1984 – George Orwell


Looking at George Orwell’s amazing dystopian novel ‘1984’ which speculates on how a ‘Big Brother’ sets to control and rule us and what happens to those who challenge and attempt to revolt the system was so interesting and really comments on technology’s evolution.

The use of these ‘telescreens’ in order to communicate with the public and how everyone must watch every broadcast and their own personal screens pick up every sound and movement they make speaks volumes on how privacy is arguably a trivial subject. The way in which we are conditioned to believe certain things because of the way they are presented to us is very unnerving to me and makes me feel very uneasy in the sense that we have no way of sourcing this type of high profile information for ourselves (e.g. the situation with Syria) so the only thing we rely on is the coverage we get by organisations and companies run by the government.

The truth is a completely distorted factor when its fed to you by the government, especially with David Cameron in power, but its so important that we push ourselves to remember that what we are being told might not be 100% the truth and we must question everything the government tells us because the amount of power they have over us is just insane.

This presence of “thoughtcrime” suppresses individuality and the feeling of the freedom to have independent thinking and the fact that this technology that is set in place by the government is so omnipresent links to that of how technology is also in today’s society (particularly phones). That linked with perpetual war and public manipulation its not often that one has a ‘impure’ thought and evades ‘the system’.


The Infinte Jest – David Foster Wallace


This 1996 dystopia novel, ‘The Infinite Jest’ by the incredible author David Foster Wallace is absolutely ingenious. In the excerpt I studied from his 1000+ pages encyclopedic novel focuses on the rise and fall of the videophone. So basically David Foster Wallace predicted FaceTime and Skype – how crazy is that?

The lengthy, complex, and almost newly coined words and phrases paired with the humorous narrative of the way in the which the videophone was introduced into society and the effect it had on people was absolutely incredible and it was just so engaging, I’m very excited to read the rest of the book however I feel I will have to wait a while to start as I have already stated the length of this novel.

Although the ideas are incredibly well thought out and there have been new disorders and phobias introduced and all the idea itself its quite simple, only making the piece that much more powerful. The connection this has to my work is that I want to hone in on the fact that technology is taking over our lives – that in the form of our mobile phones and how they, in effect, are such a dominating force and control our lives in a sense.

This excerpt really forces you to think about just how much technology’s advances and constant evolution is effecting how you perceive yourself and how it makes you alter things about yourself – something in your subconscious tells you ‘this picture of me looks nice, I’ll get a few likes for that’ or ‘ this filter will make that blemish disappear’. Not only that but it focuses on its ability to completely change the way in which we communicate as with this advance in technology it isn’t even really required to talk to someone face-to-face which is something that I value so much when wanting to communicate with someone – I always prefer to physically speak to someone than have a conversation over the phone as it’s so much more personal and normal than having a digital device speak for you.

Natasha Perkin

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