1984 by George Orwell: A Book Fitting for Modern Times


Caitlin Heintz

An excerpt from page 298 of “1984” by George Orwell.

By Caitlin Heintz, Online Editor

Alexa, read me ‘1984’ by George Orwell

Alexa, Siri, Google Home and Ring doorbells have all become the new normal for Americans as the helpful virtual assistants that we can’t seem to function without. 

Think back to high school. A good majority of us had been handed ‘1984’ with the intention of reading, analyzing and learning many life lessons from it.

But if you’re anything like me you know that when you’re forced to read a book you Sparknotes the whole thing and pray for the best.

Why is this a problem? I recently picked up ‘1984’ again and read it front to back. I analyzed every word and became aware of how much it relates to the world today.

The book’s main focus is about living in a totalitarian government; One where “Big Brother” is always watching, listening and even sometimes knows what you’re thinking. 

In the book, the government has devices called “telescreens” that act as TVs, security cameras and microphones.

Hey Ring, tell the delivery guy to leave my package on the porch. 

The book also has “speakwrite” which is a device that transcribes speech into typed words.

These devices are in every home of their citizens. No one is without one at any time.

Siri, put apples on my grocery list.

This is the world we are living in. The difference between the book and today is that people are voluntarily buying these devices.

Now, I’m not saying you need to go through and empty your house of every new technology that it has. I have these helpful virtual assistants as well.

What I’m trying to say with all of this is the way we are developing as a society is becoming similar to fictional books. We rely on these devices and feel that once we have them we can no longer live without them.