, George Orwell’s bleakly dystopian novel about the dangers of totalitarianism, warns against a world governed by propaganda, surveillance, and censorship. Read a character analysis of Winston Smith, plot summary, and important quotes. Read a Plot Overview of the entire book. A summary of Book One: Chapter I in George Orwell's On a cold day in April of , a man named Winston Smith returns to his home, a dilapidated. (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series). Home · (SparkNotes Literature Guide . 15 downloads Views KB Size Report. DOWNLOAD PDF.

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    1984 Sparknotes Pdf

    PDF READ FREE by George Orwell (SparkNotes Literature Guide) PDF DOWNLOAD For download this book click Button below. On a cold day in April of , a man named Winston Smith returns to his home, a dilapidated apartment building called Victory Mansions. Thin, frail, and. SparkNotes Summary Book 2. Summary: Chapter I. At work one morning, Winston walks toward the men's room and notices the dark-haired girl with.

    After graduating from Eton, Orwell decided to forego college in order to work as a British Imperial Policeman in Burma. He hated his duties in Burma, where he was required to enforce the strict laws of a political regime he despised. His failing health, which troubled him throughout his life, caused him to return to England on convalescent leave. Once back in England, he quit the Imperial Police and dedicated himself to becoming a writer. After reemerging, he published a book about this experience, entitled Down and Out in Paris and London. He later lived among destitute coal miners in northern England, an experience that caused him to give up on capitalism in favor of democratic socialism. In , he traveled to Spain to report on the Spanish Civil War, where he witnessed firsthand the nightmarish atrocities committed by fascist political regimes. Orwell devoted his energy to writing novels that were politically charged, first with Animal Farm in , then with in In Spain, Germany, and the Soviet Union, Orwell had witnessed the danger of absolute political authority in an age of advanced technology. He illustrated that peril harshly in Unlike a utopian novel, in which the writer aims to portray the perfect human society, a novel of negative utopia does the exact opposite: it shows the worst human society imaginable, in an effort to convince readers to avoid any path that might lead toward such societal degradation. That Orwell postulated such a society a mere thirty-five years into the future compounded this fear. Of course, the world that Orwell envisioned in did not materialize.

    His failing health, which troubled him throughout his life, caused him to return to England on convalescent leave. Once back in England, he quit the Imperial Police and dedicated himself to becoming a writer.

    After reemerging, he published a book about this experience, entitled Down and Out in Paris and London. He later lived among destitute coal miners in northern England, an experience that caused him to give up on capitalism in favor of democratic socialism.

    In , he traveled to Spain to report on the Spanish Civil War, where he witnessed firsthand the nightmarish atrocities committed by fascist political regimes. Orwell devoted his energy to writing novels that were politically charged, first with Animal Farm in , then with in In Spain, Germany, and the Soviet Union, Orwell had witnessed the danger of absolute political authority in an age of advanced technology.

    He illustrated that peril harshly in Unlike a utopian novel, in which the writer aims to portray the perfect human society, a novel of negative utopia does the exact opposite: That Orwell postulated such a society a mere thirty-five years into the future compounded this fear. Of course, the world that Orwell envisioned in did not materialize. Rather than being overwhelmed by totalitarianism, democracy ultimately won out in the Cold War, as seen in the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early s.

    Yet remains an important novel, in part for the alarm it sounds against the abusive nature of authoritarian governments, but even more so for its penetrating analysis of the psychology of power and the ways that manipulations of language and history can be used as mechanisms of control. Currently, the Party is forcing the implementation of an invented language called Newspeak, which attempts to prevent political rebellion by eliminating all words related to it.

    Even thinking rebellious thoughts is illegal. Such thoughtcrime is, in fact, the worst of all crimes. As the novel opens, Winston feels frustrated by the oppression and rigid control of the Party, which prohibits free thought, sex, and any expression of individuality. Winston dislikes the party and has illegally downloadd a diary in which to write his criminal thoughts.

    Winston works in the Ministry of Truth, where he alters historical records to fit the needs of the Party. He notices a coworker, a beautiful dark-haired girl, staring at him, and worries that she is an informant who will turn him in for his thoughtcrime. The Party also claims that Emmanuel Goldstein, the alleged leader of the Brotherhood, is the most dangerous man alive, but this does not seem plausible to Winston.

    Winston spends his evenings wandering through the poorest neighborhoods in London, where the proletarians, or proles, live squalid lives, relatively free of Party monitoring. This relationship lasts for some time. Winston is sure that they will be caught and punished sooner or later the fatalistic Winston knows that he has been doomed since he wrote his first diary entry , while Julia is more pragmatic and optimistic. At last, he receives the message that he has been waiting for: Winston reads the book—an amalgam of several forms of class-based twentieth-century social theory—to Julia in the room above the store.

    Suddenly, soldiers barge in and seize them. Charrington, the proprietor of the store, is revealed as having been a member of the Thought Police all along. His spirit broken, Winston is released to the outside world. He meets Julia, but no longer feels anything for her. He has accepted the Party entirely and has learned to love Big Brother. Winston hates the totalitarian control and enforced repression that are characteristic of his government.

    He harbors revolutionary dreams. Julia enjoys sex, and claims to have had affairs with many Party members. Julia is pragmatic and optimistic. Big Brother —Though he never appears in the novel, and though he may not actually exist, Big Brother, the perceived ruler of Oceania, is an extremely important figure.

    Charrington —An old man who runs a secondhand store in the prole district. Kindly and encouraging, Mr. But Mr. Charrington is not as he seems. He is a member of the Thought Police. Syme specializes in language. As the novel opens, he is working on a new edition of the Newspeak dictionary. Parsons —A fat, obnoxious, and dull Party member who lives near Winston and works at the Ministry of Truth.

    He has a dull wife and a group of suspicious, ill-mannered children who are members of the Junior Spies. Emmanuel Goldstein —Another figure who exerts an influence on the novel without ever appearing in it.

    According to the Party, Goldstein is the legendary leader of the Brotherhood. He seems to have been a Party leader who fell out of favor with the regime. In any case, the Party describes him as the most dangerous and treacherous man in Oceania. The reader experiences the nightmarish world that Orwell envisions through the eyes of the protagonist, Winston. His personal tendency to resist the stifling of his individuality, and his intellectual ability to reason about his resistance, enables the reader to observe and understand the harsh oppression that the Party, Big Brother, and the Thought Police institute.

    Whereas Julia is untroubled and somewhat selfish, interested in rebelling only for the pleasures to be gained, Winston is extremely pensive and curious, desperate to understand how and why the Party exercises such absolute power in Oceania. But because he believes that he will be caught no matter what he does, he convinces himself that he must continue to rebel.

    Winston lives in a world in which legitimate optimism is an impossibility; lacking any real hope, he gives himself false hope, fully aware that he is doing so. Whereas Winston is restless, fatalistic, and concerned about large-scale social issues, Julia is sensual, pragmatic, and generally content to live in the moment and make the best of her life.

    Winston essentially sees their affair as temporary; his fatalistic attitude makes him unable to imagine his relationship with Julia lasting very long. Julia, on the other hand, is well adapted to her chosen forms of small-scale rebellion.

    She claims to have had affairs with various Party members, and has no intention of terminating her pleasure seeking, or of being caught her involvement with Winston is what leads to her capture. Julia is a striking contrast with Winston: Similarly, one cannot be sure whether the Brotherhood actually exists, or if it is simply a Party invention used to trap the disloyal and give the rest of the populace a common enemy.

    The Dangers of Totalitarianism is a political novel written with the purpose of warning readers in the West of the dangers of totalitarian government. Having witnessed firsthand the horrific lengths to which totalitarian governments in Spain and Russia would go in order to sustain and increase their power, Orwell designed to sound the alarm in Western nations still unsure about how to approach the rise of communism. In , the Cold War had not yet escalated, many American intellectuals supported communism, and the state of diplomacy between democratic and communist nations was highly ambiguous.

    In the American press, the Soviet Union was often portrayed as a great moral experiment. Orwell, however, was deeply disturbed by the widespread cruelties and oppressions he observed in communist countries, and seems to have been particularly concerned by the role of technology in enabling oppressive governments to monitor and control their citizens.

    In , Orwell portrays the perfect totalitarian society, the most extreme realization imaginable of a modern-day government with absolute power.

    The title of the novel was meant to indicate to its readers in that the story represented a real possibility for the near future: Orwell portrays a state in which government monitors and controls every aspect of human life to the extent that even having a disloyal thought is against the law. These include: The Party undermines family structure by inducting children into an organization called the Junior Spies, which brainwashes and encourages them to spy on their parents and report any instance of disloyalty to the Party.

    The Party also forces individuals to suppress their sexual desires, treating sex as merely a procreative duty whose end is the creation of new Party members. Many of these enemies have been invented by the Party expressly for this purpose. Physical Control In addition to manipulating their minds, the Party also controls the bodies of its subjects.

    The Party constantly watches for any sign of disloyalty, to the point that, as Winston observes, even a tiny facial twitch could lead to an arrest. The Party forces its members to undergo mass morningexercises called the Physical Jerks, and then to work long, grueling days at government agencies, keeping people in a general state of exhaustion.

    After being subjected to weeks of this intense treatment, Winston himself comes to the conclusion that nothing is more powerful than physical pain—no emotional loyalty or moral conviction can overcome it. The Party does not allow individuals to keep records of their past, such as photographs or documents. As a result, memories become fuzzy and unreliable, and citizens become perfectly willing to believe whatever the Party tells them. By controlling the present, the Party is able to manipulate the past.

    And in controlling the past, the Party can justify all of its actions in the present. Technology By means of telescreens and hidden microphones across the city, the Party is able to monitor its members almost all of the time. Additionally, the Party employs complicated mechanisms was written in the era before computers to exert large-scale control on economic production and sources of information, and fearsome machinery to inflict torture upon those it deems enemies.

    If control of language were centralized in a political agency, Orwell proposes, such an agency could possibly alter the very structure of language to make it impossible to even conceive of disobedient or rebellious thoughts, because there would be no words with which to think them. This idea manifests itself in the language of Newspeak, which the Party has introduced to replace English. During colonial times, foreign powers took political and military control of distant regions and, as a part of their occupation, instituted their own language as the language of government and business.

    At the Hate Week rally, for instance, the Party shifts its diplomatic allegiance, so the nation it has been at war with suddenly becomes its ally, and its former ally becomes its new enemy. When the Party speaker suddenly changes the nation he refers to as an enemy in the middle of his speech, the crowd accepts his words immediately, and is ashamed to find that it has made the wrong signs for the event. Urban Decay Urban decay proves a pervasive motif in The London that Winston Smith calls home is a dilapidated, rundown city in which buildings are crumbling, conveniences such as elevators never work, and necessities such as electricity and plumbing are extremely unreliable.

    Big Brother is the face of the Party.

    The citizens are told that he is the leader of the nation and the head of the Party, but Winston can never determine whether or not he actually exists. In any case, the face of Big Brother symbolizes the Party in its public manifestation; he is a reassurance to most people the warmth of his name suggests his ability to protect , but he is also an open threat one cannot escape his gaze.

    Big Brother also symbolizes the vagueness with which the higher ranks of the Party present themselves—it is impossible to know who really rules Oceania, what life is like for the rulers, or why they act as they do. The Glass Paperweight and St. Winston vaguely understands this principle.

    He struggles to recover his own memories and formulate a larger picture of what has happened to the world. Symbolically, when the Thought Police arrest Winston at last, the paperweight shatters on the floor. The old picture of St. In their dual capability to blare constant propaganda and observe citizens, the telescreens also symbolize how totalitarian government abuses technology for its own ends instead of exploiting its knowledge to improve civilization.

    Thin, frail, and thirty-nine years old, it is painful for him to trudge up the stairs because he has a varicose ulcer above his right ankle. The elevator is always out of service so he does not try to use it. In his apartment, an instrument called a telescreen—which is always on, spouting propaganda, and through which the Thought Police are known to monitor the actions of citizens—shows a dreary report about pig iron.

    Winston keeps his back to the screen. The proles, as they are called, are so impoverished and insignificant that the Party does not consider them a threat to its power.

    Winston begins to write in his diary, although he realizes that this constitutes an act of rebellion against the Party. He describes the films he watched the night before. He has committed thoughtcrime—the most unpardonable crime—and he knows that the Thought Police will seize him sooner or later.

    Just then, there is a knock at the door. Analysis The first few chapters of are devoted to introducing the major characters and themes of the novel. To this end, Orwell offers a protagonist who has been subject to Party control all of his life, but who has arrived at a dim idea of rebellion and freedom. Unlike virtually anyone else in Airstrip One, Winston seems to understand that he might be happier if he were free. Orwell emphasizes the fact that, in the world of Airstrip One, freedom is a shocking and alien notion: He realizes that writing in the diary has altered his life irrevocably and that he is no longer simply another citizen of Oceania.

    In writing in the diary he becomes a thought-criminal, and he considers himself doomed from the very start: Sooner or later they were bound to get you. The telescreens in their homes blare out a constant stream of propaganda, touting the greatness of Oceania and the success of the Party in ruling it.

    The government, meanwhile, expresses its role in outlandishly dishonest fashion, as seen in the stark contradiction between the name and function of each of its ministries.

    Independence and will are replaced by a fear of, and faith in, the Party; indeed, individual thought has become so alien the population accepts that the Party has made it a crime. However, it is only Mrs. Parsons, a neighbor in his apartment building, needing help with the plumbing while her husband is away. In Mrs. The Junior Spies is an organization of children who monitor adults for disloyalty to the Party, and frequently succeed in catching them—Mrs.

    Parsons herself seems afraid of her zealous children. Chapter III Winston dreams of being with his mother on a sinking ship. He then dreams of a place called The Golden Country, where the dark-haired girl takes off her clothes and runs toward him in an act of freedom that annihilates the whole Party. A high-pitched whistle sounds from the telescreen, a signal that office workers must wake up. It is time for the Physical Jerks, a round of grotesque exercise. As he exercises, Winston thinks about his childhood, which he barely remembers.

    Winston remembers that no one had heard of Big Brother, the leader of the Party, before , but stories about him now appear in histories going back to the s. As Winston has these thoughts, a voice from the telescreen suddenly calls out his name, reprimanding him for not working hard enough at the Physical Jerks. Winston breaks out into a hot sweat and tries harder to touch his toes.

    He has been fearing the power of the Party for decades, and the guilt he feels after having committed a crime against the Party overwhelms him, rendering him absolutely certain that he will be caught and punished. Winston only occasionally allows himself to feel any hope for the future. Initially, Winston must confine his sexual desires to the realm of fantasy, as when he dreams in Chapter II of an imaginary Golden Country in which he makes love to the darkhaired girl.

    Like sex in general, the dark-haired girl is treated as an unfathomable mystery in this section; she is someone whom Winston simultaneously desires and distrusts with a profound paranoia. Winston only vaguely remembers a time before the Party came to power, and memories of his past enter his mind only in dreams, which are the most secure repositories for thoughts, feelings, and memories that must be suppressed in waking life. Winston will indeed make love to the dark-haired girl in an idyllic country landscape.

    An important motif that emerges in the first three chapters of is that of urban decay. Under the supposedly benign guidance of the Party, London has fallen apart. Children are effectively converted into spies and trained to watch the actions of their parents with extreme suspicion.

    The fear Mrs. Orwell was inspired in his creation of the Junior Spies by a real organization called Hitler Youth that thrived in Nazi Germany. This group instilled a fanatic patriotism in children that led them to such behaviors as monitoring their parents for any sign of deviation from Nazi orthodoxy, in much the same manner that Orwell later ascribed to the Junior Spies.

    Even when the citizens of Airstrip One are forced to live with less food, they are told that they are being given more than ever and, by and large, they believe it.

    Since Comrade Withers was executed as an enemy of the Party, it is unacceptable to have a document on file praising him as a loyal Party member. Winston invents a person named Comrade Ogilvy and substitutes him for Comrade Withers in the records. Watching a man named Comrade Tillotson in the cubicle across the way, Winston reflects on the activity in the Ministry of Truth, where thousands of workers correct the flow of history to make it match party ideology, and churn out endless drivel—even pornography—to pacify the brutally destitute proletariat.

    Chapter V Winston has lunch with a man named Syme, an intelligent Party member who works on a revised dictionary of Newspeak, the official language of Oceania. Syme tells Winston that Newspeak aims to narrow the range of thought to render thoughtcrime impossible. If there are no words in a language that are capable of expressing independent, rebellious thoughts, no one will ever be able to rebel, or even to conceive of the idea of rebellion.

    Parsons, a pudgy and fervent Party official and the husband of the woman whose plumbing Winston fixed in Chapter II, comes into the canteen and elicits a contribution from Winston for neighborhood Hate Week. Suddenly, an exuberant message from the Ministry of Plenty announces increases in production over the loudspeakers.

    Winston reflects that the alleged increase in the chocolate ration to twenty grams was actually a reduction from the day before, but those around him seem to accept the announcement joyfully and without suspicion.

    Winston feels that he is being watched; he looks up and sees the dark-haired girl staring at him. He worries again that she is a Party agent. Winston desperately wants to have an enjoyable sexual affair, which he sees as the ultimate act of rebellion. In his diary, he writes that the prole prostitute was old and ugly, but that he went through with the sex act anyway.

    He still longs to shout profanities at the top of his voice. With the belief of the workers, the records become functionally true. Winston struggles under the weight of this oppressive machinery, and yearns to be able to trust his own memory.

    Winston realizes that his own nervous system has become his archenemy. The dingy, nasty memory makes Winston desperate to have an enjoyable, authentic erotic experience. By transforming sex into a duty, the Party strikes another psychological blow against individualism: He believes that the Party cannot be destroyed from within, and that even the Brotherhood, a legendary revolutionary group, lacks the wherewithal to defeat the mighty Thought Police.

    The proles, on the other hand make up eighty-five percent of the population of Oceania, and could easily muster the strength and manpower to overcome the Police.

    However, the proles lead brutish, ignorant, animalistic lives, and lack both the energy and interest to revolt; most of them do not even understand that the Party is oppressing them. The Party claims to have built ideal cities, but London, where Winston lives, is a wreck: But he also thinks she is the sort of person who would turn him into the thought police.

    So he's afraid of her but also sort of fascinated. The other person he's interested in is this portly guy named O'Brien, who's a member of the inner party. That means he's a boss much higher up than Winston. Winston should be afraid of this guy but he gets the sense that O'Brien is intelligent so he has this yearning to be friends with him.

    He thinks O'Brien would understand how he feels about life. The book takes a turn one day when Julia slips Winston a note that says 'I love you. Of course he's interested, he can't wait to get in touch with her but it's very hard for them to say two words to each other in private with all these spies and cameras everywhere.

    Finally they do manage to get out to the country and they start this mad love affair. The love affair makes them both very happy. It's dangerous because they could be killed or sent to labor camps if they get caught but that makes it more exciting. At last Winston has someone who understands him and who hates the party as much as he does. But Winston needs to go that extra step. He's rebelling against the party privately by having the secret affair. He gets his chance one day when O'Brien invites him to his apartment to look at something work related.

    Winston takes a leap of faith and guesses that O'brien must be part of the rebellion. It just isn't done. So he and Julia go to O'Brien's house and confess that they want to be rebels and O'Brien says 'yes, I am a rebel too. And we all read this book that explains why things are the way they are. Unfortunately right after he reads it, 9 the thought police bust in and arrest him and Julia and carry them off to the ministry of love to torture them.

    So O'Brien wasn't a rebel after all, he just wanted to catch Winston. They break his bones and his teeth, they use electric shock, they starve him and on and on. He tells them everything he knows. He confesses to everything they ask him and he tells them everything he knows about Julia.

    After torturing him over and over O'Brien finally tells Winston what it is that the government really wants.

    Nineteen Eighty-Four - Wikipedia

    What they want is to have total power over the minds of people like Winston. They want people like Winston to say two plus two equals five and really believe it, not just say it to avoid the beating. For the government it's purely an exercise in power. They're not trying to control his mind for some other purpose; they just want to exercise total power over people's minds.

    They finally do break Winston completely in this place called room , where they do whatever it is you're most afraid of. They lock his face into a cage and threaten to let these rats eat their way through his face. He has a phobia of rats so he loses it and says 'Do it to Julia, not me' which is a complete betrayal of what's most important to him. After he does that, they let him and Julia go. The thought police don't care about them anymore. The two of them meet on the outside but they can't love each other anymore.

    Winston has changed to the point that he doesn't even want to think about anything that might be rebellious. He just sits in a cafe listening to the news and smiling. The last words of the novel are 'he loved big brother. At the same time the book has a positive message which is that it's really hard to get inside someone's head to that extent.

    The government has to go to incredible lengths to brainwash Winston successfully. It contains a gap-fill exercise, a set of comprehension questions and a crossword puzzle. Answer key as well as video transcript provided.

    Winston dislikes the party and has illegally downloadd a diary in which to write his criminal thoughts. Winston works in the Ministry of Truth, where he alters historical records to fit the needs of the Party.

    1984 (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)

    He notices a coworker, a beautiful dark-haired girl, staring at him, and worries that she is an informant who will turn him in for his thoughtcrime.

    The Party also claims that Emmanuel Goldstein, the alleged leader of the Brotherhood, is the most dangerous man alive, but this does not seem plausible to Winston. Winston spends his evenings wandering through the poorest neighborhoods in London, where the proletarians, or proles, live squalid lives, relatively free of Party monitoring.

    This relationship lasts for some time. Winston is sure that they will be caught and punished sooner or later the fatalistic Winston knows that he has been doomed since he wrote his first diary entry , while Julia is more pragmatic and optimistic. Winston reads the book—an amalgam of several forms of class-based twentieth-century social theory—to Julia in the room above the store.

    Suddenly, soldiers barge in and seize them. Charrington, the proprietor of the store, is revealed as having been a member of the Thought Police all along. His spirit broken, Winston is released to the outside world. He meets Julia, but no longer feels anything for her. He has accepted the Party entirely and has learned to love Big Brother. Winston hates the totalitarian control and enforced repression that are characteristic of his government.

    He harbors revolutionary dreams. Julia enjoys sex, and claims to have had affairs with many Party members.

    Orwell's 1984 Summary (Video SparkNotes) worksheet

    Julia is pragmatic and optimistic. Big Brother —Though he never appears in the novel, and though he may not actually exist, Big Brother, the perceived ruler of Oceania, is an extremely important figure.

    Charrington —An old man who runs a secondhand store in the prole district. Kindly and encouraging, Mr. But Mr. Charrington is not as he seems. He is a member of the Thought Police. Syme specializes in language. As the novel opens, he is working on a new edition of the Newspeak dictionary. Parsons —A fat, obnoxious, and dull Party member who lives near Winston and works at the Ministry of Truth. He has a dull wife and a group of suspicious, ill-mannered children who are members of the Junior Spies.

    Emmanuel Goldstein —Another figure who exerts an influence on the novel without ever appearing in it. According to the Party, Goldstein is the legendary leader of the Brotherhood.

    He seems to have been a Party leader who fell out of favor with the regime. In any case, the Party describes him as the most dangerous and treacherous man in Oceania. The reader experiences the nightmarish world that Orwell envisions through the eyes of the protagonist, Winston. His personal tendency to resist the stifling of his individuality, and his intellectual ability to reason about his resistance, enables the reader to observe and understand the harsh oppression that the Party, Big Brother, and the Thought Police institute.

    Whereas Julia is untroubled and somewhat selfish, interested in rebelling only for the pleasures to be gained, Winston is extremely pensive and curious, desperate to understand how and why the Party exercises such absolute power in Oceania. But because he believes that he will be caught no matter what he does, he convinces himself that he must continue to rebel.

    Winston lives in a world in which legitimate optimism is an impossibility; lacking any real hope, he gives himself false hope, fully aware that he is doing so. Whereas Winston is restless, fatalistic, and concerned about large-scale social issues, Julia is sensual, pragmatic, and generally content to live in the moment and make the best of her life. Winston essentially sees their affair as temporary; his fatalistic attitude makes him unable to imagine his relationship with Julia lasting very long.

    Julia, on the other hand, is well adapted to her chosen forms of small-scale rebellion. She claims to have had affairs with various Party members, and has no intention of terminating her pleasure seeking, or of being caught her involvement with Winston is what leads to her capture.

    Julia is a striking contrast with Winston: apart from their mutual sexual desire and hatred of the Party, most of their traits are dissimilar, if not contradictory.

    Similarly, one cannot be sure whether the Brotherhood actually exists, or if it is simply a Party invention used to trap the disloyal and give the rest of the populace a common enemy. The Dangers of Totalitarianism is a political novel written with the purpose of warning readers in the West of the dangers of totalitarian government. Having witnessed firsthand the horrific lengths to which totalitarian governments in Spain and Russia would go in order to sustain and increase their power, Orwell designed to sound the alarm in Western nations still unsure about how to approach the rise of communism.

    In , the Cold War had not yet escalated, many American intellectuals supported communism, and the state of diplomacy between democratic and communist nations was highly ambiguous.

    In the American press, the Soviet Union was often portrayed as a great moral experiment. Orwell, however, was deeply disturbed by the widespread cruelties and oppressions he observed in communist countries, and seems to have been particularly concerned by the role of technology in enabling oppressive governments to monitor and control their citizens.

    In , Orwell portrays the perfect totalitarian society, the most extreme realization imaginable of a modern-day government with absolute power.

    The title of the novel was meant to indicate to its readers in that the story represented a real possibility for the near future: if totalitarianism were not opposed, the title suggested, some variation of the world described in the novel could become a reality in only thirtyfive years. Orwell portrays a state in which government monitors and controls every aspect of human life to the extent that even having a disloyal thought is against the law.

    The Party undermines family structure by inducting children into an organization called the Junior Spies, which brainwashes and encourages them to spy on their parents and report any instance of disloyalty to the Party. The Party also forces individuals to suppress their sexual desires, treating sex as merely a procreative duty whose end is the creation of new Party members. Many of these enemies have been invented by the Party expressly for this purpose. Physical Control In addition to manipulating their minds, the Party also controls the bodies of its subjects.

    You might also like: 1984 NOVEL PDF

    The Party constantly watches for any sign of disloyalty, to the point that, as Winston observes, even a tiny facial twitch could lead to an arrest. The Party forces its members to undergo mass morningexercises called the Physical Jerks, and then to work long, grueling days at government agencies, keeping people in a general state of exhaustion.

    After being subjected to weeks of this intense treatment, Winston himself comes to the conclusion that nothing is more powerful than physical pain—no emotional loyalty or moral conviction can overcome it. The Party does not allow individuals to keep records of their past, such as photographs or documents. As a result, memories become fuzzy and unreliable, and citizens become perfectly willing to believe whatever the Party tells them.

    By controlling the present, the Party is able to manipulate the past. And in controlling the past, the Party can justify all of its actions in the present. Technology By means of telescreens and hidden microphones across the city, the Party is able to monitor its members almost all of the time. Additionally, the Party employs complicated mechanisms was written in the era before computers to exert large-scale control on economic production and sources of information, and fearsome machinery to inflict torture upon those it deems enemies.

    If control of language were centralized in a political agency, Orwell proposes, such an agency could possibly alter the very structure of language to make it impossible to even conceive of disobedient or rebellious thoughts, because there would be no words with which to think them.

    This idea manifests itself in the language of Newspeak, which the Party has introduced to replace English. During colonial times, foreign powers took political and military control of distant regions and, as a part of their occupation, instituted their own language as the language of government and business. At the Hate Week rally, for instance, the Party shifts its diplomatic allegiance, so the nation it has been at war with suddenly becomes its ally, and its former ally becomes its new enemy.

    When the Party speaker suddenly changes the nation he refers to as an enemy in the middle of his speech, the crowd accepts his words immediately, and is ashamed to find that it has made the wrong signs for the event. Urban Decay Urban decay proves a pervasive motif in The London that Winston Smith calls home is a dilapidated, rundown city in which buildings are crumbling, conveniences such as elevators never work, and necessities such as electricity and plumbing are extremely unreliable.

    Big Brother is the face of the Party. The citizens are told that he is the leader of the nation and the head of the Party, but Winston can never determine whether or not he actually exists. In any case, the face of Big Brother symbolizes the Party in its public manifestation; he is a reassurance to most people the warmth of his name suggests his ability to protect , but he is also an open threat one cannot escape his gaze.

    Big Brother also symbolizes the vagueness with which the higher ranks of the Party present themselves—it is impossible to know who really rules Oceania, what life is like for the rulers, or why they act as they do. The Glass Paperweight and St.

    Winston vaguely understands this principle. He struggles to recover his own memories and formulate a larger picture of what has happened to the world. Symbolically, when the Thought Police arrest Winston at last, the paperweight shatters on the floor.

    The old picture of St. In their dual capability to blare constant propaganda and observe citizens, the telescreens also symbolize how totalitarian government abuses technology for its own ends instead of exploiting its knowledge to improve civilization. Thin, frail, and thirty-nine years old, it is painful for him to trudge up the stairs because he has a varicose ulcer above his right ankle. The elevator is always out of service so he does not try to use it. In his apartment, an instrument called a telescreen—which is always on, spouting propaganda, and through which the Thought Police are known to monitor the actions of citizens—shows a dreary report about pig iron.

    Winston keeps his back to the screen. The proles, as they are called, are so impoverished and insignificant that the Party does not consider them a threat to its power. Winston begins to write in his diary, although he realizes that this constitutes an act of rebellion against the Party. He describes the films he watched the night before. He has committed thoughtcrime—the most unpardonable crime—and he knows that the Thought Police will seize him sooner or later. Just then, there is a knock at the door.

    Analysis The first few chapters of are devoted to introducing the major characters and themes of the novel. To this end, Orwell offers a protagonist who has been subject to Party control all of his life, but who has arrived at a dim idea of rebellion and freedom. Unlike virtually anyone else in Airstrip One, Winston seems to understand that he might be happier if he were free.

    Orwell emphasizes the fact that, in the world of Airstrip One, freedom is a shocking and alien notion: simply writing in a diary—an act of self-expression—is an unpardonable crime. He realizes that writing in the diary has altered his life irrevocably and that he is no longer simply another citizen of Oceania.

    Sooner or later they were bound to get you. The telescreens in their homes blare out a constant stream of propaganda, touting the greatness of Oceania and the success of the Party in ruling it. The government, meanwhile, expresses its role in outlandishly dishonest fashion, as seen in the stark contradiction between the name and function of each of its ministries. Independence and will are replaced by a fear of, and faith in, the Party; indeed, individual thought has become so alien the population accepts that the Party has made it a crime.

    However, it is only Mrs. Parsons, a neighbor in his apartment building, needing help with the plumbing while her husband is away. In Mrs. The Junior Spies is an organization of children who monitor adults for disloyalty to the Party, and frequently succeed in catching them—Mrs. Parsons herself seems afraid of her zealous children.

    Chapter III Winston dreams of being with his mother on a sinking ship. He then dreams of a place called The Golden Country, where the dark-haired girl takes off her clothes and runs toward him in an act of freedom that annihilates the whole Party.

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