracking is common place. Digital monitoring and spying are done by the always present surveillance cameras and radar devices. Cars and digital devices are traceable and BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.
The story is about a man named Winston who becomes critical of the oppressive regime and begins to think differently. The Thought Police immediately recognize this through their spying and trap him. They spy, arrest and torture him till he breaks and betrays love. The party is building a hate based society and his biggest crime: to love. The struggle is between the individual and the collective. The collective is the party and no variations are allowed. War is for the only purpose to use up extra resources and to justify oppression and hatred. Society is stratified and shored up by lies.
My take-a-way is; “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two equals four. If that is granted, all else follows.” This quote, interestingly, is on page eighty four. So honesty and love are the counters to lies and hatred.
The repeat section was a bit perplexing as to why it was not edited out, but my best guess is that as the protagonist was breaking the rules, so was the author breaking the rules of writing. A love affair is the only action in this thinking type of book. It is introspective and gets into the head of the protagonist.