Ethical Issues In 1984

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The lives of the people in Oceania are completely regulated by the Party and there is no freedom. The Party has taken all power away from the people and controls of every aspect of society. The people of Oceania never question the motives behind the Party’s actions, but the Party’s actions clearly present many ethical conflicts to the reader. The Party is involved in extensive censorship, constant surveillance, destruction of all privacy, and lack of true justice. All of these things are exaggerated and blown out of realistic proportions in the novel, but their core concepts still raise very realistic and very relevant ethical conflicts. The first Party activity that raises ethical questions is the extensive censorship carried out by the …show more content…

The Party uses the telescreens to watch and listen to almost every room in every building in Oceania at all hours of the day. The Party observes everything the people do and will arrest them if the telescreen captures anything of which the Party disapproves. The Party sells the surveillance as a way to provide security and catch criminals, but actually uses it to capture anyone who may not fully support the Party which eliminates all freedom for the people of Oceania because Big Brother is always watching for any disloyalty. Party members accept the surveillance because they have nothing to hide and think it will help keep the Party safe, but this leads them to be found guilty of something they did not know was wrong; as Ben Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” People have an absolute right to freedom of belief and a right to freedom of action, but the constant surveillance prevents that. The Party is restricting the ability of the people to pursue happiness because they know happiness may be found outside the Party and the Party wants to ensure that they keep control of the people and keep them dedicated to Big Brother. The Party tries to justify these restrictions on freedom as trying to ensure equality, but equality is unattainable and the freedom to fail is an integral part of true freedom; not everyone will be successful, but it is their responsibility to make their own success. Outside of the novel, the issue of privacy versus security is also a major debate around the world today; 1984 provides an example of what could happen at one extreme of the scale, and although fictitious, can still provide relevant insight for modern

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