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George Orwell (real name: Eric Arthur Blair) was born in India in 1903 died in London in January 1950.
The book Nineteen Eighty-four was written in 1948 and published in 1949. It is one of Orwell´s most famous books.
Another famous book is called Animal Farm and was published in 1945.
This novel, together with Nineteen Eighty-Four , brought him worldwide fame.
Title:.Some people think, he called it 1984, because he wrote it in 1948 and changed the third and the fourth number.
But 1984 is only a symbol, it means the year, when everything has changed.
To understand the story it is necessary to know something about the country (and its political system) where it takes place.
The world is split into three superpowers: Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia.
Ociania consists of America and England, where the story takes place.
Eurasia consists of the whole of the northern part of the European and Asiatic land-mass. Eastasia, smaller than the others consists of China and the countries to the south of it. These countries are constantly at war with one another.
The novel is set in the year 1984 in London in Ociania, a superpower controlled by the "English Socialist Party" through
the Ministry of Peace (which runs the war),
the Ministry of Love (head of the secret police), the Ministry of Plenty (which deals in scarcities), and the Ministry of Truth (which tells lies).
The leader, who is never seen in person, is called Big Brother.
His face looks down from every wall saying: Big Brother is watching you.
In every room there are "telescreens" which not only broadcast lies but can see what the
people are doing in their private lives.
No one is allowed to criticise the Party and unwanted ideas are punished by terrible torture and sometimes death. The Slogans of the party are:
WAR IS PEACE! FREEDOM IS SLAVERY! IGNORANCE IS STRENGHT! Living conditions are bad, everything is expensive, and of bad quality. The enemy of the people is Emmanuel Goldstein, who directs the activities of the Brotherhood, Oceania's enemies in the other super-states.
Every day there is a "Two Minutes Hate", during that the face of Emmanuel Goldstein is shown on screens that the population is gets angry and fury against him. The regime has invented a new language, called Newspeak.
Newspeak should prevent everybody from thinking wrong, which is called crimethink in Newspeak. The vocablulary is reduced, so that there is no way of thinking wrong, because you can't express it. Now you know enough about the time, lets start.
Winston Smith, who works in the in the Ministry of Truth, can remember a time when his parents were alive and life was different. He hates the present regime. He buys a diary, although writing is forbidden, and he writes down his free thoughts. He also knows that the storys about the the ministeries and the war and about Big Brother consists of lies, as he has seen in old newspaper articles at his work in the Minstrie of Truth. Normally all old books and articels are destroyed or changed for the purposes of the Party, but because he destroys them hisself at work, he sees those old articles.
One Day he notices an intelligent-looking Party member at his Ministry called O'Brien, and he thinks that he is on his side, but does not to speak to him, it would be too danger. But he thinks that O´Brien knows, that he is on his side.
Winston was married once but parted from his wife; divorce is forbidden.
A girl called Julia, who works at his Ministry, and whom he thought, that she is a true member of the party, slips a paper into his hand with the words "I love you" on it. This starts a secret love affair between the two.
Julia also thinks, that Big Brother does not exist. They meet secretly, as often as they can. And together they think about, how to get rid of the party.
One day the a sign from O'Brien comes. They meet in his house and he tells Winston, that he is a secret member of the Brotherhood and he gives Winston the forbidden book by Emmanuel Goldstein, "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism". This describes the true state of the world and the terrible methods of the Party and it expresses
what Winston already knows and feels. But he is happy, O´Brien seems to be his friend. He and Julia always meet secretly above the antique shop of a kind old man, Mr. Charrington. One day, the house is surrounded and they are arrested by the Thought Police, led by Mr. Charrington, changed, younger and without his wig of white hair. In the room where the met was a Video Camera.
Winston's worst ideas are realized. He is brought into the Ministry of Love and meets many people he knows very well.
He hopes that O´Brien will come and help him. O'Brien comes, but he turns out to be the head of the Ministry and is responsible for the torture.
Winston is put in a cell alone, he does not know where he is or for how long, there are no windows. He is beaten continually, sometimes kicked by boots.
He recognices, that all, exept Julia, whom he thought to be his friends, were his enemies.
After a long terrible waiting he is taken to a room where O'Brien directs the worst tortures of all. He is asked simple questions, but every time he speaks the truth, painful electric shocks are run through his body, so that at last he swears that 2 + 2 = 5 and really believes it. But O´Brien hasn´t finished, because Winston sill loves Julia.
So Winston is brought into the "Room 101", where people are tortured by the "worst thing in the world" which varies from individual to individual. In Winston's case it is a cage of starving rats which is fixed to his face, the doors ready to open and let them out. In his horror he shouts out "Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Not me!"
This is what O'Brien was waiting for.
Winston is free again, because now is no danger to the party. One day he meets Julia in the Park. But she has stopped loving him too, and they have changed towards each other. Everything that happened in prison was forever, as O'Brien had said. They are glad to say good-bye to each other.
Winston is sitting in a cafe, on the telescreen news of another great victory is broadcasted. He looks at the huge portrait of Big Brother. It has taken him forty years to see the truth but now the struggle is over.
He has won the victory over himself. He loves Big Brother.
- Quote paper
- Maria Bruckmoser (Author), 1999, Orwell, George - 1984, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/95543