Thought Police 1984 Essay Outline

Transcript of English Project: Surveillance in 1984 Compared to the Present Day

What is 1 constant held in all our lives? Surveillance... well, besides death and taxes of course. We live in an age where it
is laughable to say you're alone and where privacy cannot be purchased with a set of curtains.We are constantly being watched, tracked, listened to, investigated and scrutinized. Virtually our whole identities are public
information. Sure this open concept brings us
closer together, but how close is too close?
Where do we draw the line? Sadly, these
questions are too late in coming. For the
world of George Orwell's 1984 has become a
representation of ours.The line we
should have drawn has been
long since crossed.
Our Modern 21st Century Society
We've all read 1984, well most of us... Whether you've read it or not we can all agree surveillance plays a key role in the novel. However, did you manage to discover all the surveillance mechanisms used by the party? The citizens of Oceania are constantly under a microscope; their lives being dissected to see if it agrees with the Party's 'ideal' society. Every aspect of their lives are under control and scrutiny. Big Brother even has the power to change your beliefs and your love, as we learned in the final pages of 1984. Winston transformed from a miserable party member to a novice member of the Brotherhood and finally to another brainwashed Big Brother lover and the surveillance devices at work documented every second.
Quotes From The Novel
“The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug into your wire whenever they wanted to.” – Pages 4-5, Nineteen Eighty-Four
“Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death.” – Page 30, Nineteen Eighty-Four
“Privacy, he said, was a very valuable thing. Everyone wanted a place where they could be alone occasionally.” – Pages 144, Nineteen Eighty-Four
“The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police.” – Page 140, Nineteen Eighty-Four
Security Cameras and Audio Recording
Camera's play an integral role in keeping our society under surveillance. They're used to prevent criminal activity, cultivating piece of mind, apprehend criminals and notify police about suspicious behavior.
However, owners must post a notice and have them visible before entering the premises.Unused footage is to be destroyed between 24 hours-30 days. is a website which associates a number and a name with any missed call or voice mail, without the number holder knowing.
There are also many different audio and video recording devices that document time/ date/ location stamp the recordings
Advancements in technology have revolutionized the way we as a society communicate and function. The twentieth century gave rise to the internet, dozens of satellites, radio communications, GPS technology and countless other ways of capturing, documenting and recording our lives. All these technologies often are run, regulated, funded by the government. They're in possession of a vast network of surveillance, always knowing what you know, seeing what you see, hearing what you hear, and never leaving you completely alone. Comforting is it? Having a Big Brother to watch over you, protect you, and guide you. Big Brother? More like creepy uncle... We lay defenseless, helpless and paralyzed by the government's hand. Though still driven with a false sense of security, privacy and power. We are completely distracted by the very devices that stalk us, often ignorant we are the fuel to our own demise.
The Wonderful Internet
All information accessed through the internet is stored on countless hard drives in large information centers and distributed via broadband, satellite, and cellular connections. The first use was to exchange data between researchers.
Anything done on the internet can never be permanently deleted. Internet activity is stored as ‘cookie’ information on your computer. Your ‘cookies’ are also merged with a profile associated with your computer’s IP & MAC address, meaning your computer has an online identity which all the information you save – whether it be an address, password, website or name – is stored within.
Government agencies, as well as websites and corporations, are legally allowed to access this activity and analyze it to seek out key info. The Government searches for terrorism, crime and other potential threats. Websites and corporations search to ‘optimize your browsing experience’ and to improve their products using trends in the info they find.
Every time you “Accept to these terms and conditions,” you are allowing that source to any of the information it specified. It only requires a gender or age combined with an IP and MAC address to acquire your name and then all information about you that you have ever saved on the internet. You’re branded with a code, just as in 1984.
Privacy Settings and App Permissions
Internet Privacy Settings:
Site’s which you supply personal, private information for often have privacy settings. Facebook, twitter and other social networking sites have privacy settings. These limit who can view the information you publish on the site.
Privacy setting protects you from other users from acquiring your personal information. However, as said before, all your information can still be accessed with the given skill set. Again nothing you put online is private.
App and Website Permissions:
Apps, websites and programs often have terms of use and permissions agreement. To use the software you must accept the terms conditions and permissions. When you accept, the software is then allowed to use any of the information specified in permissions clause. The Facebook app is allowed to use the devices’ camera or microphone at any time and gather pictures and sounds off the device.
Google as well as other applications/search engines often automatically enable ‘location’ which gives the site or app where you are exactly in the world do give you better results, this can be disabled. If left enabled, your location will be broad casted with all the information you send and
receive, therefore being easily tracked.
Satellites and GPS
Global Positioning System:
The Global Positioning System relies on satellites emitting
signals, and a receiver (cellphones and other GPS ready devices) receiving signals. The receiver takes the signal from at least 3 of
the 27 satellites (more connections improve accuracy). The receiver calculates how long it takes the signal from each satellite to reach it and can therefore calculate the distance. Using trilateration it pinpoints the location of the receiver and cross-references it with a map of the earth, giving a set of coordinates.
GPS can be activated any time and can be used to track someone’s movements, as well as altitude and location.
Satellites are mounted with a variety of sensors. They have the ability to take high definition photos of the Earth’s surface and map the geography of the earth. This in combination with GPS technology can track you and take photos of you, where you are and what you’re doing.
Often referred to as ‘the eyes in the sky’ simply because they
can be watching you at any moment.
More Quotes

“In a place like this, the danger that there would be a hidden microphone was very small, and even if there was a microphone it would only pick up sounds.” – Page 141, Nineteen Eight-Four

“He took a twenty-five cent piece out of his pocket. There, too, in tiny lettering, the same slogans were inscribed, and on the other face of the coin the head of Big Brother. Even from the coin the eyes pursued you. On coins, on stamps, on the covers of books, on banners, on posters and on the wrapping of a cigarette packet – everywhere. Always the eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or in bed – no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.” – Page 29, Nineteen Eighty-Four
The Unpredictable Path to the Future of Surveillance
What’s to come of this already uncontrollable lack of privacy? Will society reach a point where not only everyone’s actions, but everyone's thoughts are watched, listened to and controlled? Already surveillance systems are practically able to think for themselves, not yet in the same way that a human can but technology is getting close. Who’s to say that in a few years surveillance systems won't be capable of such things? There will be no more need for body guards, or security guards, only microphones and cameras. The majority of time that you’re being watched, you may not even know it. Technology has come to a point in which small insect-like 'cyborgs' are the very near future of surveillance. Hard to spot and control, they will watch your every move. If you believe that your life is already on enough of a display, just wait, who knows what the future might hold.
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

Work Cited
Types of Surveillance in 1984
Telescreens – At work, at home, in public buildings or areas. They see and hear everything, and are the main source of surveillance.
Microphones – Hidden in trees or other places in the country, voices can then be traced back.
Thought Crimes – Thought Police catch anyone suspected of thought crime. They watch through telescreens, and use children as spies, to listen in and eventually betray their parents or others.
Community Involvement – Every member of Oceania is expected to attend community events and gatherings, and attendance is closely monitored. If you are absent for quite a few, it becomes very suspicious.
Party Members in Prole Areas – If other party members see you in the prole area, you are yet again under suspicion.
George Orwell's 1984
Anklets, Highway Traffic Cameras, Double Sided Mirrors.
Double Sided Mirrors:
Most of us know them from shows like CSI and Criminals Minds, window on the investigator’s side, and mirror on the suspect’s side.
They are used in public places such as stores, showrooms, warehouses, offices, daycares, and banks.
Can also be used in public washrooms, change rooms or other ‘private’ public locations.It is light that makes the ‘mirror’ appear to be a real mirror – it is darkness that makes it see through.
The only way to see through the mirror is if the viewing side is darker than the other side, ideally there should be no light on the viewing side.
Highway Cameras:
Located next to highways or intersections in specific locations across a province or city.
Can be accessed by anyone via internet, in either video or still-photo form.
Meant to allow drivers to check road and weather conditions before heading out, and for monitoring centers to report collisions.
There are also Red Light Cameras, which take pictures of license plates (and often the drivers), in order to issue tickets for speeding, running red lights or other infractions.
They are meant to encourage safer driving, but in many places rear-end collisions have increased. This is because river’s are afraid of getting a ticket, and slam on their brakes.
Both are controversial, as many question their breach of privacy.
Ankle Monitors:
People on house arrest or parole are usually required to wear these, as a tracking device.
They are tamper-resistant, meaning they cannot be removed, and they can withstand every day activity including showering.
They send radio frequency signals at timed intervals to a receiver.
If the individual moves outside of their allowed range or location, police are notified.
By: Brooke Giles, Cassidy Knights,
Kristy Karsch, James Oliver
What Does Technology Have in Store?
Insect drones:
Tiny insect-like surveillance systems, able to watch and listen in to conversations much more discreetly than the cameras of today.
Some of the ones built today have a wingspan of 3 millimeters.
Currently used for military purposes
AWARE (The Automated Warning and Response Engine):
Already there are systems in which cameras can think for themselves.
Surveillance systems are able to detect any sort of trouble and report it.
With illegally parked cars, AWARE is capable of zooming in on license plates without human involvement.
Improvements on this system, and systems similar to it are soon to come.
Every text sent and received can be tracked.
Your current location can be pinpointed.
Police can hack into your phone's microphone to listen in on conversations.
Sooner or later your every move may be watched through the little camera on your phone.

Full transcript

There are tons of scary stories—ones filled with ghosts or vampires or zombies. But in my opinion, there’s nothing scarier than the stories that show what the world could be like if left in the hands of the wrong people.

One of the books that demonstrate this point the best is George Orwell’s 1984. And while the content of this book might scare some, writing an essay about it scares others.

But don’t worry—I’m here to help you break it down and write a great 1984 analysis essay.

First, Figure Out What Your 1984 Analysis Essay Will Be About

You can’t have an essay without a topic, so the first thing you have to decide is what yours will be about. You may be thinking, “We’ve already covered this—it’s about 1984.”

You’re thinking too big. What you want to do is narrow your focus on one element of the story—a theme or a character. You could also concentrate on a literary device like symbolism.

Don’t try to cram all the stuff you know about the book into your essay. It never works out well. What ends up happening is that you either start summarizing instead of analyzing, or you just don’t have the time or the page count to fully flesh out your ideas.

A good analysis is a focused one. But what can you focus on in your 1984 analysis essay? Here are just a few suggestions.

Focus on a Character

You can certainly write about the protagonist, Winston, if you connect more to him, but let’s talk about O’Brien for now.

O’Brien is an interesting character because he’s so mysterious. Winston looks up to O’Brien and thinks he’s a member of the Brotherhood, a supposed secret rebel group.

As the reader later discovers, O’Brien is actually a hardcore member of the Party. He ends up tricking Winston into admitting his disdain for the Party, which is a pretty big deal. But how can you focus your 1984 analysis essay on O’Brien?

As with any other character, you have to analyze O’Brien—instead of just telling the reader what he did in the story. Here are a couple directions you can take.

1. O’Brien as a father figure

Throughout the beginning of the story, Winston sees O’Brien as trustworthy and looks up to him. O’Brien is part of the Party’s innermost circle—he has power. And Winston thinks O’Brien is part of the resistance.

This establishes a friendship/mentorship. Even after O’Brien reveals his true intentions, he still acts as a type of father figure, though this time it’s a bit more malicious. He’s the one torturing Winston, but it comes from a place of caring.

O’Brien thinks he needs to purify Winston of his bad thoughts so that Winston can excel in society. After all, isn’t that what every father wants?

2. The Party got O’Brien long ago

While torturing Winston, O’Brien says that the Party got him long ago. Analyzing what this means can make a really great essay. His comment alludes to the fact that he might have once been as rebellious as Winston. It also alludes to how O’Brien realized that being powerful meant being obedient.

But does he buy into the Party’s ideology? Does he really prescribe to doublethink, or does he just put up the facade to avoid being tortured like Winston?

You can argue it either way in your 1984 analysis essay, but whichever stance you take, be sure to make it clear and back it up with evidence.

Need more help analyzing a character? Check out these posts:

Focus on a Theme

Themes are common in analytical essays, but they’re certainly not boring. Themes touch on certain truths the author wants to get across to the reader.

In the case of 1984, Orwell touches on several themes, but one that strikes me is the use of language to control people.

  1. Controlling what words people use: In the novel, the Party controls what people are and aren’t allowed to say, even in the privacy of their own homes. The Party bans words related to rebellion because, if there are no words for something, people can’t talk about it or spread ideas about it.
  1. Rewriting history: The Party also controls language through the rewriting of history. The Party “corrects” historical text to fit its latest whims, and because every reference is changed, what it writes becomes “truth.” This makes individuals rely less on their memories and perceptions, and more on what the Party says is true. That’s how the Party controls people.

Need more help with writing about a theme in your 1984 analysis? Try one of these posts for additional guidance and tips:

Don’t Forget Your Outline

The importance of creating an outline cannot be understated. Outlines are maps that guide you much more easily through the writing process.

Not only do you know where you’re going, but you also know every checkpoint you have to hit along the way. Without all the detours into unnecessary rambling, you can write faster and make your analysis a lot clearer.

Your outline doesn’t have to be super detailed, but it should lay out your argument and the evidence backing up your thesis. The example below is based off the discussion above about themes:

  1. Introduction
    1. Hook
    2. Thesis statement: By controlling language, the Party was able to control the masses.
  2. Monitoring speech
    1. Ban on words related to rebellion
    2. No way to spread ideas
    3. No way to argue points against the Party
  3. Rewriting history
    1. Propaganda becomes truth
    2. People not able to trust their own memories
      1. Must rely on the Party for what’s “true”
  4. Conclusion

You can have as many or as few body paragraphs as you need, and as many or as few supporting details as you need. The more time you spend on your outline now, the less time you’ll spend worrying about the details later.

Write a Killer Thesis Statement and Don’t Lose Steam

I’ve always found that starting an essay is the hardest part. But with a strong thesis statement, you set yourself up for a strong essay.

When writing a thesis statement, you want to be direct—take a firm stance, and explain exactly what you’ll be writing about in the body of your essay. This lets your readers know what they’re in for and gives you a reference point throughout your essay.

My thesis statement for the 1984 analysis essay outlined above might look something like this:

In 1984, George Orwell shows how language can be used as a form of control. The Party monitors and bans some language and rewrites history so that it can be seen as the only source of truth.

After you write your thesis statement, just follow your outline. Flesh it out with full sentences, details, and references to specific parts of the book. With a strong thesis and detailed outline, you can keep your momentum going until you wrap up your essay.


There are tons of things you could write about in a 1984 analysis essay, and just reading the couple of examples I’ve provided might not be enough for you. (Don’t worry, I don’t take offense to it.)

To give you a little more inspiration, here are some 1984 analysis essay examples you can look at:

Once you’re done with your essay, you can have the Kibin editors look over it. They’ll help you with more than just spelling and grammar—they’ll make sure you have a strong thesis and supporting details.

And don’t worry—they won’t turn you into the thought police for any rebellious things you write.

Now get to writing!

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.


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