Nineteen Eighty- Four by George Orwell takes place in a dystopian world, centralizing in London of the nation Oceania. The novel begins by introducing us to Winston Smith. Through him, we see the city is run by a totalitarian party “Big Brother” who instills terror in its citizens and watches their every move. “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU“(1). They are at war with another nation who they were once in an alliance with. They spread propaganda and depict their current enemy as the ultimate evil that must be destroyed.
One of “big Brothers” slogan is “WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”(4). This signifies the manipulation and altering through language. They have given words we associate as negative new meaning to promote their ideas. Big Brother controls everything, from erasing and rewriting history to inventing a new language the people are forced to use. Also, 24/7 surveillance through the televisions. Free-thought is prohibited and they have thought police to patrol and punish anyone who partakes in this act. Citizens of all ages, especially children, are encourage to turn in anyone who commits such an act. The eradication of history and absolute control of the citizens, is for the purpose of keeping the people from revolting. “By 2050–earlier , probably all real knowledge of oldspeak will have disappeared . The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed…the whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought ,as we understand it now”(54).
Winston works for the Ministry of truth. He is an editor, responsible for revising all historical data to the liking of the party’s version of history. Although, he’s good at his job. Winston is not content with his job. He has vices such as gin and cigarettes to keep at bay his feelings of dissatisfaction with Big Brother. He despises everything this society stands for and begins to show signs of rebellion. During a hate session where citizens spend 2 minutes expressing hatred directed to the enemy of the people Emmanuel Goldstein , his hatred shifts towards the Party, Big Brother, and the Thought Police. “Thus, at one moment Winston hatred was not turned against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary, against Big Brother, the Party, and the Thought Police;and at such moments his heart went out to the lonely, derided heretic on the screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a world of lies” (15). Another sign of rebellion, is when Winston goes into a junk shop and purchases a journal. He begins writing down this thoughts and feelings. This is consider a huge crime an is punishable by death. Executions are done publicly to send a message to the rest.
Through Winston point of view we see the Party’s tyrannical ways.
You have great analysis here Carmen, especially in relation to the society’s manipulation of language and history, and Winston’s rebellion. I’ve chosen this as a “featured post” 🙂