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In George Orwell’s 1984, Winston Smith, who is the protagonist of the novel and aged thirty nine, stays in a country called Oceania. The world is composed of three countries which are Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia. This country, just like the others, is a totalitarian society under the leadership of Big Brother which monitors all people’s conduct and even what they think.
Winston is a minor member of the ruling party in the country and he stays in the part of this country called London. Wherever he goes, he is watched by the Party and all the time his mind is occupied by the image of the face of the Big Brother who is the party leader and his figure seems to be omniscient. Everything in this country is under the complete control of the party including even people’s history and their language. In this novel, it is indicated that the Party is putting in to use by force a language that has just been invented and this language is called Newspeak that tries to hinder political revolt by doing away with words that are associated with it. In this country even one having a thought that relates to rebellion is very much against the law and is taken to be a very serious criminal offense.
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At the point where the novel begins, Winston is feeling mixed-up by the oppression and stiff management of the party that does not allow free-thought, sex, and any expression by an individual that can be characterized by his or her freedom. This instills in Winston a feeling of so much hatred for the party that he purchases a diary in a secret way because this is illegal in order for him to put down his criminal thoughts in it. At this point he has as well become obsessed about a member of the party who is quite influential by the name O’Brien. Winston has a belief that O’Brien is a member of the “Brotherhood”, though secretly. The Brotherhood is a mystifying renowned group that offers opposition to the ruling party.
Winston does his job in the ministry of Truth where he makes adjustments on the historical records to come in to conformity with the party’s needs. Here is where he comes across a workmate who is a very beautiful lady and she takes interest in him. This makes Winston to become restless because he suspects that this lady may be a spy who can expose him to the Party for his criminal thoughts. Winston is disturbed about the Party’s powerful influence over history: the party alleges that Oceania has always been an ally to Eastasia and these countries have jointly fought against Eurasia but Winston remembers a point in time when this claim was false. Another claim by the party is that Emmanuel Goldstein, the man believed to be the leader of the Brotherhood, is the man who is the most dangerous in the human race but this claim seems unacceptable to Winston.
Later in time, Winston receives a note from the beautiful girl who had earlier on shown her interest in him indicating her love for him. She tells him her name, Julia. They fall in love but always on the watch to ensure there is no party monitoring. Later they rent a room in the prole district. This affair goes for sometime but Winston is assured of being found out and getting punishment but on the other hand Julia is optimistic. As this love affair goes on, Winston’s dislike for the party gets more and more great. Eventually, he gets what he was waiting for: an invitation from O’Brien requiring him to see him.
Accompanied with Julia, Winston travels to O’Brien’s apartment. O’Brien leads a very luxurious life that Winston can just try to figure out because he is a member of the powerful Inner Party while Winston is a member of the Outer Party. O’Brien makes a confirmation to both Julia and Winston that he too hates the Party and says that he opposes it as a member of the Brotherhood. He goes ahead to hand over a copy of the Brotherhood’s manifesto, a book whose author is Emmanuel Goldstein. As Winston tries to read sections of the book to Julia while they are in their room, the soldiers enter suddenly and arrest them. The man who had rented the room to them pretending to be in support of them is discovered to have been a Thought Police member all along.
Separated from Julia and taken to the “Ministry of Love”, Winston discovers that O’Brien was only pretending to be a member of the Brotherhood and was only aiming at getting him confess his rebellion against the Party. O’Brien engages in inflicting torture to Winston for several months who tries to defend against it. Eventually, Winston is taken to the most dreaded Room 101 which is the final place where the rebellious people are taken. In this room, Winston is told by O’Brien that he would be forcefully made to face his biggest fear. All through the book, Winston has been having continuous nightmares concerning rats. At this point O’Brien prepares the rats that are stored in a cage ready to release them to bite up Winston’s face. At this moment Winston bursts in to pleas to O’Brien not to do this to him but to do it to Julia instead. Winston doing away with Julia is what basically O’Brien wanted from Winston. Winston is set free to go to the outside world but with his spirit still broken. He meets Julia but at this point he is no longer interested in her. He has agreed to be a member of the Party completely and he has as well learned to have love for “Big Brother”.
The use of Narration and Narrative Structure in George Orwell’s 1984
In this novel, George Orwell intentionally keeps the plot uncomplicated and remains simple with no narrative twists or outrageous surprises up to the very end. He is very keen to bring to people’s knowledge that it is our society and government that are confused and not people. George Orwell has made the plot not to be very much complex in order to avoid detracting the message. By confining the time limit to short period for this novel and using few major characters, this author puts focus on the vital issues concerning complete government control and totalitarianism.
In line with the novel’s plot, the author’s setting is done very well and assists whoever is reading to come up with his or her own point of view about what he/she is reading. By George Orwell using the normal environment and trying to twist it, he is able to give out a message that our own world is susceptible to the oppression exhibited in Oceania. In this novel, the author works on his setting to make it is possible that the moment the reader is through with the reading of this novel, he is well equipped with the ideas together with the feelings of George Orwell concerning totalitarianism which he carries in to life.
George Orwell’s style and articulation are very strong and overpowering. He gives a description of pain and distress in detail and his presenting of the work holds the reader on the watchout by changing unexpectedly in different directions. In this book, the author puts in use a relation between the worlds’s to which we belong reality, and the fiction’s unreality. The reader of George Orwell’s 1984 is captivated by the author’s style in to the world’s reality.
George Orwell comments on various issues such as love, economics, politics, truth, war among other issues. On the issue concerning love, the love that comes up between Winston and Julia is typical of the struggle of those people that have to survive in a society that distastes love and sexual craving among the people in this society. By the Party making alterations of the past so as to lie to its people and set up in them a sense of perfection is intended to expose the clash between truth and the variability of truth. As it is seen clearly, the main theme of this novel revolves around the problems associated with totalitarianism. The author is exhibiting not only what is becoming of the world but what the world actually is.
Winston is in a position to carry out his tasks for the party without thinking or raising questions but deep within him he is fighting with negative thoughts about the Party but struggles in order for those thoughts not to be discovered. Inwardly, he hates the members of the Party that seems to have no mind because they have been brainwashed and can be directed to do whatever that is needed. The diary of Winston is his effort to put in record the evils that he will have to leave behind. However, he is unable to write much because he has separated himself from his own feelings. He does not in an active or conscious manner set against him from the society in which he lives but rather his separation is an inactive reaction to a world he can not put up with and in an effective way, he closes the door on the external world. This novel gives out a suggestion that the government separates each member of the society from each other and gives a warning to the reader what life can turn out to be where there are no basic human rights and privileges.