Dystopian novels allow people to envision and fear what is possible to happen in the future, but it also shows that there will always be people hanging on to hope, and people who wish for change. This is what the book 1984, written by George Orwell, is about. The novel was written by George Orwell in 1949, who was known for writing fiction with heavy allegories and depressing endings. 1984 is no exception, will allegories absolutely everywhere, and tragic occurrences happening constantly. 1984 takes places in a dystopian society called Oceania. Oceania is located where modern day America is located, and in some parts of Britain. A dystopian society is the complete opposite of a utopian society. Unfortunately, 1984 is not about a utopia, it’s about a dystopia.
A modern example of a dystopian society would be North Korea. Just like North Korea, in Oceania there is constant forced labor, violence is taught to be the norm, and children are indoctrinated with extreme patriotism and violent views as soon as possible. A good example of a utopian society would be a biblical view of heaven. Although heaven can be interpreted in many different ways depending on people’s religious beliefs, the general consensus is that it is a place of no wrong, a place where people are able to be eternally happy. A place where you always feel stressless, never having to worry about anything. Germany during WWII was an example of an attempted utopia, where Hitler sought to eradicate everything he deemed unperfect.
One of the dystopian traits that is in Oceania, that is also in North Korea, would be the overwhelming forced patriotism. In Oceania there is a device that the party uses called a telescreen, which allows them to monitor everyone, at almost all times. It will peak into peoples houses, and watch them to make sure that they are not doing anything that would be considered against the party. This is also used for patriotism in the party, as it will show heavily propagandized news stories from the party. 'An already excited voice was gabbling from the telescreen, but even as it started it was almost drowned by a roar of cheering from outside. The news had run round the streets like magic.” (Orwell 310) Another dystopian trait in Oceania would be the existence of “thoughtcrime”.
There is a group of people in the party who call themselves the thought police. The claim is that they are able to look into people's minds and see what they are thinking, and if they think about something that could oppose the party, they would be “vaporized”. To be vaporized means to be taken by the thought police, dragged into a jail, and eventually murdered. It’s worse than that however, because directly after they are killed, all records of them ever existing are erased.
People will act like they never knew them, in fear of getting vaporized themselves. In conclusion, this dystopian novel clearly shows what a dystopia is, and what the future can become. Lots of people have the fear of the future being like this, where it would manipulate as far as your beliefs, making you believe things that are blatantly not true, such as 2 plus 2 equalling 5. However, no matter how far down society can go, there will always be people such as Winston and Julia, who, although quiet about it, that oppose the negative society they would live in. And maybe if this does happen in the future, those people can rise against the party.
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