The Lack of Privacy and the Effect of No individualism
Essay, nineteen eighty-four – George Orwell
How is it possible to be an individual person when there’s so much you can’t do, because you know you can be watched?
The society which George Orwell describes, is a society in which you’re not allowed to do a lot of things, but, even worse, you’re not allowed to think many things. I think this is the biggest lack of privacy there is.
The Party and Big Brother can see everybody. They use telescreens, not only on the streets, but also in every house. For example, when Winston has to do work-outs in the morning, the telescreen shouts at him because he’s not trying hard enough. Often, there’s no place in your house where they can’t see you. Outside there are some places where there aren’t telescreens, but it’s always possible there are hidden microphones.
But that’s not the only way they’re watching people, the Party has a lot of spies (like mr. Charrington and O’Brien), which makes that you can’t trust anybody.
The party is very strict, because they don’t want people to think about many things or to distinguish themselves. People just have to believe in all the things the Party tell him, because if they do, this obstruct disturbances and makes the Party very mighty. In the Ministry of Love, they try to ‘clean’ Winstons mind and make them believe that four fingers are five.
They introduce a new language, Newspeak, which makes it very difficult to think anything you want, because they destroy some words for example.
Young people in the book have always lived in this society, so they’re totally brainwashed. They often betray their parents for thoughtcrime, for example, Parsons was betrayed by his kid.
The Party has not succeeded in brainwashing everyone, there are still people who have thoughts you’re not allowed to have or people who try to create their own privacy. The best example is Winston, he works for the Ministry of Truth and has to change things written in the past. Because of that, he knows that a lot of things The Party says are not true. He also rent a room where he and Julia can come together in privacy, because this room has no telescreen. This goes well for a few months, but after all the Thought Police catches them and brings them to the Ministry of Love. They trusted mr.Charrington and O’Brien, but they both belonged to the Inner Party and betrayed Julia and Winston.
The lack of privacy has a really big influence on the society. This lack creates people who doesn’t have an own identity, because there’s so much propaganda and so few privacy that they don’t get a chance to form their own thoughts. And even when they have their own thoughts, they don’t come out with them because they’re afraid of being caught by the Thought Police.
If people think the same and act the same, what happens in the book, a society is not an interesting thing anymore because nothing changes. If there’s really nothing that changes, there’s actually no reason for the society to exist.
The society is worth nothing because there’s no individualism, caused by the lack of privacy.