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1984 Essay, Research Paper

1984, by George Orwell (Pen Name), is a dystopian (opposite of utopia, imperfect) novel that presents the reader with a sense of despair for the characters. George Orwell, whose actual name is Eric Arthur Blair, was born in Motihari, India, June 25, 1903and died in London, England, January 21,1950. He was a prominent author in the 1940s of two satires that attacked the idea of totalitarianism. The novels and essays and such written in the 1930s established him as an influential voice of the century. Orwells’ parents were members of the Indian Civil Service; he went to college in London and after wards joined the imperial police. During his service, he wrote his first novel, Down and out in Paris and London (1933), was the start of many he wrote within the next seven years. His two most famous novels are Animal Farm (1945) and 1984 (1949), which are both attacking types of government, these two novels brought him his first fame as a writer.

1984, a story of dictators who are in complete control of a large part of the world after the allies lost in World War II. The government in this novel gives no freedoms to its citizens. They live in fear because they are afraid of having corrupt thoughts about the governments of Oceania, a crime punishable by death. Winston, the main character, is a man of 39 whom is not high in either intelligence or character, but is disgusted with the world in which he lives in. Winston represents Orwell’s view on totalitarianism. He works in the Ministry of Truth, which is a place where history and facts- significant or not are rewritten to reflect the party’s idealistic beliefs. They destroy the records of the past; and print up new revised editions, which is being constantly redone. Winston is aware of the untruths, because he makes them true. This makes him very upset with the government of Oceania, where Big Brother, a larger than life figure, controls the people. Big brother is the figurehead of a government that has total control. The Big brother political system uses propaganda and puts fear in its citizens to keep the general population in line. His dissatisfaction increases to a point where he rebels against the government in small ways. Winston’s first act of rebellion is buying and writing in a diary in which he buys from an antique shop run by a prole (lower class of society, Poor). This act is known as a though crime and is punishable by death. A though crime is any bad thought against the government, Winston commits many thought crimes and becomes paranoid about being caught, which he knows is inevitable. He becomes paranoid because a young woman who is actively involved in many community groups follows him. Winston is obsessed with the past, a time before Oceania was under strict dictatorship. He goes into the same antique shop and forms a relationship with the shopkeeper in which he shows Winston a room upstairs which he can rent. While there, he sees the same woman following him, as many thoughts race through his mind about killing her. He decides against it since she would probably fight back. The girl who was following him slipped him a note while in work saying, “I love you.” They make plans to meet each other and carry on an illegal love affair that lasts for a long period and is committed in many secret places. Winston rents the room where him and the girl, Julia, can be secluded from the outside world. Julia is considered a sexual deviant in the oppressed world of 1984. In the normal world sex is free, in 1984 it is a forbidden act only allowed for reproduction purposes to keep the party’s numbers constant. Julia has been sexually active since her teenage years. “She has had her first love affair when she was sixteen, with a party member of sixty.” Love and sex is not allowed in this totalitarian state so Julia has to look as pure as possible so that she does not show any guilt. Winston had been fascinated about a man named O’Brien who he sees and he contacts Winston who indicates that he is a member of a secret brotherhood. They go to his house and he gives them a book to read supposedly written by Emannuel Goldstein. Soon after that, Winston and Julia are caught at there rented room which was actually all fake and the though police knew everything that was happening from the begging. O’Brien, becomes his rehabilitate and torturer for the next 9 months. O’Brien tortures Winston in stages. The first two stages are to force the party’s beliefs on him then learn and understand what is expected of him. In the third stage, Winston is made to face what he secretly fears the most, rats eating his face. O’Brien knows this because earlier in the novel while they were in the rented room, a rat comes out of a hole and Winston is petrified of it and shows his fear of rats. Then Winston yells: “Do it to Julia, don’t do it to me, do it to her!” This was the ultimate betrayal of her and himself and he is immediately released from his imprisonment. After being rehabilitated by O’Brien, Winston now loves the establishment and the government. He is set free and lives a rather dull life playing chess, drinking, and sitting in a cafe. Later, back in the Chestnut Tree cafe, he realizes that he loves Big Brother.

The authors’ purpose of writing this book is to warn of danger certain types of government can have. He is saying those Dictatorships are very controlling and that they can do as they please just to control the people within their country. The book says that the Inner Party, which is like a Dictatorship, did what ever it took the control of the people. The major theme of the book is that totalitarianism is a very sinister and corrupt form of government and that it should be banned in some way or another. I believe that it is bad because the government has the complete power to do what they want and they could possibly change history. An additional theme in the book is to keep track of your history because at any given time it could change right in front of you.

1984 is a classic novel on the antics of government. The book seemed to lack something in the beginning that I could not quite figure out. Since the ending of the book was exemplary, it made up for the beginning. Some of the things in the book seemed obscure since the novel is based in the year 1984, which was the future when it was written. I personally enjoyed this book and would recommend it to be read, Along with his second novel Animal Farm.

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