Exercice - 1984, Orwell
Present the document and introduce its author.
The document is taken from the book Nineteen Eighty-Four which was published in 1949, four years after the Second World War ended. That war was fought against totalitarian countries such as Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. In 1949 Russia, under Stalin, was a Communist empire that Orwell had come to fear and criticize.
Think about its source and the form it has.
The date is also very important.
If you don’t know the author, make some researches on the internet.
Why is this document interesting in order to underline the limits of progress?
The satire is here a way of making fun of people, systems, ways of government, etc. It usually does so cruelly, by making them look ridiculous and exposing them to laughter. With this strategy, satire is able to make those people see differently. Nineteen Eighty-Four is not a novel that really makes us laugh. The book is made in order to warn us. It shows the danger of our systems. The fight for freedom and rights seems relevant.
Here, with the famous "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU", we understand easily that the oppressor is using technologies as a way to keep under surveillance his population.
The progress is "the process of gradually improving or getting nearer to achieving or completing something".
Are the ethical issues generated by progress an old debate?
The "idea of progress" was already interesting according to the authors of the XXth century. They anticipate the massive progress of technologies which create a lot of ethical questions. It is particularly obvious in Orwell’s books which are in total compliance with the news and our time. Progress can be used in order to watch and follow people's life. For instance, social media can be an efficient instrument in order to manipulate people and their votes.