George Orwell S 1984 Essay, Research Paper
In George Orwell s 1984, the story takes place in London, Airstrip One, formally called England, before it joined with North America, South America and some small European countries to form Oceania. The political system is known as Ingsoc, this consists of Big Brother, the Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the working class. The basic plot in 1984 is a simple one; it follows a man through his struggles to rationalize his existence in an upside down world.
Winston Smith is the main protagonist. Winston works in the Ministry of Truth, which is concerned with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. He is employed in the Records Department, where he writes and rewrites scripts to fit the present and past which adds to the power the Party has over its members, and the history they believe in. Although Winston is a diligent member of the Party, his inner desires, of humanity, individuality, and sexuality are directly rebellious to that of the policies of the Party. His physical expressions are deceptive, an attempt to cover-up his true attitude towards his situation from the Thought Police. Through the novel, Winston s views change. At first, he thinks he’s some sort of individual and different then most people. He finally expresses it on paper. Then he feels rage, because he’s jealous of Julia. Then he feels hope, because he’s part of a group doing the right thing. Then, he feels hope, but he’s not happy. This is after he’s captured. Then, he’s resistant to the captures, and thinks they can never get to him. When he faces his greatest fear, rats, his spirit is broken. Then, he goes into realization that he loves Big Brother.
One of the two minor characters is Julia. She was a bold-looking girl of about twenty-seven, with thick dark hair, a freckled face, and swift, athletic movements. She also works in the Ministry of Truth for the Fiction Department. She helps to write pornographic literature that is sold to the lower society; this is ironic because she wears a red sash around her waist to signify her commitment to the Junior Anti-Sex League. She is actively involved in many community services. When she and Winston started their relationship, she had suggested to him to join more services so that he would be less suspicious. Up until Winston associates with her, his acts of rebellion against the Party are minor. They consist of writing in a diary and thoughtcrime. Though over time Winston and Julia fulfill their sexual and rebellious desires.
The other minor character is a man by the name of O Brien. Winston is not associated with him early on, but feels a sense of familiarity in him. Winston had the hunch that O Brien, even though part of the Inner Party, is guilty of thoughtcrime, too. O Brien was a large, burly man with a thick neck and a coarse, humorous, brutal face. In spite of his tough appearance he had a certain charm of manner. In some indefinable way, curiously civilized. Winston secretly held belief that O Brien s political orthodoxy was not perfect. Not much is known about O Brien until the end of the novel where it is revealed that he is a conspirator of the Party was just a deception. The climax occurred when Julia and Winston were captured in their room above Mr. Charrington s shop. They learned that Mr. Charrington, the prole that Winston bought his diary from, was actually a member of the Thought Police. He allowed them to rent the room above his shop, and then turned them over to the authorities. Eventually Winston and Julia are confined to the Ministry of Love. This is where they go through there rehabilitation period. There, Winston encounters O Brien, but this time not as a partner of rebellion, but a conspirator of the Party. He takes Winston through the stages of confession, torture, and acceptance. Finally Winston declares that he loves Big Brother. The theme conveyed by Orwell is that no matter how strong an individual, a communist society would destroy any hope that that soul had of surviving, and that no matter the reasons told to the society, that power that the Party seeks is for no gain except for power.
I found this book intriguing and mind-bending. This book appealed to me, because I enjoy reading about what the future could be like. Also, some of the things Orwell wrote about have already come true. The realizations of his predictions are in a way scary and interesting at the same time. For a reading audience I would recommend high school and up, because I believe most young readers would not understand the corollary between communism and the world in 1984.