Walking down the street looking left, right, in front and behind you, everywhere you look you see the poster of ‘BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU’. You can not escape the confrontation of being watched by the party. Even in your own room you are being watched by a telescreen. This is the world people are living in, in the book 1984.
In the book 1984 privacy doesn’t exist. Not having any kind of privacy is a very important aspect of the book. Because people are always watched they are forced to act the way the party wants. If they don’t act the way the party wants they will have to face severe consequences. The moment you are born you are a machine for the party and everything the party says you just have to do it without thinking.
Nowadays, it isn’t much different because the people are being held naïve and you see camera’s everywhere recording every step you take. The purpose of the camera is not for a negative reason, but for our protection. At least, they want you to believe that.Or the media controls us by using manipulating tricks in the newspaper, television, and internet or even on your own mobile. Leaving out words or parts of the story can change people’s way of thinking.
The fact of not having any privacy is more effective than you can imagine. People from the 21st century are fond of their privacy and can’t imagine their life without it. In 1984 the people are the same but the party won’t let them have it that way. Because they are being watched they can’t truly express themselves. This problem is very damaging for the human mind and body. Such a little thing, the little piece of freedom to decide your own privacy, can be a very big issue. To even suppress people more, the party invents a new language called ‘newspeak’. It’s the only language that removes words so you will not ever know what they mean, and if you already know what the word means time will take over and you will forget it.
In the movie ‘The Truman show’ starring Jim Carrey something similar happens. A TV producer bought Truman as a baby to make a television show about him. Truman’s whole life is fake and filmed 24/7. Eventually it drives him crazy of everyone watching him everywhere he goes. He tries to leave and somebody is there to stop him. You can relate Truman to Winston because they both want to break free from their worlds. Because the lack of privacy and individualism the show forms Truman and not Truman himself. And this lack of privacy brings questions and feelings that are so strong that you can see in the movie that you need privacy and the freedom that belongs with it. So the question is, why do we want privacy so much?
Privacy isn’t only because you don’t want everything out in the open. But it’s also about freedom and expressing yourself, giving that piece of comfort that every human needs. And this comforting feeling is being taken away from you in 1984; eventually the word privacy will not even exist anymore. You will have the feeling something is wrong, or something is missing, like 2+2=5.
Daanisj Mahabier V5E