The overwhelming spread of military literature in the 20th century gave the readers a great abundance of books to read on these topics. Some authors take both pro and con sides of the military states and actions in discussing the political realities of these times. Included in this, George Orwell wrote a novel that depicted the near future that is relevant for all centuries and all political powers. The book 1984 (published in 1949 right after World War II) talks about a personality which has to survive under the pressures of an oppressive government.

Through the entire whole story, Orwell depicts an invisible fight between the individual and the machine. The book is pretty dark, heavy and depressing. Under enormous pressure, the protagonist of the story betrays his love, admits that 2+2 is five and glorifies his oppressors. He can’t afford a supplementary move, step or look – Your government is watching him. The reader will get scared reading the book – however, not reading it'll leave most of us blind to the potential dangers of the world.

It might be mistaken to assume that 1984 makes a specific reference towards one well-known social totalitarian declare that no longer exists. The resistance for oppression was relevant before USSR appeared, it really is still relevant in many situations today and can still be relevant no matter how democratic and liberal our societies claim to be. That’s why 1984 was, is and you will be the desk companion for a lot of readers across the world.

Video Guide

Main Characters and Roles of 1984

The characters of the book each serve very specific roles and purposes in the text, so let’s first briefly explore what the 1984 book is about. The book covers a possible scenario for the development of the entire world. After a few sanguinary wars and revolutions, the Earth was divided into 3 super states named Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. Their alfa governments are in constant conflict together. Such never-ending conflicts are expected to distract the attention of the population from poor internal public management, terrible living conditions of the counties. More importantly, the existence of the conflict allows the us government to fully get a handle on the inhabitants of the states.

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Winston Smith Character Analysis

In another of such “superstates”, namely Oceania, lives the protagonist of the book. He is 39, he is thin and has a somewhat unhealthy look on his face. An employee of the Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith serves the federal government institution that works night and day to rewrite the past and destroy the reality that are undesired by the federal government. Every day Winston changes days gone by with his own hands and makes it comply with the new standards devised by the ruling party.

Along with changing days gone by, the Ministry of Truth also works tirelessly to promulgate the values and mantras of the county’s political elite. Seeing such truth tailoring and past elimination on a regular basis, Mr. Smith can’t help but wonder whether what's happening is right.

His soul grows a seed of suspicion and doubt and that induces him to start writing a diary. This diary is the only thing that hears what Winston ponders his job, his life and his government, it marks the start of his protest.

The protagonist must be very careful and do the writing in complete secrecy, hiding from other people and devices. As stated in Part 1 Chapter 1, his TELEVISION is not only an instrument to feed him proper information, in addition, it spies on him:

“The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the degree of a very low whisper, could be picked up because of it, moreover, provided that he remained within the field of vision that the metal plaque commanded, that he could be regarded as well as heard”.

Whatever he writes in his diary is really a crime of through and qualifies for the death penalty.

Big Brother Character Analysis

Your government is the supreme ruler of Oceania. He's got zero tolerance for individualism or diversity and zero need for pluralism of opinion. He also offers a network of Spies and tools set up in the united kingdom to make sure that every move of his citizens is observed, controlled and may be contained, if necessary. The Spies adore him and the Party:

Part 1, Chapter 2 “The songs, the processions, the banners, the hiking, the drilling with dummy rifles, the yelling of slogans, the worship of Your government — it had been all sort of glorious game to them. ”

It’s impossible to accomplish something privately in Oceania: all the houses are made of glass, all walls have surveillance and wiretapping, the Thought Police watches every move of each citizen. But there is a huge difference in what size Brother treats certain classes of its citizens. Like for their romance, Winston and Julia usually choose secret places for dating, like the countryside or other places where normally low-class labor workers hang out as the state doesn’t have that much security there. Low worker class is considered to possess less tendency for thinking thus is treated as a lower-risk population.

Your government is an ultimate leader of Oceania, he's like a God and the best goal would be to please him. All the mistakes and loopholes of Your government or the Party are simply just rewritten similar to the newspapers. His pictures are everywhere, all of the slogans are signed by his name. He is the only real source of information, faith and worship in Oceania.

O'Brien Character Analysis

O’Brien is an undercover agent of the party. He secretly works for the Thought Police trying to find people that are thinking about rebellion. He is well-behaved, reserved, features a strong human anatomy. He deliberately pretends to oppose the party and Big Brother. His role resembles that of Mephistopheles in Faust, he's the agent of the devil.

O’Brien is both a character and an idea in the book. That he invades the dreams and provokes Smith to think he doesn’t share Party some ideas, he constantly pushes Smith to give birth to his unspoken internal conflict. Finally, when Smith and Julia are ready, that he offers them to join the rebel movement. Later O’Brien will personally supervise the torture of his capturers, slowly killing any traces of personalities or thinking in them.

Emmanuel Goldstein Character Analysis

Emmanuel Goldstein was once a leader of the Party that brought it to power. He's now in exile and represents the sole opposition available. He established an organization “Brotherhood” that is proclaimed by the Party to be the Enemy of individuals. In fact , no body knows for certain whether the organization really exists and what it does. Goldstein is an imaginary magnet for potential opposition, he serves the purpose of bringing all those that are against the Party under one roof to be destroyed then.

The Party spends a great deal of effort to publicly broadcast the hate clips about Goldstein and the Brotherhood simply to give a bait for those who are trying to find allies to produce a rebellion.

Emmanuel Goldstein and two minutes hate

The Party spends a great deal of effort to publicly broadcast the hate clips about Goldstein and the Brotherhood simply to give a bait for those who are trying to find allies to produce a rebellion.

Tom Parsons Character Analysis

Tom Parsons and his wife Mrs. Parsons live across the street to Winston. Tom is just a complete opposite of Smith, that he follows the Party indiscriminately and never doubts Oceania for a second. He's devoted to the war against other states and will do whatever they can to subscribe to Oceania’s victory.

Ironically, he raised a daughter who is just as fierce and loyal to Oceania as her parents are. One day she betrays her father by reporting to the Thought Police that Parsons spoke poorly of Your government in his sleep. To aggravate the irony a lot more, Orwell makes Tome immensely proud of his daughter for “doing the proper thing”.

Julia Character Analysis

Julia is still another protagonist of 1984. She's 26, she also works for the Ministry of Truth in the Fiction Department. She writes novels depicting the greatness of her country and its ruler. She is quite experienced sexually and could seduce Party members. She's instinctive, not to logical, irrational, with a lot of untamed desire and energy. She is courageous and much more adventurous than her lover Smith. In fact , she's the one who tells about her feelings to Winston and takes him outside town.

It’s difficult to elaborate on the nature of Julia’s and Winston’s relationship since they are the only real creatures with a soul portrayed in this book. So it is practical that they found each other and grew keen on each other. Would they have felt just as fond of one another if there have been other options available – who knows? However the main point Orwell makes is that in such an authoritarian government as Oceania, finding individuals who think and also have their own opinion is an excessively rare thing.

Julia’s sexual and emotional freedom is her way to protest against the strict order of her country. She desires to put her energy in to love, emotions, memories and enjoyment, perhaps not for the glorification of Big Brother and Oceania. Plus it only makes the reader even more upset when ultimately she breaks under the tortures of O’Brien and says in Part 3 Chapter six:

“You think there is no other method of saving your self, and you're quite prepared to save yourself this way. You want it to happen to the other person. You do not give a damn what they suffer. Whatever you care about is yourself”.

Mr. Charrington Character Analysis

Mr. Charrington are the owners of a thrift shop in a parole district. Proles are the most Oceania populace who are maybe not part of the Inner Party (those who rule) or Outer Party (those who serve the rulers) and are deemed incapable of thinking or posing a threat to the federal government. However , partly 1 Chapter 7 Winston expressed his opinion in the diary that proles might rebel one day and take the Party down:

“If there is hope, it lies in the proles”.

Winston buys his diary from Mr. Charrington and that marks the start of Winston’s journey into critical thinking and rebellion. Later, Winston will rent a bedroom upstairs above the shop to generally meet with Julia there.

Winston trusts Mr. Charrington because he holds on to the past (second-hand items) and thus keeps the past intact when Oceania is doing every thing it can to improve or destroy the past. Sooner or later, Winston even thinks that Mr. Charrington is a person in the Brotherhood. But since it turns out, he's an informant of the authorities and spies on every thing Winston and Julia do in his shop.

1984: Mr. Charrington and Winston Smith

Full Summary

Following the Second World War, the civil war broke down in Great Britain, which lead to it being occupied by a new superstate – Oceania. The citizens of Oceania live under the rule of an ideology of just one Party. The ruler and impersonification of this Party is really a leader called Big Brother.

The Party is divided into Inner Party (the 2% of the ruling population), Outer Party (the 13% who implement their policies) and the others, that are called proles and don’t have any opinion or importance whatsoever. But not all members of the Outer Party come in unanimous agreement with the Party ideology. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth and is starting to question the Party’s right to rule and simply tell him what to do. But he realizes that there’s no body with whom he can share his concerns. So that he shares his thoughts in a diary, which is also quite a dangerous thing to do.

1 day Smith notices that his colleague Julia is paying a lot of awareness of him. Initially, he is afraid that she busted him and will give him up for the idea Police. But after some time that he finds a love note from her. They take up a secret relationship that is prohibited by the federal government. They hide and dream of a revolution. Smith believes that their relationship won't end well – such encounters between men and women are strictly prohibited in Oceania.

1984: Julia and Winston

In the course of time, they meet a representative of a genuine revolutionary movement, O’Brien, who gives them a book on the philosophy of the upcoming rebellion. While reading the book in the room they rented for dating, the couple is busted by the Through Police – the alleged revolution movement representative was nothing but a set-up of Big Brother to get and eradicate potential rebels.

The us government imprisons Julia and Winston and tortures them savagely. They break under the tortures and betray each other. Ultimately, both Winston and his ex-beloved Julia praise the majesty and powerfulness of Big Brother and sincerely genuinely believe that their country is doing great. The Through Police manages to “cure” Winston from his revolutionary thoughts. In the beginning, Smith thinks that he threw in the towel Julia and his freedom just to evade the torture, but once he is released, he realizes that he has become the right man who sincerely believes in Big Brother and the Party.

Themes

1984 Theme 1: War. Mcdougal wrote his dystopian classic in 1948 and that he simply changes the last two digits of the season when naming his book. The very first theme that's present in the writing is the war – 1948 is the time after one of the greatest tragedies in human history, 2nd World War, and the full time when the world watched in terror the emergence of two huge military powers – USA and USSR. Despite the victory and defeat of the fascist movement, people, fed up with the loss and tragedy the WW2 created, felt helpless when it came to the conception of potential World War Three. The danger was in the air, the fatigue was in the minds, driving a car was in the nightmares lived by almost everybody around the globe. 1984 was just one of the numerous military literature pieces heavily exploring one of many possible scenarios that were planning to happen.

In 1984 you can find three states — two of which are allied, as the third can be an enemy. The alliances change regularly and yesterday’s ally can turn in to an enemy tomorrow. The war and conflict give Oceania a robust excuse to disregard the shortages of food, ever-present surveillance and other social problems. The war is really a guarantee of internal order in Oceania – how do a loyal citizen undermine his own country when they are in war having an external enemy?

1984 theme 2: Control. Dictatorship and the best of any institution or any given personality to exercise get a handle on over people was a hot topic for discussion towards the conclusion of the 20th century. The thing is that you will find people who don’t like making decisions because with decisions comes responsibility. So they welcome others to produce decisions for them and society accepts it as their directly to use predefined solutions. But step by step such willingness to let the others make the options can turn in to a dangerous overcontrolling net. Oceania didn’t can be found in one day, some processes generated it being like we all know it. In 1984 Orwell elaborates what consequences can the war between authoritarian states have and how easy it's to turn to tyranny “for the greater good of the society”.

The citizens of Oceania come in the absolute unity making use of their state: if they're following the state, they have nothing to be worried about, nothing to cover, nothing to take into account. They are hawaii, and hawaii is at war – when Oceania wins the war, they will win as well. The control chain is eternal.

1984 theme 3: Mind Get a grip on through Newspeak language. The overwhelming get a handle on over social life was enhanced through another theme heavily explored by Orwell – the creation of a new language for Oceania called Newspeak. The new English Socialism ideology developed by the ruling party was imposed through the invention of its own language, where each word and grammatical rule were watchfully handpicked. If the events in the book took place, the newest language was in the process to be introduced: it appeared in the newspapers and party members wouldn’t miss a way to insert a phrase or two inside their speeches. The Newspeak was supposed to have completely replaced the Oldspeak (regular English language known and spoken today and in 1980s) by 2050. That would mean yet another victory of Oceania over people’s minds and freedoms.

1984 theme 4: New and improved truth. To help keep the society in place and make sure the nation is not disturbed and remains focused on the war with another state, the employees of the Ministry of Truth change the news. Each and every day they rewrite the newspapers of yesterday, backdate them and put them back in circulation.

The altered truth concept can be revealed in the fact that Winston is not actually that good of a character. That he wants to have the ability to think also to love, nevertheless, you that he can be a wicked personality: that he used to steal food from his mother and sisters, that he ran abroad. And the readers aren’t sure whether he regrets doing it or not.

Symbolism in 1984

Absurdness and Сontradictions

The symbolism in 1984 rejects and mocks all the typical concepts in life. Every thing is on the opposite in Oceania: the Ministry of Love tortures Winston and finally makes him betray Julia, the Ministry of Truth lies to the citizens of Oceania on a daily basis. The war is freedom, the freedom is slavery, ignorance is bliss – Oceania achieved this type of high standing in the society that it could decide what people will believe. There is absolutely no place for a reason or critical thinking, war is peace and two times two is five. The utmost freedom for Orwell characters has been able to feel safe (on the condition that no reason or thinking is involved) and that there surely is nothing to cover, everything is public.

Need more information in regards to the symbolism in literature? Take a look at our blog

Telescreen

TELEVISION is portrayed in the novel as a “smart” device that has been spying on all Oceania citizens. It absolutely was a device that combined both functions: television that displays pictures and video camera that records and sends pictures to thinking Police. In 1984 telescreen becomes emblematic of absolute propaganda and total get a handle on, absence of privacy. Interestingly, not many proles had a telescreen (since they pose a lowered rebellion risk), and the party members had a switch that may turn off the screen for no more than half an hour per day.

The Memory Hole

Winston’s job was about changing the news such that it matched the fact that Oceania wanted its citizens to see. In his office there were three holes in the wall: for notes on changes that needed to be made, for newspapers that had to be edited and for recycling of all materials. These were called “memory holes” as symbols of ways to destroy and alter memories of thousands of people. Memory holes are also symbols for distorted communication channels Oceania used to brainwash its citizens.

Big Brother

There clearly was one recognizable face that appeared on numerous propaganda materials (posters, TV clips, newspapers and etc . ). These materials persuaded citizens how great Oceania was and also delivered a message that “he is watching” every one at all times. It’s a message of hope (the country is going to be great one day) and desperation (you are watched 24/7). Government is a symbol of Oceania’s national agenda, he is an idol, an individual who gained enormous power perhaps not due to his leadership potential, but as a result of Oceania’s inhumate treatment of its citizens.

2+2=5

Winston had to admit for this famous calculation when that he was tortured by the Though Police. This is the symbol of a vivid false statement that's accepted socially in the society governed by a totalitarian ideology.

Winston's Varicose Ulcer

The medical condition that bothers Winston represents his oppressed feelings and desires. It is an external expression of his internal pains. From one viewpoint, varicose ulcer is a symbol of Smith sexual desire that's prohibited showing in Oceania. On still another hand, it’s a mark of Winston’s dissatisfaction in what is going on around him, it’s a visible physical repercussion of living under total get a handle on.

The Red-armed Singing Prole Woman

The lady from a lower worker class (prole) is just a symbol of potential rebellion. Winston believed that proles would rebel one day and that the hope for Oceania to regain its civic freedoms lies with proles. Her female capacity to offer birth is just a symbol that the thought may be born within proles’ minds and new generations is able to see the world without total get a handle on of Government.

1984 is a book that will live forever. It'll resonate with readers from different countries, backgrounds, and political views. It is an instruction for government managers on how to compel obedience from its citizens. It’s also a vivid demonstration for citizens the way the government could make them do whatever. It’s a scary but real story, cruel but eye-opening, it changes the way we treat our fundamental freedom rights. This book helps us appreciate what we've – the chance to choose friends, love individuals we find attractive, do what we like doing, think, speak, and make decisions inside our lives.

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