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Review Of 1984 Essay, Research Paper

1984

By George Orwell, 1949

Main Characters

Winston Smith – The 39 year old protagonist of the novel whose rebellion against Big Brother and

the Party and love for Julia is completely wiped out by O’Brian at the Ministry of Love.

Julia – Member of the Junior Anti-Sex league who becomes Winston’s secret lover and fellow rebel.

O’Brian – Member of the Inner-Party who learns that Winston has rebellious tendencies and sets a

trap for him over the course of 7 years and ultimately destroys him.

Big Brother – Mysterious omnipresent figurehead who is the embodiment of all the ideals of the

party.

Minor Characters

Emmanuel Goldstein – Leader of the rebels and designated enemy of the citizens.

Mr. Charrington – Secret Member of the thought police who owns and operates an antique store

and rents a room to Julia and Winston as a trap for O’Brian.

Settings

Oceania – One of the three totalitarian superpowers that rule the world using censorship and pure

terror.

Mr. Charrington’s rented room – Winston and Julia’s secret hideaway where they come to make

love and hide from the telescreens and constant watch of the Party.

Ministry of Love – A rehabilitation center which uses torture and brainwashing technique in order to

completely conform its prisoners into the thinking and beliefs of the party only to be later killed, sent

to forced labor camps, or even released back into society.

Plot

In 1984, Winston Smith lives in London which is part of the country Oceania. The world is divided

into three countries that include the entire globe: Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. Oceania, and both

of the others, is a totalitarian society led by Big Brother, which censors everyone’s behavior, even

their thoughts. Winston is disgusted with his oppressed life and secretly longs to join the fabled

Brotherhood, a supposed group of underground rebels intent on overthrowing the government.

Winston meets Julia and they secretly fall in love and have an affair, something which is considered a

crime. One day, while walking home, Winston encounters O’Brian, an inner party member, who

gives Winston his address. Winston had exchanged glances with O’Brian before and had dreams

about him giving him the impression that O’Brian was a member of the Brotherhood. Since Julia

hated the party as much as Winston did, they went to O’Brian’s house together where they were

introduced into the Brotherhood. O’Brian is actually a faithful member of the Inner-Party and this is

actually a trap for Winston, a trap that O’Brian has been cleverly setting for seven years. Winston

and Julia are sent to the Ministry of Love which is a sort of rehabilitation center for criminals accused

of thoughtcrime. There, Winston was separated from Julia, and tortured until his beliefs coincided

with those of the Party. Winston denounces everything he believed him, even his love for Julia, and

was released back into the public where he wastes his days at the Chestnut Tree drinking gin.

Symbols

Scarlet Sash – emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex league which all its members wear. Actually, it is

camouflage for Julia and other members of the party to give them the appearance of celibacy while

they are actually promiscuous.

Room 101 – the final stage of the torture and rehab at the ministry of love. The room symbolizes and

consists of the one thing each person hates and fears most. It symbolizes the fearfulness and

helplessness each person experiences when faced with his greatest fear.

Chess pieces – the chess pieces symbolizes the players in the great political game. The white pieces

are the Party and shows the way they never lose.

Style

Orwell’s prose is very descriptive and informative. He portrays terrifying images and conveys

horrifying truths in a calm voice that contrasts effectively with the true horrors of his message.

Foreshadowing and suspense is used to heighten this exciting novel.

Dominant Philosophy

In 1984, George Orwell warns of the terrifying dangers that man may create for himself in his quest

for a utopian society. It warns that people might believe that everyone must become slaves to the

government in order to have an orderly society, but at the expense of the freedom of the people.

Quotes

“WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH” The two minutes

hate ended with this message which is the slogan of the Party.

“The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth.” The narrator describes the

way the party manipulates history by changing all documents referring to the history.

“Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes, no

heroes, he thought over and over as he writhed on the floor, clutching uselessly his disabled left

arm.” Winston winces at the pain of the blow to his elbow, and also at the realization at he his

helpless in the face of pain.

“You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him; you must love him.” O’Brian tells this to

Winston as he begins the final stage of Winston’s rehab into submission of the Party.


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