To Orwell Today,


I have been looking through your site, and I have to say I think it is great, and I have enjoyed reading some of the posts. I am currently in the process of conducting my undergraduate dissertation and the topic I have chosen is: "Surveillance Society: '1984' and the BB phenomenon". The main aim of my investigation is to question: To what extent are we under supervision? and how does this compare to Orwell's totalitarian future in '1984' and Channel Four's reality TV show 'Big Brother'? The biggest chunk of it will be to compare methods of surveillance in the novel with those used today to explore how Orwell depicted a society reminiscent to ours, whilst stating implications and consequences of a future Surveillance society.

I wondered if you would perhaps have any input on how to structure my argument or what sections to include?

Any insight would be highly appreciated.

Many Thanks,
Charlotte Lewis

Greetings Charlotte,

I've never watched the reality TV show "Big Brother" but am aware that it is a major hit in England (and I think we have a version of it here in America but am not sure).

There are many people who watch "Big Brother" on TV and know the names and backgrounds of the people in the "Big Brother" house and yet if you asked them about the origin of the term "Big Brother" wouldn't be able to answer that it is from the book "1984" by George Orwell. I think that's a sad and dangerous situation for the future of mankind - that we as a society treat surveillance and the loss of privacy as entertainment and mindlessly play into the hands of the totalitarians setting up this Orwellian world right before our very eyes.

In large part the so-called "reality" TV shows are a form of conditioning, getting people used to the idea of similar total surveillance in real-life (not just in a TV show) in the not-too-distant future.

For example, in Canada these days it's illegal to smoke in a vehicle if there's a passenger under 16 years old on board. Police can pull you over and fine you $109 and it will affect your insurance and chances to renew a driver's licence if not paid up. Obviously, the next step in this scenario will be making it illegal to smoke in a HOUSE where children live. And how will this be enforced after people complain it's unfair because some get away with it while others are caught? You got it, with CAMERAS in the car and CAMERAS in the home connected to corporations making millions selling cameras and passing info to police and governments - all paid for by the taxpayers they're spying on, of course.

These are just a couple examples tying in the themes you're interested in pursuing for your dissertation. For Orwell's exact words go to the 45 themes listed on the left side of the HOME PAGE of ORWELL TODAY focusing on WINSTON'S DIARY, BIG BROTHER, SURVEILLANCE, THOUGHT POLICE, CRIMESTOP, GOODTHINK, DOUBLETHINK, etc. Also, look under the ESSAYS & COMMENTARY section of the website for what's been written on the topic by myself and others.

The subject of surveillance is more than just the physical act, it is also about the mentalilty of the PROLES who allow such invasion to be inflicted upon them without rebelling and with no care about the horrendous implications to themselves and future generations.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Star of Big Brother TV show dies bringing media circus to end. Telegraph, Mar 23, 2009 (...Her every move saw her followed by TV cameras and tabloid newspapers, leading some to draw comparisons with the film The Truman Show, in which Jim Carrey plays a man who discovers his entire life is filmed for television...)

Smoking in a car with kids could earn you a $109 fine (parents applaud new law to protect kids' health)., Mar 19, 2009

Jackie Jura
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