This novel by George Orwell clearly defines what a timeless classic truly is. It is the ultimate of example of life imitating art. For example, the titles of government agencies in Orwell's novel are really a contradiction as to what their functions actually are like those of the United States government. The Ministry of Peace carries out war plans, much like the United States Department of Defense does in our day and age. That agency's title could be argued to be a contradiction now considering the president's policy of preemptive strike. The Ministry of Truth, as conceived by Orwell, actually is a spin machine. That agency's workers engage in the constant practice of modifying past news articles so that no differences are revealed or mistakes exposed. In one part of the book, the agency's workers must go back and switch the names of the enemy and ally in a war so that the citizens would forget the past.
The constant presence of Big Brother, representing government, is not such a far-fetched idea now. As the threat of terror looms over us daily, we are constantly reminded of government's presence by the armed police in the subways randomly checking bags or the air marshals on our airline flights. Orwell's novel presented a world where war was the answer, just as we today still foolishly believe.
The societal hierarchy constructed by Orwell is an eerie representation of today's society. The proles, or proletarians, are the equivalent to today's blue-collar worker. In fact, Orwell's description of this group clearly paints an unmistakable picture of just who these people are. Although this group outnumbers those in power, the government counts on the "ignorance" and disinterest of that group to keep them in line. While others in the higher echelons of the societal hierarchy are readily monitored by a telescreen everywhere they go, the proles are not seen as a threat and are given their freedom.
When reading this book, the reader should keep in mind when it was written. Although the novel did not necessarily portray how our world was in 1984, there are striking similarities to how it is in 2005. Considering this book is over 50 years, the reader should take note of that tingle down the spine he or she feels when admiring Orwell's amazing foresight.