1984 is the story of Winston, a middle aged man living in London in a futuristic country known as Oceania . The story was projected from when it was written in 1948. Central to 1984 is “The Party”, the head of Oceania who run everything and has everybody under constant surveillance through “telescreens”. The Party censors everybody’s behaviour, even their thoughts. Winston secretly hates The Party and the story introduces Winston carrying out his job at “The Ministry of Truth” destroying past evidence.
After he and a fellow worker, Julia develop a secret love, he becomes to understand what it is like to be more of a “normal” person. He eventually falls into a trap laid by O’Brien, a member of the party and is tortured in a wide variety methods to alter his mind and force him to betray all his rebellious beliefs and his love for Julia. Once he is “cured” he is thrown back into society as a brain-dead, “Party Loving” citizen. The main idea of Winston trying to rebel against authority really engaged me.
Orwell’s writing showed the frustration and anger felt by Winston as he disagreed about so many things that the party believed in, and was always trying to find out if life was better “before. ” I found it fascinating that Winston realised, even though he could not speak out or outwardly rebel against the system, he could actually retain his own state of mind, keep his head low and work around the system. Another strong imagery in the novel, was how Orwell communicated a clear impression of Winston’s colleagues as “Beetle like creatures” who worked in the Ministry of Truth.
It painted a clear picture, of how these people kept to themselves, were insular, rarely worrying or considering anybody else. I can imagine that by the end of the novel after suffering under O’Brien’s torture, Winston would have been just like these “beetle like creatures. ” The concept of these characters engaged me. One of the key scenes that strongly appealed to me in 1984 was the “2 Minutes Of Hate” where the outer party were forced to watch a 2 minute video of their enemies on a telescreen, urging people to express their hate against all enemies.
These videos got so extreme that it was as Winston described “not uncommon for people to physically assault the telescreen. ” Clearly the thought behind this was to deflect the people’s anger and hate away from the party and towards other sources. Another scene that appealed to me was when Winston and Julia believed they were joining against the Party in cooperation with O’Brien. There strong beliefs were displayed when Winston agreed to participate in shocking activities, ranging from cheating, to throwing acid at a child’s face.
Even though he agreed to do these shocking things, I felt proud of Winston as he displayed real conviction and it was the first time he had actually taken real action to rebel against the party, rather than just keeping out of trouble. The scene towards the end of the novel where Winston is tortured in Room 101 would probably be the most appealing scene to me. The methods of manipulation used against him really shocked me. They humiliated him, inflicting horrific pain, and totally exploited his mind, until he would believe anything The Party told him to.
The utter strength of The Party was displayed here, as O’Brien explains how they are invincible, and that nothing can deny or disagree with anything the party believes in. He demonstrated this to Winston by using pain and humiliation to convince him that 2 + 2 is 5. Not only did he make Winston say that it was 5, he actually twisted his mind to really believe that it was 5! The primary purpose of the story was based around George Orwell’s fears of communism in the 1940s. 984 was his impression of a future communist world, and he illustrated how powerful governments can manipulate reality, and persuade the its people to believe whatever the government intends. It also demonstrates how a life of being constantly monitored and forced to comply with strict regulations can totally destroy a person, just as it did to Winston in the novel. From a positive aspect, when Winston met Julia, we are shown that it is possible to escape their manipulated reality and thankfully an individual can begin to feel “human” again, and can identify the horrors and falsities of a Big Brother environment. By Yo