We live in interesting times. So did Winston Smith. I am interested in your overall and specific reactions to reading 1984. I have some specific questions below, but I’d like you to use these as points of departure. By no means should you feel restricted to responding only to these questions. Share whatever came up for you while reading the book: questions of politics, society, power or whatever. I am particularly looking for whatever parallels, if any, you saw in the book to things that are happening today. Don’t limit yourself to the United States or American politics/societal issues (i.e., a lot of relevant examples are happening in other countries). Discuss today’s social milieu, including but not limited to, policies, politics and politicians, as you see it with any specificity that you want. This is an opinion paper, so other than factual things about the book itself, there are no right or wrong answers. Your arguments, of course, should be soundly and logically presented.)
Some things you might think about:
● What is the role of technology in 1984? For example, what is the role of the telescreen? What technology exists today that looks or acts like that (or could easily)? Think broadly here.
● What is the role of law enforcement in the book?
● What role do media play in the book? What was Orwell’s take on history? On the constancy of truth? On the meaning of words? (Think about Newspeak. Think about the three mantras.)
● What are relations between neighbors and coworkers like in Winston Smith’s world? Family relations? What are some of the dynamics driving those relationships?
● Do we have proles in today’s society? Who are they if you think so?
Your last paragraph should address the implications of those parallels for policy advocacy. Identify opportunities (not just challenges) you see in the current political environment for advancing the values of the social work profession. What good can we make of the reality/realities that now surround us?