George Orwell’s “1984” and Rockwell’s “Somebody's watching me” both help to explore the dystopian idea of a society under constant surveillance and being manipulated accordingly. Rockwell’s song is all about the paranoia surrounding the idea of being watched by someone you can’t see and question your sanity. “Well, can the people on T.V. see me. Or am I just paranoid?” The idea of being seen by the people on T.V. is brought to light in Orwell’s classic dystopia when Winston gets distract during a state-regulated daily exercise as “6079 Smith W! Yes, you!” being instructed to “bend lower” in order to touch his toes. The government of “1984” also add to Winston’s paranoia by their propaganda. Throughout London there are huge poster with “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” accompanied by his cold stare. Later mentionings of “the spies” and “thought police” make Winston much more weary of the danger of his “thoughtcrime”. This ties back to Rockwell’s words “I have no privacy” and “always feel like someone is watching” but for Winston his weariness is much more real.
Music video by Rockwell performing Somebody's Watching Me. (C) 2004 Motown Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.