George Orwell

Summary: classical dystopia

Score: 95 / 100

Essay from some English class, probably high school?

”1984” is less famous novel by this author. When you hear his name, you recall his the most famous work Animal Farm. I had read the both books but ”1984” I liked more. I prefere rather sci-fi then fairy-tails. And that’s why I chose it. The principal character, Winston, starts to write his own diary despite it is strictly forbidden. He lives in totalitarian society, in Oceania. All the people are controled by complicated system, which main intend is to people be obedient. Every transgress is cruelly punished. Cameras, which watch in secret what people do in privacy, are placed everywhere. (Thereof the famous phrase ”Big Brother is watching you!” comes from.) The biggest authority in Oceania (In the world are three world powers: Oceania, Eurasia, Eastasia) is the Big Brother, who is pictured on all corners in streets. He has the evil eyes and a noticable countenance. He controls the whole society, but anybody never saw him and nobody knows if he exists. Whole doctrine of Ingsoc can be resumed to three phrases:
which accurately express absurd demands which are made on society which is keeped in hatred against unseen and unknown dangerous enemy, in ignorance of true reality and in false freedom wherein liberty doesn’t exist. But back to Winston. He realises sadly an absurdity of contemporary situation. He sees a foolishness and an ignorance of blind people round him. Despite he knows he hasn’t a chance to change something. Because he realises it, he can be accused of commiting of a crime against party (a local executive organ). His daily job is changing a past. Every day he rewrites articles in old newspapers. E.g. when some prophecy of Big Brother fails, he rewrites Big Brother’s speeches in which he mentioned it, and nobody can find out he made a mistake in a past. And what is the most strange thing – Big Brother hasn’t been beheld till now, but nobody notices it. He searches for some evidences that the part confuses heads of ordinary people. One day he gets a task folder wherein a small piece of a newspaper with a photo of three criminals got stuck. He recognises that the party changed facts that these criminals was in this time somewhere else. The party changed the facts about them (that they cooperated with the enemy) to point to them as criminals and to defeat them. (They were finally vaporisated (= to erase from the world without whatever mentions) because of their treason.) One day, during Two Minutes Of Hatred, he notices some woman, who attentively watches him. He thinks they know about his thoughts in his mind (They menage even it.) and he is afraid of her because she can be spy of the ideopolice. But after several days he discovers she loves him and that she doesn’t intend to report him or kill him. So they live out a short romance. Some small retailer rents them a small room in his shop where they meet reguarly. A beautiful time starts for them. But it hasn’t long duration unfortunately. One day unknown man O’Brien contacts them. He seems to be a member of a secret group which intends to defeate and to destroy this nonsense supremacy. Godfather of this movement is named Goldstein. He’s a main enemy to the Ingsoc (a name of the ideology consisted of two words: England and socialism). O’Brien gives to loverlike pair the book in which are all the truths about the contemporary and past world. Afterward Winston believes world can be different one day. But after some weeks the small innocent harmless merchant and would-be trusty O’Brien show to be members of the ideopolice. And arrest them both. They are transfered to a prison. They are separated and placed to deep jail cells. Winston is tortured a lot because he doesn’t trust in Big Brother and in doctrine of Ingsoc. He is a distinct case because his reasonable mind. And for O’Brien it is a hard task to convert him to commonly accepted dogma of Ingsoc. But finally O’Brien menages it.

Exctract from second part of third chapter: […] ”Before we bring the session to an end you can ask me a few questions, if you choose.” ”Any question I like?” ”Anything.” He saw that Winston’s eyes were upon the dial. ”It is switched off. What is your first question?” ”What have you done with Julia?” said Winston. O’Brien smiled again. ”She betrayed you, Winston. Immediately-unreservedly. I have seldom seen anyone come over to us so promptly. You would hardly recognize her if you saw her. All her rebelliousness, her deceit, her folly, her dirty-mindedness – everything has been burned out of her. It was a perfect conversion, a textbook case.” ”You tortured her?” O’Brien left this unanswered. ”Next question,” he said. ”Does Big Brother exist?” ”Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of the Party.” ”Does he exist in the same way as I exist? ”You do not exist,” said O’Brien. Once again the sense of helplessness assailed him. He knew, or he could imagine, the arguments which proved his own nonexistence; but they were nonsense, they were only a play on words. Did not the statement, ”You do not exist”, contain a logical absurdity? But what use was it to say so? His mind shrivelled as he thought of the unanswerable, mad arguments with which O’Brien would demolish him. ”I think I exist,” he said wearily. ”I am conscious of my own identity. I was born and I shall die. I have arms and legs. I occupy a particular point in space. No other solid object can occupy the same point simultaneously. In that sense, does Big Brother exist?” ”It is of no importance. He exists.” ”Will Big Brother ever die?” ”Of course not. How could he die? Next question.” ”Does the Brotherhood exist?” ”That, Winston, you will never know. If we choose to set you free when we have finished with you, and if you live to be ninety years old, still you will never learn whether the answer to that question is Yes or No. As long as you live it will be an unsolved riddle in your mind.” Winston lay silent. His breast rose and fell a little faster. He still had not asked the question that had come into his mind the first. He had got to ask it, and yet it was as though his tongue would not utter it. There was a trace of amusement in O’Brien’s face. Even his spectacles seemed to wear an ironical gleam. He knows, thought Winston suddenly, he knows what I am going to ask! At the thought the words burst out of him: ”What is in Room 101?” The expression on O’Brien’s face did not change. He answered drily: ”You know what is in Room 101, Winston. Everyone knows what is in Room 101.” He raised a finger to the man in the white coat. Evidently the session was at an end. A needle jerked into Winston’s arm. He sank almost instantly into deep sleep.

Afterward Winston is forced when O’Brien abuses Winston’s weak point. Because he’s afraid of rats, O’Brien threatens him with them. (They can nibble his cheeks.) And in that moment Winston is defeated because he wishes this suffering to his love Julia. And it is O’Brien’s intention. Winston is disenthralled and he lives several days like ordinary person. One day he meets her but they haven’t common topic to speak about. And after several days he is shot to head as the ideocriminal. But in this moment Winston is happy already – he loves Big Brother. After I read the book I immediately took a liking for the author. His brilliant expression of the complicated problems of his his days. (He had written this book about 50 years ago.) This swas an big trouble of almost every societies in the world. He reasonably recognised a danger of isms as communism, fascism and nazism (or national socialism). Of course he was very critical about them. If you searched you would find a similarity with all of the said in his work. On the one hand his work is readable and on the other hand it is very educational for us.

(This text was apparently created around 2003-10-29 according to the original document metadata.)

published: 2003-10-29
last modified: 2023-09-19