Events in the 1984 by George Orwell Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer


In 1948, George Orwell wrote a masterpiece book with the title 1984. In the book, Orwell explores different issues affecting the then society, but it appears that contemporary society is reliving the Orwellian moments. This paper explores the similarities and dissimilarities between the book’s events and the occurrences of contemporary society in 2014. The similarities between the two are more as compared to the dissimilarities.


The first striking similarity between the two eras above is the issue of surveillance by the government. Orwell posits, “…there was always the danger of concealed microphones by which your voice might be picked up and recognized” (148). In contemporary society, the government is watching over people even in their private lives.

Edward Snowden’s unraveling of how the government is following the citizens is chilling. The streets are littered with surveillance cameras, which resemble the microphones mentioned in Orwell’s account. Also, the government can hack into any computer and access people’s lives and so as Orwell notes, “the big brother is omnipotent” (262).

In the Orwellian case, “…in the vast majority of cases there was no trial, no report of the arrest…people disappeared” (Orwell 27). In 2014, people were being killed without facing trial. The predator drones being used to stalk and kill individuals, whether criminals or not, resemble Orwell’s narration.

The endless wars in contemporary society are also evident in 1984. Orwell posits, “Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia” (359). In contemporary society, war has been the rule of the day. The war on terrorism has become timeless, and the United States has been at the center of it. Apart from the war on terrorism, different kinds of wars are being witnessed in contemporary society.

The Crimean Peninsula where pro-Russian militants are at arms with the Ukraine government, the Syrian war in Asia, the Israeli-Palestine war in the Middle East, and the Southern Sudan civil war coupled with the Central African Republic crisis in Africa, are but examples of the wars being witnessed across the world. Orwell speaks of the slogan, “war is peace” (231), and these words resonate well with the contemporary society, because people are looking for peace, but war rules, thus somehow validating the slogan.

Also, Orwell talks of a disturbing trend of newspeak, which “is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year” (68). In contemporary society, which is awash with the social media craze, people are resorting to informal ways of communicating using a language that befits Orwell’s definition. For instance, instead of using ‘are you,’ people use ‘r u,’ ‘ur’ instead of ‘your,’ and most other evolving phrases like LMFAO, NSFW, and IDC among others.


In 1984, the anti-sex league sought to preserve sex as only a procreation activity; however, in 2014, the society has become liberalized towards sexual matters. People are having sex and talking about it openly, even over the media. Also, the totalitarianism that Orwell paints in the book does not manifest conspicuously in modern society as most countries have embraced democracy.


Orwell’s accounts in the book 1984 strike many similarities with the events happening in contemporary society. Edward Snowden unraveled how the current government takes after the 1984 Orwellian outfit, which stalked its citizens wherever they went. Wars have become common in contemporary society, coupled with the newspeak trend that Orwell highlights in his book. However, Orwell’s narration differs from contemporary society in terms of sex and sexuality as explored in this paper.

Works Cited

Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four, Iowa: 1st World Library, 2004. Print.

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