1984: From Fiction to Fear


Carynn Alvarez, Staff Writer

If you have never read the classic novel, 1984 by George Orwell, that’s OK.  Many people actually have not, even though they say they have. Since it is a classic, most people want to admit they have read a world-known book, because it seems as though they have put some thought into it. For the people who have read the book, they know the truth— it is a nicely worded and perfectly toned novel, easily describing George Orwell’s warning of future society.

To keep it brief, the novel centers around a communist world. The main character, Winston Smith, is constantly agonizing in his self-deprecating life in which he hates. The party that has power over the nation of Oceania gives the people little liberty, straining them from having any kind of interactions with anyone they pass or even live nearby. Winston has the job of deleting the past and making sure there is no evidence of the history of the world before Oceania.   

People have always been comparing this novel with their present life. When 1984 was published, it was easily one of the most relatable books on the market. And for every decade following, readers have found a way to relate it to their life and government control. People now, consider many countries to be losing their freedom, and Americans of course could argue that the nation is becoming more of 1984 centers around.  

Orwell’s novel was written in 1949, where Russia was still the Soviet Union and people frowned upon it because it was a communist country. The nation of Oceania was in fact based off the Soviet Union and their ways of life and total imprisonment of their citizens. Though America is not a communist country many fear the potential threat of it because the government is now able to “watch” whatever we do through our phones, TVs, computers, watches and so on. This was a huge factor in the novel, Winston and all his neighbors were not allowed to turn their TVs off because The Brotherhood (party that has control) was watching them while it was on.  

Winston idolizes someone who apart of the Brotherhood Party, who goes by the name O’brien. O’Brien is someone who holds a lot of power in the party, and Winston believes that O’Brien is planning a resistance for some reason. This part of the story can sit parallel with people, maybe even young people, idolizing politicians. It’s not healthy to have a politician, celebrity nor any person under a certain amount of light as an idol because they’re under propaganda. And propaganda keeps someone from seeing the faults in this famous person’s life.  

As early as its release, 1984 has been a novel that countless amounts of readers have digested and tried their best to pull apart. The book contains so many layers and morals that it’s hard not to relate it to yourself or your life. But as our society and technology continues to evolve, it’s harder for us to move away from the realistic world of what Orwell was able to create in only a matter of about 300 pages.