English 42, Period 1
24 March 2010
Totalitarianism; Impossible or Near Future?
It is impossible to have one perfect society. There has yet to be a society in which there was not something wrong. Different attempts at a perfect society have come about but none has been proven to work without fault. Communism was a good thought but when put into action fails. Not far off from Communism comes the term Totalitarianism. A system of government where a class, group or party feel as though their authority has no bounds and strive to regulate every form of public or private life whatever way they see fit. When put on paper it shows many strengths but as American; it sounds like a ludicrous idea because of the rights that we are given in this country. This type of government is shown in the novel 1984. While reading 1984, it does not sound too far from reality. In the In the novel, 1984, George Orwell warns of the danger of totalitarianism through the use of constant surveillance, with the telescreens, Big Brother always watching, and the paranoia of always being watched.
A big part to the control in the novel was due to the telescreens. They were everywhere and were two-way, which meant that the people could see each other through them. It was impossible to do anything without someone seeing exactly what you were doing. The telescreens kept the people in check at all time because they knew that they were watched at all times. Winston knew this and still decided to do commit thoughtcrimes by writing in his journal. Winston had to hide from the screen in his very own home. He had no privacy what so ever. “For some reason the telescreen in the living room was in an unusual position. Instead of being placed, as was normal, in the end wall, where it could command the whole room; it was in the longer wall, opposite the window” (pg. 5). To know that your own thoughts and actions were not safe in your own home is horrifying especially to Americans....