1984 by George Orwell is a book that paints a bleak picture for the future world. Published in 1950, the book predicts that the world will be run by three totalitarian super states by the year 1984. The World is now divided into three major states. Oceania – where the story unfolds, Eurasia and Eastasia. These three Super states maintain a constant state of war with each other in order to use up the products of man power. They do this to stop the betterment of the individual, to stop people improving their way of life. This is one of the many ways the Government maintain their totalitarian states.
Oceania represents America. Eurasia represents Russia & Eastasia represents China. Great Britain is part of Oceania; however it has lost its identity now being known as Airstrip One. Oceania’s government, “The Party”, is symbolised by “Big Brother”. Big Brother is the all Seeing Eye “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”. Free thought is forbidden by big brother. It is not clear whether such a person as Big Brother actually exists, but he has a personality cult used by “The Party”. Control is maintained by using “telescreens” that allow the “Thought Police” to watch any person at any time.
Those who are caught committing “Thought Crimes” are regularly vaporised. 1984 is the way that George Orwell saw the world developing. Many believe that it is in fact a parody of the Communist Totalitarian regime of Russia and Orwell’s personal experiences of this. For example, the character of Big Brother described bears a resemblance to Joseph Stalin. “it depicted an enormous face, more than a metre wide: the face of a man of about 45, with a heavy black moustache and ruggedly handsome features” (Page 3) Stalin was a leader who used his own image to create an iconic status.
Many likenesses of Stalin were placed around Russia giving the impression that he was always watching you. “The character Emanuel Goldstein bears a passing resemblance to Leon Trotsky. Trotsky was initially a part of the Communist Revolution, but later became an enemy of the state and a symbol for opposition to rally around. The character of Emanuel Goldstein plays a similar role in this book. 1984 is a very interesting story. There are many areas I could have chosen to focus on. However, one of the most interesting to me was the relationship between the characters Winston Smith & O’Brien.
Winston is already a thought criminal when the book begins. He has not been detected yet however, or so he believes. Winston feels disconnected with the world he is living in, he resents the propaganda that is forced upon him ; decides to rebel. When Winston makes the acquaintance of O’Brien, he believes that they have an understanding. Winston believes maybe O’Brien is like himself “it was because of a secretly held belief- or perhaps not even a belief, merely a hope – that O’Brien’s political orthodoxy was not perfect. Something in his face suggested it irresistibly.
“(Page 13) This seems to be one of the catalysts that drives Winston to begin his rebellion. We meet Winston at the beginning of the book. The story of 1984 is told through his eyes and through his experiences. Winston is 39 years old ; has a varicose ulcer that slows him down. “a smallish, frail figure, the meagreness of his body meagreness of his body merely emphasised by the blue overalls which were the uniform of the party. “(Page 4) Winston works at the ironically named “Ministry of Truth”. This organisation is responsible in the most part for releasing propaganda. Winston’s job involves changing old newspaper articles and statements.
Big Brother can never be wrong and no history can exist that shows Big Brother as being wrong, so Winston changes facts to suit the cui?? rent Government line. He also converts articles into “Newspeak”. This is a language created by Big Brother to limit thought. For exai?? ple, The Ministry of Truth is called “Minitrue”. Winston becomes so disillusioned with thu Propaganda he is constantly being fed by the regime that he deciles to rebel. He starts a i?? iary. This is an act that is likely, in Winston’s own words to be “punished by death or at least 25 years in a forced labour camp” (Page 8).
Winston takes a great risk by starting his diary. Winston is an intelligent man; he sees the world in much more depth and understands completely what is going on around him. However, he is not particularly confident. He seems very isolated and needs to believe that he is not the only person who feels like this. He looks to other stronger characters such as O’Brien for support. O’Brien is an interesting character. He is a member of the powerful “inner party” and obviously holds a quite important role. He is described by Winston as “a large, burley man i?? ii?? h a thick neck and a coarse, humorous, brutal face.
” (Page 12) Winston however believes that despite his appearance, je has a softer more intelligent side. “He had a trick of re-settling his spectacli?? s on his nose which was curiously disarming – in some indefinable way, curiously civilised. ” (Pagg 12) Winston also speaks of hearing his voice in dreams, telling him “We shall meet again in the place where there is no darkness” (Page 27) Winston seems to look towards O’Brien as a strong person who can save him. Almost like the father figure he lacked as a child. He believes they have a special understanding.