George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is more than a work of fiction. It is a dire warning. Explore the means by which Orwell reaches through the decades and grabs us by the neck: what is he trying to tell is?

Rough plan/guide line.



How in 1984 Big brother invades the privacy/ gives the citizens no privacy.


"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live -- did live, from habit that became instinct -- in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

"It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away."

By invading the privacy of the citizens the state is able to manipulate the thoughts of citizens. It gains the ability to direct their thoughts in a way which favours the state. (add Orwell intention)


How we have lost privacy in our current society

Our governments have endless information on us. Not only do governments but large “big data companies” store endless information of us. We have no control over how this is handled. No controls over information such as medical info, all IDs, internet usage, all data collected from any device we use such as GPS Microphone camera picture face detection current. Is it concerning should we trust these companies to look after our private information. Should the be allowed to sell it


The warnings that we need to take from 1984 about the invasion of pricacy in our current society

Is Orwell warning us that governments can turn against us and us this information. Is he showing us how with this information they have the ability to manipulate our thoughts. Are they already doing this are the recent American elections a potential example of how thoughts have been manipulated.

Questions and thoughts

How to channel this warning through a Marxist view/lens

I need to finalise a question or a key thought I plan to investigate and is the structure effective in answering my question/analysis

look into how realities were back in 1984 and look at ways of tying that into my analysis

Research (opinions and information found online)

”1984” is a political statement. It contains no prophetic declaration, only a simple warning to mankind. Orwell did not believe that 35 years after the publication of his book, the world would be ruled by Big Brother, but he often proclaimed that 1984 could happen if man did not become aware of the assaults on his personal freedom and did not defend his most precious right, the right to have his own thoughts.

Nobody is safe. No information is private. The government can see more than you want them to and there is nothing you can do to stop it

Thought police (link this to Morden algorithms used to analyse our mood)

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. These ideas have tremendous currency and form an excellent starting point for your critical review. I’d now encourage you to have a very detailed look through your notes for evidence – particularly quoted evidence of what George Orwell says about these elements of the novel. It is through the quotes that you’ll develop the level of sophistication you need.

    Let me know if I can help!


  2. A useful Marxist approach would be to apply your understanding of Orwell’s own life and experiences to the novel and explore how he is writing about his own preoccupations which are borne of his own fears and concerns.

    In some senses, and this makes Marxist critique so interesting, he is also deeply criticising the examples of communism that he is aware of – this idea that the Marxist utopian visions have led to a totalitarian state bent on it’s own self-perpetuation at any cost, and certainly at a cost to the individual – is something that appals Orwell. He is no supporter of Marxist ideology.

  3. I’d ensure I understood and clearly communicated WHY the Party is so intent on invading the privacy of the individuals in Nineteen Eighty-Four, (don’t forget they even want inside people’s heads) as this will allow you to explore what might be behind similar actions in the present day.


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