By Alex Solari, Staff Writer
George Orwell’s novel, 1984 has made it into many classrooms around the country, but who would’ve thought the book would be so close to reality?
1984 is a novel about a place called Oceania where the government uses media censorship and propaganda to control society.
This novel is often seen as an example of what our country shouldn’t be, but the idea of a society like in 1984 has become too close for comfort.
According to The New York Times, the book’s sales have increased 9,500 percent since the Friday before Trump’s inauguration.
Despite your political views, it’s clear that this is no coincidence, and people are being reminded of this novel for one reason or another.
So, what exactly are the similarities that people are seeing? One similarity I have noticed between the novel and reality today is deceit.
In 1984, the people were made to believe that even though they were living in unsafe conditions, they were living better than any other country in the world.
Although overall we as a country have a high standard of living in the United States, President Trump has been known to repeatedly lie to make himself and the United States appear better than it actually is.
Having a president who repeatedly lies and exaggerates is incredibly dangerous, and could turn into something that resembles 1984.
Another similarity is manipulation used by “Big Brother,” which was the government in 1984, compared to manipulative tactics used by our government today.
The biggest manipulation tactic used currently is fear. Trump has tried to make the American people fear African Americans, Mexicans, and Muslims. Of course, as a result of this fear, the emotion turns into anger and hatred, which translates into the oppressions of these different groups.
The last similarity I will touch on is censorship. In 1984, there was extreme censorship, with spies to find out if you were against “Big Brother.”
Although censorship in the United States is clearly not as extreme, it still exists and can be extremely damaging. News sources often ignore stories based on their biases, and we are often told statistics that are exaggerated or just plainly false.
There are many secrets about our government that we do not know, and issues in this country that we are probably not even aware of. This censorship can harm the people suffering from the situations, and can harm the common citizen from being informed and potentially helping those suffering.
George Orwell, the author of 1984 was known for his writing on political issues, and his political fiction works such as 1984, Animal Farm, and Coming Up for Air.
However, there are other dystopian works that we seem to compare to our society, such as The Hunger Games and Divergent.
So why do we seem to compare fictional works to our situation today? For some, the validation that the things currently happening in our society are corrupt and harmful helps them come to terms with the fact that the United States is far from perfect.
As a society, we are brought up to believe that the United States is the greatest country in the world. We are taught that pride in our country is most important, and we dare not disrespect our country and leaders.
With these thoughts in the back of citizen’s minds, it’s sometimes difficult to speak out against what is currently happening in our country. But with novels like 1984, a person can easily compare the two countries, Oceania and the United States, more objectively and feel they are not attacking the United States.
Even though Orwell didn’t know this novel would be so influential now, reading 1984 and virtually any dystopian novel, helps us as citizens see what faults we have in our government, and potentially the steps we can take to fight against these faults.
I would encourage all of you to read a dystopian novel, and note the differences and similarities the United States has to that dystopian society.
Knowledge is power, and we all should remain educated and informed on the issues we face within, and because of, our government.