Book report on 1984 by george orwel
The book starts off with an interesting first sentence “the clocks were striking 13.” To me this was unusual because there is no 13 on a clock and it is usually considered an unlucky number. I thought it was kind of weird and different compared to what kind of world we are living in today. This is because in London the province of Oceania is where our first and main character Winston Smith lives. There are signs reminding citizens that Big Brother is always watching. Big Brother is the leader of the party in which Winston is a part of as well as all the people of Oceania.
Winston Smith is about 39 and has on ulcer on his left ankle. He had to wear blue overalls as a rule of the party. He lives in Victory Mansions by himself. One vocabulary word that I didn’t know I found on page 6, eddies, which is a current air running contrary to the main current. Also on page 6 I learned that in this place where Winston lives they use what is called a telescreen which watches and hears everything everyone is doing. There is a telescreen placed in every corner of every room. This telescreen could not be turned off. If you are heard thinking of something the Big Brother does not want you to think then you will be punished by the Thought Police. This punishment could be death or a sentence of 25 years in a forced labor camp. You had to keep your feelings to yourself and try to hide them from the Thought Police. “Your worst enemy is your own nervous system,” (page 67) this is something you hear all the time from criminals who say their self conscious got to them.
There are three slogans of the party, theses slogans are War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength. Not everyone is a member of the Party. Only about 20% of the people of Oceania are involved in the party. Most people living in Oceania are living in slums. The people are given a small amount of coupons to trade in for clothing, food or anything else they needed. On page 8 we find out the 4 most important buildings in Oceania. They are the four Ministries, which are all government buildings. They are the Ministry of Peace, which is concerned with war. The Ministry of Truth is concerned with news, entertainment, education and the arts. The Ministry of Love maintains law and order. The Ministry of Plenty is responsible for economic affairs. Each ministry had its own concerns and problems. I agree with the author in that our own system of government I believe each department has its own individual concerns and problems. Every member of the party worked in one of these ministries. Winston worked in the Ministry of Truth where his job was to rewrite history to make it sound good for the party.
On page 11 Winston is looking for razor blades because the party underestimated the amount needed when he walks into an antique shop and ends up buying a diary. This was not illegal only because there were no laws, but it could be thought as an act punishable to the Thought Police. When Winston got home he decided to write in his new diary only not knowing what to write. He just started writing about a war movie that he saw last night not even remembering why he bought this diary. On page 12, we meet a friend of Winston’s, Charlie O’Brien, who is a member of the inner party and a large burly man with a thick neck. Also, on page twelve, I did not know what bigoted meant. It means someone who is devoted to his own opinions and prejudices. On page 13, Winston hears on the telescreen the “Two Minutes of Hate” which came on every day. This was usually to test the people to see if they believed in the party. The person usually giving this speech is the former leader of the party Emmanuel Goldstein who is the enemy of the people. Winston could not talk to any of his co-workers. He was not allowed to possess memories and if you were caught some how it was all punishable by the Thought Police. Everyone was living in horrible conditions. George Orwell described the provinces of Oceania very well on page 77 where he writes, “Decaying, dingy cities where underfed people shuffled to and fro in leaky shoes, in patched-up nineteenth century houses that smelt always of cabbage and bad lavatories. To me this sentence gave me a good mental picture of where and how these people were living.
Oceanian was based on Ingsoc. Ingsoc consisted of Newspeak, Doublethink and the changing of the past. Newspeak was the official language of Oceania.The book does not just revolve around Oceania there are two other super states, Eurasia and Eastasia. Oceania is at war with Eurasia and had an alliance with Eastasia. Later on in the book, this changes as Oceania denies ever having an alliance with Eurasia. The territory of these three nations was constantly being captured or recaptured as each nation was really at war with each other. There were no alliances. “All three super-states are permanently at war, and have been for over 25 years.” This sentence on page 193 is similar to that of the Middle East where it seems there has never been peace between the nations there.
They have been fighting each other for so long because there is no one who has the power to do so and they are at war for no specific reason. It seems as though they are fighting just for the fun of it. It was one way of keeping the people of Oceania involved in the party. If they were to win the war eventually the citizens would support the party for eternity but if they were to lose the people would most likely revolt. The balance of power between these 3 nations always seems to be even as the war goes on as each nation has its on protection by its geography.
Winston has been noticing that a girl has been following him lately on page 65. He was afraid to talk to her because of the telescreens and the Thought Police. He could not trust her as you could not trust anyone, not even his own family. Sometimes this is true in my life. As friends can sometimes turn on you in an instant just to get themselves out of trouble. Then after a few weeks this girl ends of handing him a note and on it, its says that she loves him. Winston is shocked by this and doesn’t know what to do because he is still married but has not seen his wife in 20 years. She is presumed dead. Winston then agrees to meet with her at a secret spot, which she gave him directions to. He finds out her name is Julia. All the woman who belong to the party did not use make-up or perfume despite this, Winston thought she was beautiful.
As a result of this meeting Winston became horrified of the Thought Police thinking he might get caught and punished. He thought the only way to escape this was to commit suicide but he ended up changing his mind as he began to love Julia. Instead, he smoked his Victory Cigarettes and drank his Victory Gin.
If Winston and Julia were to get married, it would have to be approved by a committee and would be denied if they were thought to be physically attracted to one another. The only purpose for marriage was so party members could have children for the service of the party. The party had been trying for years to get rid of attraction of the opposite sex.
Winston and Julia kept meeting in secret places and then found a perfect spot to live above an old antique shop where Winston had bought several things. The man’s name who owned the building was Mr. Charrington. He gave them the apartment for a good price and there were no telescreens in the room. Winston and Julia then started to become less careful and started to meet in the public.
One day Winston’s friend, O’Brien invited Winston to come over to his house. When Winston went to his house, O’Brien had told him to be careful, as he knew what was going on. Winston then became scared and told him he had to go home. He went straight home to tell Julia. They both decided they didn’t care and that they would stay together for as long as they could.
It had become too late, that night. The Thought Police had raided their apartment. Winston and Julia found out Mr. Charrington had told O’Brien who is the leader of the Thought Police. Winston and Julia were taken to a jail. We later find out it is the Ministry of Love. O’Brien now had to re-teach Winston to become a believer in the party. He did this by often causing Winston pain by using a needle, which could increase or decrease the amount of pain.
O’Brien and the party were now teaching Winston things that were not true and they knew it themselves. Such things as 2+2=5. They were also teaching him things that people said a long time ago that was proven wrong like on page 218; “The earth is the center of our universe.” This is known as geocentric. They were trying to get Winston to believe all of this but it was only a matter of time before he did. This was because he could not stand the amount of pain and torture they were putting him through.
Winston was trying to do everything to get out of there. He was confessing to everything he did wrong and everything he knew of other people doing something wrong. This was not working. They kept him in there. After a few days, Winston lost track of the time and what day it was because there was not any windows and the jail cells always stayed the same. Winston was also being starved.
The next night he thought of what could get him out of there and it worked. He turned on Julia saying he did not love her and he told them to kill Julia and not him. After saying this, Winston is eventually let back into the world to work and live. They gave him a new look and a new job. Winston looked different because of all the scars and bruises he had suffered from being beaten in the jail.
Winston then begins to love his new life and enjoys every minute of it. He is also now a good member of the party, doing everything he is suppose to, and not thinking for himself. He is thinking just like the party had taught him. He had found Julia at a restaurant, and they went to the park to talk. They both had turned against each other and decided it was best for them not to be involved anymore. It was mostly because they did not have the physical attraction to each other anymore as they used to. They both had changed because of being beaten in jail.
A few days later an announcement comes onto the telescreen saying they have won the war and defeated Eurasia. People crowded into the street to cheer on the victory of the party. Winston jumped for joy and that’s when the Thought Police had seen on the telescreen and had realized that Winston was cured and a real member of the party. He had loved Big Brother and then he was shot from behind and killed.
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