Orwell, George. 1984 New York: Signet Classic, 1949. 245 pages." It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." I cannot emphasize how much I loved that sentence, which happened to be the first sentence of the amazing story, 1984. I like the fact that it takes a while to comprehend, as you think to yourself, "Clocks strike thirteen?" Well, after a moment of thought I realized that the community in which the story takes place tells time in what we call "Military Time," which is basically going by hours of the day (since there are 24 hours in a day, when the clocks strike 24 it is what we would call midnight). This is an amazing book because of its strength! After finishing the book, I sort of felt the urge to shout with anger. This book is strong because of reality.
It is straightforward in a way that I have not seen in any other book. The way that there is happiness, understanding, fear, depression, and then down right rage as you go through this book. I felt every one of those feelings while reading George Orwell's 1984, and it is definitely worth it. The main character in this book is named Winston Smith. This person is one of the few characters in this book that I see to have a soul of any kind (for most of the story, at least). As the story goes on, Winston tells the reader about his opinion for everything that goes on in his life, and in others' lives.
Winston works at the Ministry of Truth, rewriting certain articles to make things predicted by the Party that were false look true. He would get an article that needed rewriting, he would rewrite the article to make the Party look correct, then he would put the rewritten article into a pneumatic tube, and put the old article into a memory hole. Memory holes were slots in the wall that take things, bring them down into the unknown, and destroy them. If Winston were to live in today's world, he would definitely be one of the people I looked up to as a roll model. He seems like a left-wing (meaning liberal) person who would join lots of organizations doing good things, such as Greenpeace. I think that if he was better at public speaking.
(Sadly, he never had a chance to do any sort of public speaking in the story. He seemed like the kind of person that would not be likely to speak publicly unless he had a lot of people defending him, like when he chose to join The Brotherhood instead of trying to create an organization himself. ) He definitely would have been a good leader in today's world. He has all the ideas needed in order to make a difference, and the only thing that would be holding him back would be his shyness. As I said earlier, he is definitely a liberal compared to other people in this story.
Sadly, liberals are way outnumbered by conservatives, and do not stand a chance. That is basically the whole statement of the whole book: The conservatives won. There is no hope. It is over. I do not like to think of it this way, but in this story (hopefully JUST in this story) the conservatives have won, and the liberals do not stand a chance. As Winston goes through the story, he meets this girl named Julia, who he finds out to be his lover.
The only thing that Winston has to live for is Julia. He has a job at the Ministry of Truth. His only duty was to re-write different things to make the Party (the Party was basically the government in charge of Oceania, which was the country where Winston lived in. ) look good.
Other than his job, Julia, walking, writing in his diary, and sleeping, Winston had absolutely nothing to do. He really did not have anything entertaining to do besides Julia. She was the only joy in his life. As the story goes on, Winston is unhappy with the results of which the Party makes of everything.
You could be put in jail for "Thought Crime," which is thinking something bad. You are always being watched by tele screens, which are basically boxes on a wall where they can see you and hear you, while you can listen to music and announcements from the tele screen. You are never safe. Winston was against it, and after he met up with Julia he found out she was against it too.
Winston was walking one day when Julia passed him a note and walked on by. The note read, "I love you." Since this was technically illegal, he could tell that Julia was on his side. He and Julia got together and were a couple in secrecy. O'Brien was a worker that Winston saw a lot. Winston mistook O'Brien to be against the Party, and after Winston basically told O'Brien everything, he was arrested. O'Brien took the liberty of punishing Winston himself.
While this was happening, they were trying to brainwash Winston to believe in the Party, and to believe in Big Brother (Big Brother was the leader of the party). They eventually succeeded by putting him into Room 101 (Room 101 is the room where they put your biggest fear onto you in order to persuade you to do something. In this case, they were threatened with their biggest fear until they said "Do it to so-and-so." In Winston's case it was "Do it to Julia." ). After he was successfully brainwashed, he was clearly not the same person he used to be. His last few thoughts of the book were "He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother." (Those sentences gave me the rage I talked to you about earlier.
) After he was brainwashed completely, Julia had betrayed him and he had betrayed Julia by telling O'Brien (O'Brien was the person who brainwashed him and did everything to him) to do the thing that was going to be done to him to Julia, and vice versa with Julia, so they were not together anymore. After he was brainwashed, if the book had gone on, I would probably have lost interest. I am not interested to hear the stories of someone who is exactly the same as everyone else with the same thoughts and feelings as everyone else in his large community. I do not think that George Orwell was very interested in that either, otherwise I think he might have continued the story. Winston's personality is that of someone who is alone, seeking someone. Everyone has been taken away from him.
The "Thought Police" had taken away his wife, his mother, and his younger sister. Without Julia, he would have been dead. His whole character throughout the story was depressed, angry (at the Party for all the stupid things they were doing), or happy (this only happened when he was with Julia). I can definitely relate to Winston as myself, since I too am totally against the current government in charge of the country I live in (I live in the United States of America). The leaders in charge are totally lying to us, making us, the people, think something totally untrue compared to what is actually happening. Winston, as myself, recognizes this and tries to change the way the government is being run.
I am planning on becoming more active in this sense as I become older. Julia is one of the main characters in this story. She is very similar to Winston in many different ways. Julia and Winston are both against the Party, which is the government in charge of Oceania, and are both trying to change how the Party runs things.
They are a couple for most of the story, and they joined "The Brotherhood" together. The Brotherhood is an organization that is against the Party. However, no one can really tell if The Brotherhood exists at all. At the end of the story The Brotherhood is totally disregarded. Julia and Winston are both "punished" and brainwashed at the Ministry of Truth (just to show how backwards the Party is, the Ministry of Truth is basically a detention center where they put thought criminals) at the same time; however they do not see each other while it happens.
Julia is much younger than Winston. She is in her early 20's while Winston is 30. They seem to be very much in love until they are brainwashed, and are loyal to the Party. Julia works at the Ministry of Truth, just like Winston, except she worked in the Fiction Department. The Fiction Department was a mysterious place to the people who were not part of the department. The story never really explained what went on in the Fiction Department.
Julia and Winston were the only characters in the story who were open about being against the Party. Throughout the story, Julia is at first a mysterious girl, thought by Winston to be a Thought Police in disguise, who appears to be extremely loyal to the Party. After a bit, she runs into Winston "by accident" (she planned it, but Winston didn't know) and slipped the note into Winston's hand. The note simply read, "I love you." This is when, in my opinion, the story's plot really started to take place.
By her telling Winston that she loved him, Winston could easily tell that she was against the Party, since doing so would not be a thing done by a loyal person to the Party. Love did not really exist in the Party, it was only a relationship made to reproduce children, basically. Julia was very pleasant if she liked you. Winston and Julia got along great, and it seemed like she was always a bit more happy than normal when she was around Winston.
I think that Winston made Julia feel calm, since she could trust him not to report anything she said to the Party that would get her arrested for thought crime. I think that Winston and Julia were very dependant on each other. I think the relationship they had was the only thing that had any hope in the whole story. They were the only two people who were not brainwashed (who was open about it, at least).
Without Winston, I think that Julia would not have been able to have the opinions she had much longer. I think that she would have eventually been self-brainwashed to believe that everything the Party said was true. As the story goes on, first she seems like a stuck-up loyal person to the Party, then she seems like a very radical "liberal" for her time, then she seems like (and IS) someone loyal to the Party after being brainwashed. I think that she had a soul. She was one of the people who actually had a brain of her own.
She was one of the only people who could think for herself, and not just believe anything and everything the Party said to be true (no matter what). I would have definitely looked up to this character before she was brainwashed. She seems like a very nice person, and a very good person, and a very intelligent person. I think that Julia and Winston are very much alike, mind-wise. They have very similar opinions, with slight disagreements every once and a while with small topics. O'Brien turns out to be something totally untrue! His character is truly amazing, yet outraging.
His character is something that brings the plot of this story alive! ! At the beginning of the story, O'Brien gives Winston a sign that he is against the Party by looking at him in the eye shortly. Later, Winston and O'Brien meet up and O'Brien gives more signs that he is against the Party. Then Winston tells O'Brien all about how he is against the Party. Then O'Brien turns out to be someone who punishes Winston, and is totally for the Party (he is actually one of the high ranked Party officials).
What a betrayal that was. O'Brien is a big, yet strong man. He plays a high ranked Party official in the Ministry of Truth, which is how he and Winston know each other. As O'Brien is playing his part throughout the story, he first leads Winston and Julia into a trap, without them knowing, then brainwashes and tortures them in the Ministry of Love after they openly commit the thought crimes of what we would now call treason. O'Brien's only motivation was to please Big Brother, who was the person in charge of the Party. O'Brien only wanted power, which he could get from Big Brother by "sucking up" (mindlessly following and emulating anything and everything in the name of fame / recognition ) to him, trying to seem the most loyal to the Party.
Sadly, O'Brien's character is to.