1984 is a dystopian novel written by George Orwell. The book was published in 1949. Some critics are sure that it was this work that became the most significant in the author’s creative career. “1984” was the last work that the writer created. Let’s analyze what feelings and emotions this book is filled with.
What is the book “1984” about?
This story is about the main character living in London. Winston Smith holds a position in the Ministry of Truth and is also a member of the Outer Party. However, he does not support the policy of his party. In addition, all slogans and ideology are extremely alien to the character. Winston Smith doubts everything that surrounds him. Sometimes it is vital for the hero of a work to “let off steam”. Otherwise, he may commit a rash act, which he will later regret very much. It is for these purposes that the character started a diary, in which he reflects all his doubts.
Winston used to hide his true face behind a mask. The people around him are sure that in front of them is a man who is an ardent supporter of party ideas. But suddenly the character begins to fear the girl who works with him in the same ministry. Winston suspects that Julia is secretly following him and wants to bring him “to clean water.” The hero of the work is closely watching another employee of the ministry, who occupies a high position. The character is almost sure that one O’Brien is an underground revolutionary.
One day the hero finds himself in an area in which he is extremely undesirable to be. The character visited an antique shop. The shopkeeper showed Winston Smith the upper room. The hero of the work realized that it was in this room that he wanted to spend some time. The character then returns to his work. Suddenly he sees Julia in front of him and realizes that the girl was spying on him. Just from this thought, Winston is horrified.
The meaning of the book “1984”
J. Orwell depicted a senseless and merciless duel between the individual and the system, where the former is doomed to death. An authoritarian state denies a person’s right to individuality, which means that everything that is dear to us will be trampled if the power of the state over society is absolute. The writer warned us against the collectivism of thought and against the permissiveness of dictatorship under whatever slogans, which certainly cannot be trusted.
The meaning of the work “1984” is to present a world that has evolved dialectically according to the laws of today to a state of tyranny, and to show its squalor, its total inconsistency with our values and ideas. The author took the radical ideas of contemporary politicians to the extreme and received not science fiction, no, but a real forecast for the future, to which we, without knowing it, approaching the present. Any dystopia exaggerates in order to make humanity think about what will happen next if the arbitrariness of today is allowed.
In the middle of the 20th century, Oceania had many prototypes. D. Orwell spoke especially harshly about the USSR. He often spoke in the press criticizing the country’s authoritarian regime, repressive domestic policies, aggressive behavior on the world stage, and so on. Many details from the book are strikingly reminiscent of the realities of Russia during the Soviet period: the cult of personality, repression, torture, shortages, censorship, and so on. Perhaps the work was in the nature of a very specific satirical attack against the Soviet Union. For example, it is known that the writer came up with the famous “twice two equals five” when he heard the expression “five-year plan in 4 years”.
The history of the creation of George Orwell’s “1984” book
From the memoirs of the publisher Fred Warburg, we can conclude that the first ideas about the future work of George Orwell appeared in 1943. Initially, the writer revealed the theme of “betrayed revolution” in his other work, Animal Farm. Then she organically moved into his book “1984”. The author began to think through the storylines and key points. The writer paid special attention to feelings. It was important for George Orwell to emphasize the love, hatred, fear that were present in a totalitarian society.
In the work, several parallels can be traced with the creative works of other authors. Some critics believe that the writer borrowed the idea of the book from the dystopian novel We, created by Yevgeny Zamyatin.
The draft version of the manuscript “1984” was completed by the author in October 1947. However, the writer failed to quickly complete the work and submit the book for publication. George Orwell had an exacerbation of tuberculosis. The author had to go to the clinic for treatment. July 28, 1948 D. Orwell was discharged from the hospital. To finish the novel, the writer went to the island of Jura. Three months later, the author asked his publisher to send him a typist. But no one dared to go to a remote island. The seriously ill writer was forced to reprint his work on his own.
On June 8, 1949, “1984” was published. The novel received predominantly rave reviews from critics and readers. Then, based on the book, a radio play was released. This event took place in 1953. Also based on the work in 1956 and 1984, motion pictures of the same name were shot.
What is the themes of the “1984”
“1984” by George Orwell explores several themes, including:
- Totalitarianism: The novel is set in a society where the government, led by a figure known as Big Brother, exercises total control over every aspect of citizens’ lives. This serves as a critique of totalitarianism and the dangers of government control over society.
- Control of information and history: The government in the novel controls the information and history that the citizens have access to, manipulating it to maintain their grip on power. This serves as a warning about the dangers of censorship and the manipulation of information by governments.
- Manipulation of language: The government in the novel uses a new language called Newspeak to control the thoughts and emotions of the citizens. This serves as a critique of the manipulation of language by governments to control their citizens.
- Surveillance: The government in the novel uses constant surveillance to control and monitor the citizens, this serves as a warning about the dangers of surveillance and the potential for governments to use technology to control their citizens.
- Individualism vs. Conformity: The novel explores the conflict between individual freedom and the need to conform to the ideology of the government. The main character Winston Smith begins to question the regime, but ultimately he is broken down and accepts the ideology of Big Brother.
- The power of propaganda and brainwashing: The government in the novel uses propaganda and brainwashing to control the minds of the citizens and make them accept their ideology. This serves as a warning about the dangers of manipulation and control of people’s minds through mass media and propaganda.
The meaning of the title of the book “1984”
In the center of the plot of “1984” is Winston Smith, an employee of the Ministry of Truth, who methodically rewrites history in the way that the ruling and only party of the state needs. His country of Oceania is one of the three superpowers that constantly fight over disputed territories. The citizens of the country live under the constant supervision of the party leader, Big Brother. Winston wants to change his life, but does not know how to do it, and suspects everyone around him of surveillance.
Orwell said little about his work, and even less about why it’s called 1984. Therefore, it is impossible to give an exact answer to this question; one can only retell the main hypotheses.
The simplest and most popular assumption: Orwell simply swapped the last digits of the year of writing the novel – 1948. So the researcher Peter Davison claimed , while referring to the American publisher of the novel. But there is no documentary evidence for this hypothesis.
The remaining versions are associated with literary references that Orwell himself could hide in the title. Someone sees in it a nod to Jack London and his dystopia “Iron Heel”, where exactly in 1984 the construction of a miracle city ends. Another possible Easter egg is an allusion to Napoleon of Nottinghill, in which one of Orwell’s favorite writers, Gilbert Keith Chesterton, actively ridiculed the art of divination. Its action also begins in 1984.
But it is quite possible that none of these guesses is correct. Orwell retitled the manuscript of the novel: “The Last Man in Europe.” In addition, the action there took place over not one year, but at least three: in 1980, 1982 and 1984. But there is one more nuance.
“He was overcome by a feeling of complete helplessness. He wasn’t sure it was 1984 now. Most likely, the year is correct, because Winston was convinced that he was thirty-nine and was born in 1944 or 1945, ”says one of the first pages of the novel.
The year of Winston’s birth gives rise to another guess, perhaps the most logical one – it is adhered to by the researcher Dorian Linsky. When Orwell conceived the novel, he himself was about 40 years old. In the years that fell on his childhood, the world was completely different: Franz Ferdinand was alive, and the world empires had not yet collapsed. The writer knew exactly how much the structure of society can change in less than half a century.
It can be assumed that the author simply added 40 years to the age of his own son, Richard Blair, who was born just in 1944, and suggested what the world might be like when he was a 40-year-old man.
What is the main idea of the “1984”
The main idea of George Orwell’s “1984” is a warning about the dangers of totalitarianism and the potential for governments to use technology, propaganda and manipulation of language to control and monitor their citizens. The novel is set in a dystopian society where the government, led by a figure known as Big Brother, exercises total control over every aspect of citizens’ lives, including their thoughts and emotions.
The novel is a critique of totalitarianism, a warning about the dangers of government control over individual freedom, and a commentary on the manipulation of language and information by governments to control their citizens. Through the story of the main character Winston Smith, Orwell shows how the government’s manipulation of language, information, and history can make people accept lies and oppression. Ultimately, the novel is a call to action, urging readers to be vigilant against the rise of totalitarianism and to protect individual freedom and civil liberties.
“1984” book analysis
Even for people who did not read the 1984 novel itself and did not watch the film adaptation of the same name, in fact, the 1984 release, positive assessments will be bewildering. It’s like a constant about the Divine Comedy – you might not have read it, but at the mention of the name, associations with the circles of the underworld arise in your head. So Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Four arouses gloomy, shapeless images of dullness in the head . Almost want to call the book 1984 one of the most atmospheric in modern literature. Those 5-6 hours that you spend dosed together with the main character Winston pass as if in another reality that existed not only in the head of George Orwell ( George Orwell). Something exists as long as we believe in it. This paraphrase of a well-known saying applies to the entire dystopian genre. Can you, sitting in a cozy warm room, being well-fed and free, ignore these benefits and try on the skin of a citizen of the despotic Ingsoc regime.
Of course, a certain benefit of reading, which is to use the imagination and create a whole new reality, everyone extracts in their own way. For one person, the world of Orwell’s 1984 dystopia will be based on personal experiences, while the other will use existing images from news, cinema, and other literature. The fact is that the author does not use descriptive tools for the environment. After three hundred pages 1984 and descriptions from the protagonist Winston, you can hardly build a complete picture of that same London in Oceania and the differences from the one known to us. The writer immerses us in his universe through a description of the life of society and one particular person. Instead of pictorial accuracy for buildings, the interior of rooms – Winston’s personal perception of what he saw, through the prism of a strange, by our standards, life experience. The very case when it is not just about the hack and laziness of the author, but about the creative layout, which we are free to fill in as best we can – under the true parting words of the creator, of course. 1984, whose analysis can become no less fascinating than reading, gives us the field of artistic and spatial reality.
1984: War is peace
One of the three key party images of the state of Oceania and the dystopian society Angsots , in which our protagonist of the 1984 novel, Winston, lives. We can long hysterically prove to ourselves that we are something more, but in our life we are most often guided by typical instincts inherent in other species. The Ingsoc society in 1984 is in a state of constant, and not so much actual as psychological warfare. The principle of permanent readiness for war by conquest of resources and ideological confrontation with some abstract external enemy. The power of any strong state, unfortunately, is based on military power, and we see this very well today. George Orwellcreated his novel under the impression of the devastating World War II and the brewing confrontation between the emerging superpowers. We live in a world seventy years later, which, despite significant advances, is still subject to the same laws of cave times that we see in the review of 1984. War is peace .
And if the superficial significance of any war lies in the manifestation of force in relation to opponents, in the seizure of limited resources, the imposition of one’s opinion and the suppression of someone else’s, then the British writer George Orwell brought out less obvious motives that are not customary to talk about. The main idea of 1984 , which I want to express in my own words on the book: war for the sake of war. The author omits the motives of the confrontation of the superpowers to the ridiculous and comical: Oceania , Eastasia and Eurasia, which are usually so pompously uttered by both sides of any conflict. In any war, the greatest damage is done to the weakest sections of the population, who are not usually encouraged to think critically, criticize the government and analyze events. Remember at least two World Wars of the 20th century. From the point of view of the benefit of one single nation, it is destructive to give soldiers the choice to do as they see fit. Differentiate your enemies into ” more bad” and “less bad” . Such a generalization is presented to us in an unbanal way by the author in the 1984 novel.
Here the world of 1984 is divided into three superpowers and the so-called buffer zone between them. Oceania , Eastasia and Eurasia, according to the Ingsoc Party and Big Brother, have always been at war with each other. This war was, is and will be like sunset and sunrise. At some point, the Ingsoc society is fed information that a truce has been concluded with one of the eternal rivals, but this, judging by the reaction of people, does not have any important significance. After all, the face of the enemy can change, but the very fact of his permanent existence is as unshakable as the opponent himself. This concept reaches a vivid climax in the second half of the 1984 novel, where the protagonist Winston is in one of the city’s squares. After the news of a truce from one of the parties, it turns out that the posters on the buildings do not correspond to the new information, and that their very presence is probably the machinations of the enemies. The crowd of Oceania is overwhelmed by animal emotions, and the degree of incandescence of public consciousness never comes to naught. In fact, hundreds of millions of people in the 1984 universe are kept in constant tension, a constant feeling of inner anxiety and dissatisfaction, until a new and new opponent is defeated. That will never happen.
Actually party in 1984 novel and Big Brotherwages war not with some enemy, but with its own population of the Ingsoc. Another leitmotif of this component of history in the analysis of 1984 is the destruction of surplus production. George Orwell developed the idea of eliminating a huge amount of goods in order to prevent prosperity in human society. Why give the masses the opportunity to live in prosperity and security, if an extra pair of shoes or a razor blade can never actually be produced. Instead, destroy a colossal amount of natural resources and goods. One can only imagine how much collective good can be achieved if all the military budgets of Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia are suddenly redirected to fight diseases, better education for children, the development of innovative technologies, such as modern waste-free energy sources.
A separate paragraph, in the review of 1984, clearly deserves such a concept, ironically introduced by the author, as two minutes of hatred. From television screens, the already cultivated society of the Ingsoc is constantly kept in suspense by the red rag of an ephemeral enemy . Soldiers of Mongoloid appearance, who tirelessly march with a military bearing directly at the viewer and secretly say that they will come to the house of every inhabitant of Oceania if they are not stopped by war. Or the looming image of a traitor to the nation, the most hated opponent of the regime – a certain Golstein . Moreover, it does not matter at all whether such a person exists or was invented specifically for the processing of mass consciousness. He is Judas who betrayed Angsots, Big Brother and every person living in the superstate of Oceania. He perverts immutable postulates, supports the enemy and carries out subversive activities. This incarnation of evil regularly appears in all its sinister glory to the Ingsoc audience, and they are ready to tear it to shreds if the opportunity presents itself.
1984: Freedom is slavery
Another statement of the ruling Ingsoc party in Oceania with a contradictory meaning, but only for you and me. And for a generation brought up in an atmosphere of hatred from an early age, where you accept everything that you are told – this is the truth itself. In early childhood, our main character Winston, who is now almost forty, lost his father first, and then his mother. Moreover, in the latter case, he does not even know whether she was killed or whether she is still being held somewhere in a work camp. Here Orwell unequivocally appeals to the well-known totalitarian regimes of the Third Reich and the Stalinist USSR, which created a whole factory of death for their own citizens, by fencing off objectionable elements. Every resident of London and Oceania in the 1984 novel lives in a constant sense of fear of anxiety and knows that for any careless gesture or statement he will be deprived not only of freedom, and probably life. This is a fundamental element of any violent control of the masses – to deprive them of the opportunity to satisfy their basic need for security and a sense of their own control. The problems of society in 1984 are revealed through the restriction of basic needs.
As a member of the so-called Outer Ingsoc Party, Winston is in fact under relentless surveillance day and night. He has security cameras at home and at work, on the streets. That is why the scenes of meetings with the girl Julia are especially remarkable.. For all her, as she herself says, depravity, in the 1984 novel Julia symbolizes that shaky opportunity to just be alone with someone or her own thoughts, outside of everyone’s control. In a totalitarian society, this, unfortunately, is a rarity. They mingle in passing even on busy streets – always in a crowd of Ingsot people so as not to attract attention. Actually, their sexual relationship is their decision, which the party and Big Brother have not yet reached. In Oceanian society, where an aversion to love and intimacy is promoted (other than the necessary conception of new inhabitants), under that green tree in the meadow they do what they want, albeit with constant apprehension. In one scene, in a filthy hotel room, Winston emphasizes how great it is to be able to just sit and read a book without anyone watching.
One of the important themes of the 1984 book, in the context of the formation of a totalitarian system, was the continuity of generations. With each new generation, the opportunity for social rebellion will become less and less. Children are taught not only all the basics of Ingsots, but also the actual snitching. The younger generation of Oceania become faithful followers of the party from an early age and are ready to report to their own parents. Winston is familiar with cases when their own children send adults to death or to camps. The despotic regime of the party should not even think about the best option – sons and daughters devoted to Big Brother. Freedom is slavery .
Along with this, George Orwell gives a field for maneuver to human nature in the face of the so-called proles.This is the proletariat – the working class, which makes up 85% of the population of Oceania. It is in him that the protagonist of 1984 Winston sees the future and the possibility of getting rid of a totalitarian society. The lives of these people are practically not monitored, unlike party members. They are not prohibited from the usual pre-revolutionary behavior, even prostitution flourishes. Among the proles there are many old people who have found other times. But symbolic is the scene in the bar, where Winston fails to get anything from an elderly man. They seem to speak two different languages and no meaningful conversation comes out. It is the working class that the author speaks of as the brute force of any revolution. But, according to Obrien, a prominent member of the Inner Party, the new regime has taken into account the lessons of the past and will eventually eradicate the very possibility of a change of power in Oceania.
And how can you talk about the theme of totalitarianism in Orwell’s 1984 novel without stopping at such a household name as Big Brother . The preached leader of the historic Ingsoc revolution who remained true to the ideals and needs of society. A man with a stern face with a mustache, outwardly similar to Hitler and Stalin at the same time. The brightest illustration of the image of a dictatorwhich the 20th century saw quite a few. As with the regime’s archenemy Goldstein, it is unknown if the mysterious Big Brother really exists. No one has seen him live out of hundreds of millions of people in Oceania. He doesn’t age or change, he doesn’t make speeches. His image is the personification of the entire social structure of the Ingsoc, vigilantly watching everyone. From posters and screens all over Oceania, every viewer is looked at with a piercing gaze. Big Brother from Orwell’s 1984 has long been a household name when it comes to totalitarianism, the deprivation of people’s freedoms, the misuse of intelligence and police powers. Despite his well-founded questions, the protagonist of the 1984 novel, Winston, never learns the truth, because it is what we believe, or, more precisely, what we are forced to believe.
1984: Ignorance is power
Perhaps the point of Ingsoc’s policy that is most often discussed in relation to George Orwell’s 1984 book is the so-called doublethink . Residents of the state of Oceania are taught from childhood to think the way the party wants it. If necessary, accept any information and give out black for white and vice versa . After all, when the concept of critical thinking, analysis is practically eradicated, factual history and original truths are destroyed, meaning is lost, it becomes impossible even to talk about a distortion of the truth. Truth becomes what it is made to be, and the reader of 1984 in this regard has the incredible advantage of evaluating what is read from the point of view of the world beyond such despotism. The theme manifests itself very brightly in that very infamous room 101, where our hero Winston ends up at some point. Under cruel and constant torture, the most pressing fears and the suppression of the will of a person, he is forced to give up obvious truths, if necessary. Ultimately, if the Party and Big Brother say, and torture helps, that two and two is not four, but five, then it is so. Ignorance is power .
What is the message of the “1984”
The message of George Orwell’s “1984” is a warning about the dangers of totalitarianism and the potential for governments to use technology, propaganda, and manipulation of language to control and monitor their citizens. The novel serves as a critique of the suppression of individual freedom and the dangers of government control over society.
The book “1984” teaches that a person should have his own position and try to defend it. To ensure a happy future for themselves, people must not allow the system to break them from within. It is important to do your best to become a self-confident person. Each person should have a goal for which he is ready to “turn mountains”. Otherwise, his life will resemble a meaningless existence, devoid of bright colors. The dictatorship, the totalitarian regime suppress the initiative of the people, force them to think in the way that the ruling elite needs. But to fight this, moral strength is needed.
Plot of the book “1984”
The plot of George Orwell’s “1984” follows the story of Winston Smith, a low-ranking member of the ruling Party in a totalitarian society where the government, led by a figure known as Big Brother, exercises total control over every aspect of citizens’ lives.
At the beginning of the novel, Winston is a loyal Party member, but he starts to secretly question his loyalty to Big Brother and the regime. He begins to remember a time before Big Brother and the Party came to power, and starts to keep a secret diary. He also begins a forbidden relationship with a woman named Julia, which leads to both of them being arrested and subjected to torture and brainwashing by the Thought Police, in order to force them to conform to the Party’s ideology.
During the process of torture and brainwashing, Winston’s beliefs are slowly broken down, and he starts to accept the ideology of the Party. He starts to love Big Brother and finally the novel ends with Winston writing “I love Big Brother” in his diary, indicating that he has been fully indoctrinated and brainwashed by the regime.
The novel is a powerful critique of totalitarianism and a warning about the dangers of government control over society. Through the story of Winston Smith, it explores the consequences of living in a society where individual freedom is suppressed and the government exercises complete control over the thoughts and actions of its citizens.
Summary of the book “1984”
It takes place in England, although in that reality it is powerful Oceania. People here are like cogs in the system, everything here is saturated with ideology, there are slogans around. It is better for people to walk in formation and not have their own judgments.
And so this anti-utopian novel shows the terrible will of the Party, a society in which one cannot have one’s own opinion, one cannot differ. The ministry of truth, love and others are turning into “mini”: mini finance, mini ecology… the names speak for themselves! And the “newspeak” itself, created in this system, reduces the entire creative nature of a person to zero, to negative numbers.
Five minutes of hatred, to which people are driven, show them class enemies, scare them. It becomes obligatory and habitual, like a minute of gymnastics, people are taught to hate, they are forced to get used to hatred directed at “enemies”.
By the way, the usual scenario of the show is that the main enemy of the Power is the one who once started with its founders, but slowly they disagreed, so he was outlawed. On these “shows” you need to splash out your negativity (shout, swear, destroy). As with Bulgakov’s Woland, mercy is sometimes shown here too.
For example, a woman screams when she shows how children die, even if they are also “enemy”. But of course, mercy is not encouraged in any way, but rather the opposite. By the way, children here constantly report on their parents (even if they speak in their sleep), betrayals, in general, flourish.
Winston himself once stole food from his sister, but while he was hiding, she and their mother were “sprayed”. The job of a grown-up Winston is to change the old newspapers to make the forecasts correspond to reality. He also crosses out people who turned out to be traitors.
The image of the enemy is deliberately created here as an incentive for shock work and a way to distract people from problems. It is possible that Party itself drops bombs on civilians to keep everyone in fear. And the slogans here are contrary to common sense. According to these statements, war, they say, is peace.
Smith has a difficult relationship with women, rather, the absence of such. He especially dislikes those politicized young beauties who wear special belts, showing that these ladies, in general, deny relationships with men. It is clear that love, family and other “tenderness” is too much luxury for Oceania.
And in spite of everything, the hero falls in love with an absolutely amazing woman – freckled Julia. For him, it is the path to a new world, to resistance to an inhuman system. The girl herself throws him a note of love. They meet in the forest, the woman admits that she had many lovers… And Smith is happy! He understands that she is real, and not cold-ideological. Julia works with a typewriter that writes novels.
By the way, Smith was already married. His wife Katherine was good, but only the slogans of the Party were in her head. Winston thought that his relationship with women was over forever, but then Julia appeared … their relationship is, in its own way, a struggle with the system.
The lovers get a forbidden book, but they decide to “go to the end”, realizing their risk. They are still arrested, because they have been followed for seven years.
When the hero goes to prison, interrogations begin, long conversations. Indeed, they are trying to psychologically break him. Of course, he cannot do without torture, but day after day they systematically break his psyche. Endless conversations lead to the fact that the prisoner is already simply losing his patience.
He shouts to his tormentor, throws him the most important question, they say, what do you want from me. At the very beginning of his diary, Winston wrote that freedom is to say that twice two makes four. He understands that they need him to admit that two plus two equals five. And he’s ready for that too. However, it turns out that the prisoner was mistaken in his calculations.
The number in the answer is something too specific, so it would be too easy to always give the wrong answer. Power in that world does not deny the truth at all, because sometimes it can be convenient and profitable.
The main goal of the Party is to break a person as a person. That’s why the unfortunate “twice two” should be no more, no less than the correct answer, but not necessarily four … And you need as much as the Party needs. And the answer to even a mathematical question should sound like “how much do you need”.
As a result of the most terrible torture for him (a cage with disgusting rats), Smith betrays Julia – he screams that she should be given to the rats instead of him.
Broken, crushed by his own cowardice, Winston leaves prison and meets his Beloved. She betrayed him too. And now they both feel no longer themselves, but robots, they have nothing human left in them. Now they only love Big Brother who watches over everyone…
Quotes from “1984” by George Orwell
Here are a few notable quotes from George Orwell’s “1984”:
- “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” – This is the Party’s slogan, which encapsulates the government’s manipulation of language and the reversal of meaning of words.
- “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” – This quote highlights the idea of self-deception and the danger of internalizing the Party’s ideology.
- “The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously.” – This quote highlights the theme of surveillance and the government’s constant monitoring of its citizens.
- “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power.” – This quote highlights the ruthless and self-serving nature of the Party and its leaders.
- “The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it.” – This quote highlights the theme of surveillance and the government’s constant monitoring of its citizens.
- “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.” – This quote highlights the idea of free thought and the importance of critical thinking in resisting the government’s control.
- “Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull” – this quote highlights how the government controls every aspect of individual’s lives, leaving no space for privacy or individuality.
Interesting facts about “1984”
- “1984” was published in 1949 and has since become a classic of dystopian literature, widely read and studied around the world.
- The novel is set in a fictional country called Oceania, which is a totalitarian state that is constantly at war with its neighboring countries. The novel is set in London, which is now called Airstrip One, and it is a province of Oceania.
- The novel’s title “1984” is not a random choice, it was selected as it was the year Orwell wrote the novel and it is also a reference to the year 1948 which he considered a turning point in the political climate of the world.
- The novel’s portrayal of a totalitarian government that uses surveillance, censorship, and manipulation of language to control its citizens has been compared to real-world governments, including the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
- The novel’s depiction of a government that controls its citizens through the manipulation of language and history has also been compared to the way governments use propaganda and censorship to control the minds of their citizens.
- The novel’s main character, Winston Smith, is a low-ranking member of the ruling Party who begins to question his loyalty to Big Brother and the regime, this character is considered a representation of the individual in the face of oppressive government.
- The novel’s depiction of a government that monitors its citizens through telescreens and thought police has been compared to the way governments use technology to monitor and control their citizens in the modern world.
- The novel’s Newspeak, the official language of Oceania, is a fictional language that is designed to limit the range of thought, it is considered a representation of the manipulation of language to control people’s thoughts and emotions.
- The novel’s ending, where Winston is broken down and accepts the ideology of Big Brother, is often interpreted as a warning about the dangers of brainwashing and the power of propaganda to control the minds of the citizens.
Analysis of the main characters of the book “1984”
The main characters of George Orwell’s “1984” are Winston Smith and Julia.
- Winston Smith is the protagonist of the novel “1984”, an employee of the Ministry of Truth. He is 39 years old, thin and unhealthy in appearance. He has a haggard face with sharp features, a tired look. He is prone to reflection and doubt, secretly hates the existing system, but does not have the courage to protest openly. From childhood, Winston was selfish and weak: his family lived in poverty, and he always complained of hunger, took away food from his mother and sister, and once took away a chocolate bar from his sister, ran away, and, returning, found no one. So he ended up in a boarding school. Since then, his nature has changed little. The only thing that lifted him up was his love for Julia, which gave rise to courage and a willingness to fight in him. However, a man cannot stand the test, he is not ready for a sacrifice for the sake of his beloved woman. Orwell mockingly assigns him a humiliating phobia – the fear of rats, which destroys Smith’s sincere impulses. It was the cage with rodents that made him betray his beloved and wholeheartedly join the ideology of Big Brother. Thus, the image of a fighter with the system degrades to the typical character of an opportunist and a slave of the conjuncture.
- Julia is the main character of the dystopia “1984”, Winston’s beloved woman. She is 26 years old. She works in a literary workshop, writing novels on a special device. She has a solid sexual experience, corrupts party members, being a symbol of indomitable human nature with its instinctive logic of behavior. She has thick dark hair, freckles on her face, a pretty appearance and a beautiful feminine figure. She is brave, much bolder and more outspoken than her lover. It is she who confesses her feelings to him and carries him away to the countryside to express her innermost thoughts. She protests with her licentiousness against the puritanism of the party, wants to give her energy for the sake of pleasure and love, and not for the glory of Big Brother.
- O’Brien – the owner of a solid rank in the party, a secret agent of the Thought Police. Well brought up, restrained, has an athletic physique. Deliberately creates the impression of opposition. He is a reasoner, his role is similar to the meaning of the image of Mephistopheles in the fate of Faust. He appears to Winston in dreams, gives rise to doubt in his thoughts that he shares the political views of the majority. The hero constantly throws logs into the fire of Smith’s protest, finally, openly inclines him to participate in the upcoming rebellion. Later it turns out that he was a provocateur. O’Brien personally supervises the torture of his “friends”, gradually knocking out their individuality. The cruel inquisitor reveals at the same time a rare charm, a clear mind, a broad outlook and the gift of persuasion. His position is much more consistent and logical than what the prisoners are trying to oppose to him.
- Syme is a philologist and one of the founders of Newspeak. All secondary characters are drawn by the author schematically and only in order to show the injustice and depravity of the state system in the anti-utopia “1984”.
1984 by George Orwell Essay
So, each person has his favorite work. I was no exception. George Orwell was my favorite for many years. In the personal collection of books, his name flaunts on the front rows.
The dystopia tells about the life of a simple worker in a totalitarian society, where everything is controlled by the local party. Involuntarily, a comparison arises with a real historical prototype – the USSR in the thirties of the twentieth century. Naturally, the book counterpart is much more creepy, gloomy, gray, and also depressing than the original. The oppressive atmosphere will captivate for long hours, does not let go and holds in its shackles. After reading, you can wake up in a cold sweat from the cruelty that the novel contains.
So, the plot shows us a monstrous control over people. The local population has turned into weak-willed cattle. He is kept in the dark, under the endless yoke of propaganda. Not realizing their strength, the slaves are unconditionally loyal to the “Big Brother” – the party symbol, which is the father, teacher and overseer of all. His image is hung on every corner, you can also see his face on television screens that are installed in the homes of ordinary workers for the sake of surveillance. The realities of “1984” are full of substitution of concepts. Only in this anti-utopia you will meet such phenomena as: “thought crime”, “doublethink”, etc.
The above described by me is far from all that such a magnificent novel is famous for. This work does not tolerate being studied only superficially. After reading, some pressing questions should arise in everyone’s head. I really hope that this book will not be used as an instruction for use, but only perceived as a warning about a possible scenario.
1984 Book Review: George Orwell
For the first time, the novel “1984” was translated into Russian in the 50s of the last century, in 1957 (during the thaw after Stalin’s death) a book was even published in samizdat. However, Soviet criticism chose not to notice the pronounced hint of an authoritarian regime in the Russian latitudes and characterized it as a decadent phenomenon of the decaying imperialist West. For example, in the Philosophical Encyclopedic Dictionary of 1983, regarding dystopia, it is written this: “For the ideological legacy of Orwell, both reactionary, ultra-right forces and petty-bourgeois radicals are fighting sharply.” Their foreign colleagues, on the contrary, noted the powerful social issues and political subtext of the work, focusing on the author’s humanistic message.
Modern readers evaluate the novel in two ways: they do not deny it artistic value, but they do not single out a special semantic variety. The left-wing politician and writer Eduard Limonov notes that Orwell carried out a certain propaganda mission of his party (Trotskyist), although he does it qualitatively. However, it remains unclear that the writer rejects the ideals so dear to the heart of Leiba Trotsky. For example, the idea of a world state is clearly presented as a path to totalitarian power, which causes such a categorical rejection in the author.
Critic, publicist and poet Dmitry Bykov highly appreciates the artistry of Orwell’s text, but he does not find deep social thoughts there. And the writer (in the genre of popular science literature) Kirill Yeskov completely criticized the dystopian novel “1984” for the excessive utopianism of the phenomena recreated in it. He stressed the unviability of many of them.