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1984 is More Applicable than Ever

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For those of you who are not familiar with George Orwell’s thought-provoking novel 1984, you might not be aware of the striking similarities between this book and current events from the past six months. In 1984, a group of elite runs the entire country of Oceania. This group controls everything from the media, to literature, to people’s home lives. It is clear that the government in 1984 is much more intrusive than modern government, but some aspects of their society are becoming more of a reality in the past few months. In 1984, the people in power have the power to change history and change the facts without people questioning their falsehood by preaching the “doublethink” concept.

In 2016, Donald Trump fueled his campaign with lies and false accusations, but people believed him. He is able to get away with spreading lies by attacking the primary way that the majority of Americans receive their information on current events: the news. He has created such a distrust of the media that millions of Americans refuse to acknowledge the true facts from the media. Trump, like the Inner Party, creates facts based on whether or not it will benefit his goals. Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia. Trump’s inauguration was the most watched in history. Both of these statements are false, and regardless of the evidence, both Trump and the Inner Party employ doublethink to prove that their statements are fact.  Now that Donald Trump is our president, it is disconcerting that falsehoods now are coming from our own government.  (Hannah Reed)

Now that Donald Trump is our president, it is disconcerting that falsehoods now are coming from our own government. Recently Donald Trump decided to pull funding from both PBS and NPR. The destruction of news networks is the first step towards a government that restricts our access to information, which is in violation of the Frist Amendment. Trump also prevented the National Park Service, the EPA and US scientists from releasing any information to the public. This will inhibit these organizations from keeping the public updated on environmental issues such as climate change. This grants the Trump administration the ability to withhold information regarding the state of our national parks and nature sites. If you want to make a stand, call your congressman and senators to express your sentiments.  (Hannah Reed)

Kellyanne Conway’s statement this weekend made me rethink the power of the American government. In AP Literature, we are currently studying 1984, by George Orwell. Now let me give you some backstory to Conway’s statement. First, Trump and his Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, lied about the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration, blatantly displaying Trump’s vanity and immaturity. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s senior advisor, commented on the issue live on NBC, stating, “You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts.” Alternative facts are just lies. I could not believe that Conway would say this consciously. This is literal newspeak! It seems as if an “Oceanic” society (the totalitarian society displayed in 1984) could be closer than we thought. Conway’s statement made me revisit this topic and analyze the U.S. government with a sense of doubt. The first thing I thought of was Edward Snowden, who revealed that the NSA had the ability to track and monitor all phone calls, which violates citizens’ privacy rights. Technology not only has the power to unite people, it also gives power to the government to monitor and influence citizens. Telephones, much like telescreens (devices that monitor behavior in 1984), can act as tracking devices. Social media networks allow people to see and track your social life.   (Kevin Woods)

This week, 1984 is the number one selling book on Amazon.com. It is shocking to see the similarities between our national government and a fictional novel about a dystopian society we never thought possible. But if enough people recognize these similarities, we can make a difference and stop this from happening.

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The student news site of Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston, South Carolina.
1984 is More Applicable than Ever