1984 by George Orwell Essay

Nineteen Eighty-Four is a novel by George Orwell published in 1949. It is a dystopian andsatirical unique set in Oceania, where society is tyrannized by The Celebration and its totalitarianideology. [1] The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government security, and public mind control, determined by a political systemeuphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Celebration elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thoughtcrimes. [2] Their tyranny is headed by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intensecult of personality, however who may not even exist.

Big Brother and the Celebration justify their rule in the name of a supposed higher good. [1] The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Celebration who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is accountable for propaganda and historic revisionism.

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His task is to re-write past news article so that the historical record constantly supports the current party line. [3] Smith is a persistent and skilled worker, however he privately hates the Celebration and imagine disobedience versus Huge Sibling. As literary political fiction and as dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a traditional book in content, plot, and design. Much of its terms and concepts, such as Huge Bro, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, and memory hole, have actually gone into everyday use because its publication in 1949.

Additionally, Nineteen Eighty-Four popularised the adjectiveOrwellian, which explains main deception, secret security, and adjustment of the past by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. [3] In 2005 the novel was selected by TIMEmagazine as one of the 100 finest English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. [4] It was granted a place on both lists of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 13 on the editor’s list, and 6 on the reader’s list. [5] In 2003, the book was noted at number 8 on the BBC’s study The Big Read. [6]

History and title.

George Orwell “encapsulate [d] the thesis at the heart of his unforgiving book” in 1944, and 3 years later on wrote most of it on the Scottish island of Jura, from 1947 to 1948, in spite of being seriously ill withtuberculosis. [7] On 4 December 1948, he sent out the last manuscript to the publisher Secker and Warburg and Nineteen Eighty-Four was published on 8 June 1949. [8] [9] By 1989, it had been equated into sixty-five languages, more than any other novel in English at the time. [10]

The title of the unique, its themes, the Newspeak language, and the author’s surname are frequently conjured up against control and invasion by the state, while the adjective Orwellian explains a totalitarian dystopia characterised by federal government control and subjugation of individuals. Orwell’s created language, Newspeak, spoofs hypocrisy and evasion by the state: for example, the Ministry of Love (Miniluv) supervises abuse and brainwashing, the Ministry of Plenty (Miniplenty) oversees shortage and famine, the Ministry of Peace(Minipax) supervises war and atrocity, and the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) manages propaganda and historic revisionism.

The Last Male in Europe was one of the initial titles for the unique, but in a letter dated 22 October 1948 to his publisher Fredric Warburg, 8 months prior to publication, Orwell wrote about being reluctant between The Last Guy in Europe and Nineteen Eighty-Four. [11] Warburg recommended changing the Mantitle to one more business. [12] The rejected title may mention the poem “End of the Century, 1984” (1934) by Orwell’s first and after that wife Eileen O’Shaughnessy (1905– 1945), [13] [14] to G. K. Chesterton’s book likewise embeded in a future London of 1984, The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904 ), [15] and to the Jack London unique The Iron Heel (1908 ). [16]

In the novel 1985 (1978 ), Anthony Citizen suggests that Orwell, disappointed by the beginning of the Cold War (1945– 91), planned to call the book 1948. The intro to the Penguin Books Modern Classics edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four reports that Orwell originally set the unique in 1980, but he later on shifted the date initially to 1982, then to 1984. The final title may likewise be an inversion of 1948, the year of composition. [17] Throughout its publication history, Nineteen Eighty-Four has been either banned or legally challenged as subversive or ideologically corrupting, like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932 ); [18] We (1924 ), by Yevgeny Zamyatin; Kallocain (1940 ), by Karin Boye; and Fahrenheit 451 (1951 ), by Ray Bradbury. [19] In 2005, Time publication included Nineteen Eighty-Four in its list of the one hundred best English-language books because 1923. [20] Literary scholars consider the Russian dystopian novel We, by Zamyatin, to have actually highly influenced Nineteen Eighty-Four. [21] [22]


Nineteen Eighty-Four is embeded in Oceania, among 3 inter-continental super-states that divided the world amongst themselves after an international war. Most of the action occurs in London, the “primary city of Airstrip One”, [32] the Oceanic province that “had actually once been called England or Britain”. [33] Posters of the Celebration leader, Big Bro, bearing the caption “BIG BRO IS WATCHING YOU”, control the city, while the ubiquitous telescreen(transceiving television set) monitors the private and public lives of the people. The social class system of Oceania is threefold:

– (I) the upper-class Inner Celebration, the elite ruling minority – (II) the middle-class Outer Party, and
– (III) the lower-class Proles (from proletariat), who comprise 85% of the population and represent the ignorant working class. As the federal government, the Party controls the population with four ministries:

– the Ministry of Peace (Minipax), which handles war, – the Ministry of Plenty (Miniplenty), which deals with rationing and starvation, – the Ministry of Love (Miniluv), which handles torture, and – the Ministry of Reality (Minitrue), which deals with propaganda The protagonist Winston Smith (a member of the Outer Celebration) works in the Ministry of Reality as an editor, modifying historical records to make the previous comply with the ever-changing party line and erasing recommendations to unpersons, people who have actually been “vaporised”, i.e. not just killed by the state, but denied existence even in history or memory.

The story of Winston Smith begins on 4 April 1984: “It was a brilliant cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen”; [34] yet he is uncertain of the real date, given the régime’s continual rewording and adjustment of history. His memories and his reading of the proscribed book, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, by Emmanuel Goldstein, reveal that after the Second World War, the United Kingdom fell to civil war and after that was taken in into Oceania. Concurrently, the USSR dominated mainland Europe and developed the 2nd superstate of Eurasia. The 3rd superstate, Eastasia, comprises the regions of East Asia and Southeast Asia.

The 3 superstates wage perpetual war for the remaining unconquered lands of the world, forming and breaking alliances as is convenient. From his youth (1949– 53), Winston remembers the Atomic Wars combated in Europe, western Russia, and North America. It is unclear to him what took place first: the Party’s triumph in the civil war, the United States’s addition of the British Empire, or the war in whichColchester was bombed. However, his strengthening memories and the story of his family’s dissolution suggest that the atomic battles took place first (the Smiths took sanctuary in a tube station), followed by civil war including “confused street battling in London itself”, and the social postwar reorganisation, which the Celebration retrospectively calls “the Transformation”.


The story of Winston Smith presents the world in the year 1984, after a global atomic war, by means of his perception of life in Airstrip One (England or Britain), a province of Oceania, among the world’s 3 superstates; his intellectual rebellion against the Celebration and illegal romance with Julia; and his following imprisonment, interrogation, torture, and re-education by the Thinkpol in the Miniluv.

Winston Smith

Winston Smith is an intellectual, a member of the Outer Party (middle class), who resides in the ruins of London, and who matured in some long post-World War II England, throughout the transformation and the civil war after which the Celebration assumed power. At some time his parents and sibling vanished, and he was positioned in an orphanage for training and subsequent employment as an Outer Party civil servant. He lives an austere existence in a one-room flat on a subsistence diet plan of black bread and synthetic meals cleaned down with Victory-brand gin. He keeps a journal of unfavorable thoughts and viewpoints about the Celebration and Big Brother, which, if discovered by the Thought Police, would require death.

The flat has an alcove, beside the telescreen, where he apparently can not be seen, and thus thinks he has some personal privacy, while composing in his journal: “Thoughtcrime does not require death. Thoughtcrime IS death.” The telescreens (in every public location, and the quarters of the Party’s members), have actually hidden microphones and video cameras. These gadgets, together with informers, allow the Idea Cops to spy upon everyone therefore recognize anybody who may endanger the Party’s régime; kids, many of all, are indoctrinated to spy and notify on suspected thought-criminals– especially their moms and dads.

At the Minitrue, Winston is an editor accountable for historical revisionism, concording the past to the Party’s ever-changing official variation of the past; thus making the government of Oceania appear omniscient. As such, he constantly rewrites records and changes photos, rendering the deleted people as “unpersons”; the initial files are incinerated in a “memory hole.” Regardless of delighting in the intellectual challenges of historical revisionism, he becomes increasingly amazed by the true past and tries to get more information about it.


One day, at the Minitrue, as Winston assists a lady who has dropped, she surreptitiously hands him a folded paper note; later on, at his desk he discreetly reads the message: I LIKE YOU. The female is “Julia,” a young dark haired mechanic who repairs the Minitrue novel-writing devices. Prior to that event, Winston had loathed the sight of her, because women tended to be the most fanatical fans of Ingsoc. He particularly loathed her because of her membership in the fanatical Junior Anti-Sex League. Winston daydreams about her but he would wish to kill her at the minute of climax. Additionally, Julia was the type of woman he thought he might not draw in: young and puritanical. However, his hostility towards her vanishes upon reading the message. As it ends up, Julia is a thoughtcriminal too, and dislikes the Party as much as he does.

Very carefully, Winston and Julia start a love affair, in the beginning conference in the country, at a cleaning in the woods, then at the belfry of a ruined church, and later on in a leased space atop an antiques shop in a proletarian neighbourhood of London. There, they think themselves safe and unseen, since the leased bed room has no evident telescreen, however, unidentified to Winston and Julia, the Thought Policewere aware of their love affair.

Later, when the Inner Party member O’Brien approaches him, Winston believes he is a representative of the Brotherhood, a secret, counter-revolutionary organisation indicated to ruin The Party. The method opens a secret communication between them; and, on pretext of giving him a copy of the most recent edition of the Dictionary of Newspeak, O’Brien gives Winston The Book, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, by Emmanuel Goldstein, the infamous and openly reviled leader of the Brotherhood. The Book explains the concept of continuous war, the true meanings of the mottos WAR IS PEACE, LIBERTY IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH, and how the régime of The Celebration can be overthrown by ways of the political awareness of the Proles.

The Idea Authorities catch Winston and Julia in their bedroom and deliver them to the Ministry of Love for interrogation. Charrington, the shop keeper who leased the space to them, reveals himself as an officer of the Idea Authorities. O’Brien also reveals himself to be an Idea Cops leader, and admits to tempting Winston and Julia into an incorrect flag operation used by the Idea Cops to root out thought thoughtcriminals.

After a prolonged regimen of organized whippings and emotionally draining interrogation, O’Brien, now Smith’s inquisitor, tortures Winston with electroshock, showing him how, through managed control of perception (e.g.: seeing whatever variety of fingers held up that the Party demands one must see, whatever the “apparent” truth, i.e. 2 +2=5), Winston can “treat” himself of his “insanity”– his manifest hatred for the Party. In long, complicated discussions, he explains the Inner Celebration’s inspiration: complete and outright power, mocking Winston’s presumption that it was in some way altruistic and “for the higher good.” Asked if the Brotherhood exists, O’Brien replies that this is something Winston will never know; it will remain an unsolvable predicament in his mind. During an abuse session, his imprisonment in the Ministry of Love is explained: “There are three phases in your reintegration … There is learning, there is understanding, and there is approval,” i.e. of the Celebration’s assertion of truth.

Confession and betrayal

In the first phase of political re-education, Winston Smith admits to and confesses to crimes he did and did not commit, linking anybody and everybody, consisting of Julia. In the 2nd stage, O’Brien makes Winston understand that he is rotting away; by this time he is little more than skin and bones. Winston counters that: “I have actually not betrayed Julia”; O’Brien concurs, Winston had not betrayed Julia because he “had not stopped enjoying her; his feelings towards her had stayed the very same.”

One night, in his cell, Winston awakens, screaming: “Julia! Julia! Julia, my love! Julia!” O’Brien rushes in to the cell and sends him to Space 101, the most feared room in the Ministry of Love, where resides each detainee’s worst fear, which is required upon him or her. In Room 101 is Acceptance, the last of the political re-education of Winston Smith, whose primal worry of rats is invoked when a wire cage holding hungry rats is fitted onto his face. As the rats will reach Winston’s face, he shouts: “Do it to Julia!” therefore betraying her, and relinquishing his love for her. At torture’s end, upon accepting the teaching of The Celebration, Winston now loves Big Bro and is reintegrated into Oceania society.

Re-encountering Julia

Quickly after being restored to orthodox idea, Winston encounters Julia in a park. It ends up that Julia has endured a similar experience to Winston, and has actually also been restored to her former state as a mindlessly devoted “pal.” Each admits betraying the other:

“I betrayed you,” she stated baldly.
“I betrayed you,” he said.
She provided him another quick look of dislike.

“Sometimes,” she said, “they threaten you with something– something you can’t stand up to, can’t even think of. And then you state, ‘Do not do it to me, do it to someone else, do it to so-and-so.’ And perhaps you may pretend, afterwards, that it was only a technique and that you simply stated it to make them stop and didn’t actually mean it. However that isn’t true. At the time when it occurs you do suggest it. You think there’s no other way of conserving yourself and you’re quite ready to save yourself that way. You desire it to take place to the other individual. You do not offer a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.” “All you care about is yourself,” he echoed.

“And after that, you do not feel the exact same toward the other person any longer.” “No,” he said, “you do not feel the same.”

Throughout, a song recurs in Winston’s mind:

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me– The lyrics are an adaptation of ‘Go say goodbye to a-rushing’, a popular English campfire song from the 1920s, that was a popular success forGlenn Miller in 1939. [35] [36] [37]


An alcoholic Winston sits by himself in the Chestnut Tree Cafe, still troubled by false memories that he realizes are certainly false. He tries to put them out of his mind when suddenly a news reveals Oceania’s decisive victory over Eurasia for control of Africa. A raucous celebration begins outside, and Winston imagines himself a part of it. As he searches for in appreciation at a picture of Big Bro, Winston understands that “the final, essential, recovery change” within his own mind had actually only been completed at just that minute. He participates in a “joyous dream” in which he uses a full, public confession of his criminal offenses and is performed. He feels that all is well now that he has at last achieved a success over himself, ending his previous “persistent, self-willed exile” from the love of Huge Bro– a love Winston now gladly returns.


Principal characters

– Winston Smith– the lead character, is a phlegmatic everyman. – Julia– Winston’s fan, is a hidden “rebel from the waist downwards” who publicly embraces Celebration doctrine as a member of the fanatical Junior Anti-Sex League. – Big Bro– the dark-eyed, mustachioed personification of The Party who rule Oceania. – O’Brien– a member of the Inner Celebration who impersonates a member of The Brotherhood, the counter-revolutionary resistance, in order to trick, trap, and capture Winston and Julia. – Emmanuel Goldstein– a previous leader of The Celebration, the counter-revolutionary author of The Book, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, and leader of the Brotherhood. He is the symbolic Enemy of the State– the nationwide bane who ideologically joins the people of Oceania with the Party, especially throughout the Two Minutes Hate, and other fear mongering by the Inner Party. It is unidentified whether he is real or a fabrication of the Celebration itself for the purpose of propaganda.

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