But, as the year begins, he has decided, against his better judgment, to keep a diary in which his true feelings are laid bare. He sits back in an alcove in his dingy apartment, just out of view of the telescreen two-way television screens that are in all buildings and homes, which broadcast propaganda and transmit back the activities of anyone passing in front of the screen and writes of his hatred for Big Brother.

Winston works at the Ministry of Truth Minitrue, in Newspeakthe branch of the government responsible for the production and dissemination of all information. Only once has he ever held in his hands absolute proof that the Ministry was lying.

It concerned three revolutionaries, Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford, who were executed for planning a revolt against the state. Winston found evidence that their confessions were falsified and out of fear he destroyed that evidence. Winston realizes that all the stories told by the Party about Emmanuel Goldstein-the head of an underground conspiracy to overthrow the Party-and the traitorous Brotherhood are at least partly true. Perhaps there is another way, and he begins to see hope in the proletariat.

They are the 85 percent of the population of Oceania that exists outside the Party, kept in a perpetual state of slovenly poverty but mostly unregulated, unobserved. The proprietor, Mr. Charrington, shows him a back room outfitted with a bed, where he and his wife used to live before the Revolution. As he leaves the shop, Winston notices that he is being watched. A dark-haired woman from the fiction department at Minitrue was spying on him.

Fearing the worst, Winston contemplates killing her, but instead he quickly heads home. Winston sees the dark-haired girl at the Ministry of Truth. She stumbles, and as he helps her up, she passes a slip of paper into his hand. Winston reads it in secret and discovers that it is a note saying that she loves him.

1984 summary

Lonely and intrigued by her, he manages to eat lunch one day with her. They make plans for another such accidental meeting that evening. In the midst of a crowd, she gives him a complex set of directions to a place where they will meet on Sunday afternoon.

1984 Summary

Winston and the girl-Julia-meet in the woods, far out in the country, away from the telescreens. There they are actually able to talk and make love.

Julia reveals that she is not what she appears; she despises the Party but pretends to be a good party member. The couple meets at irregular intervals, and never in the same place, until Winston suggests the idea of renting Mr. The two meet, sharing the delicacies that Julia gets on the black market delicacies like sugar, milk, and real coffee and relishing their moments of freedom. Their bliss is interrupted only once by the presence of a rat. Julia chases it off and prevents it from coming back.

Winston believes he has a friend and agrees to go with Julia. Shortly after waking up from a long nap, Winston and Julia hear a voice from a hidden telescreen that suddenly commands them to stand in the middle of the room. Charrington enters with a crew of stormtroopers who beat Winston and Julia, then hurry them separately away.

Winston is tortured in jail-known as the Ministry of Love-for an indeterminable length of time. Winston confesses to various crimes, including his years of conspiracy with the ruler of Eastasia-one of the three superpowers that are often at war with Oceania. No one is executed before coming to love Big Brother.

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Winston is at length able to persuade himself that the Party is right about everything-that two and two, in fact, make five-but he has not betrayed Julia, whom he still loves. When they threaten him with rats, he betrays Julia.In the future world ofthe world is divided up into three superstates—Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia—that are deadlocked in a permanent war. The superpowers are so evenly matched that a decisive victory is impossible, but the real reason for the war is to keep their economies productive without adding to the wealth of their citizens, who live with the exception of a privileged few in a state of fear and poverty.

Oceania, made up of the English-speaking nations, is ruled by a group known simply as the Party, a despotic oligarchical collective that is ideologically very similar to the regimes in power in the other two superstates, though each claims that their system is superior to the others. In order to maintain its power, the Party keeps its citizens under constant surveillance, monitoring even their thoughts, and arresting and "vaporizing" individuals if they show signs of discontent or nonconformity.

The Party's figurehead is Big Brother, whose mustachioed face is displayed on posters and coins, and toward whom every citizen is compelled to feel love and allegiance. Organized hate rallies keep patriotism at a fever pitch, and public executions of prisoners of war increase support for the regime and for the war itself. Winston Smitha quiet, frail Outer Party member who lives alone in a one-room flat in a squalid apartment complex called Victory Mansions, is disturbed by the Party's willingness to alter history in order to present its regime as infallible and just.

A gifted writer whose job at the Ministry of Truth is to rewrite news articles in order to make them comply with Party ideology, Winston begins keeping a diary, an activity which is not illegal, since there are no laws in Oceania, but which he knows is punishable by death. Since every room is outfitted with a telescreen that can both transmit and receive sounds and images, Winston must be extremely careful to disguise his subversive activities. He imagines he is writing the diary to O'Briena charismatic Inner Party bureaucrat whom Winston believes is a member of a fabled underground counterrevolutionary organization known as the Brotherhood.

Winston is also writing in order to stay sane, because the Party controls reality to the extent of requiring its subjects to deny the evidence of their own senses, a practice known as doublethinkand Winston knows of no one else who shares his feelings of loathing and outrage.

One day at work, a dark-haired girl whom Winston mistakenly suspects of being a spy for the Thought Police, an organization that hunts out and punishes unorthodox thinking known as thoughtcrimeslips him a note that says "I love you. However, he finds the courage to talk to the girl, whose name is Juliaand they begin an illicit love affair, meeting first in the countryside, then in the crowded streets, and then regularly in a room without a telescreen above the secondhand store where Winston bought his diary.

The proprietor, Mr.

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Charringtonseems trustworthy, and Winston believes that he, too, is an ally because of his apparent respect for the past—a past that the Party has tried hard to eradicate by altering and destroying historical records in order to make sure that the people of Oceania never realize that they are actually worse off than their ancestors who lived before the Revolution.

Meanwhile, the lovers are being led into a trap. O'Brien, who is actually loyal to the Party, dupes them into believing he is a counterrevolutionary and lends them a book that was supposedly written by the exiled Emmanuel Goldsteina former Party leader who has been denounced as a traitor, and which O'Brien says will initiate them into the Brotherhood. One night, the lovers are arrested in their hiding place with the incriminating book in their possession, and they learn that Mr.

Charrington has all along been a member of the Thought Police.

1984 summary

During the torture in the dreaded roomWinston and Julia betray one another, and in the process lose their self-respect, individuality and sexual desire. They are then released, separately, to live out their broken lives as loyal Party members.

In the closing scene, Winston, whose experiences have turned him into an alcoholic, gazes adoringly at a portrait of Big Brotherwhom he has at last learned to love.JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser.

For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Winston Smith, employed as a records no, not vinyl editor at the Ministry of Truth, drags himself home to Victory Mansions nothing victorious about them for lunch.

Depressed and oppressed, he starts a journal of his rebellious thoughts against the Party. If discovered, this journal will result in his execution. For the sake of added precautions, Winston only writes when safe from the view of the surveying telescreens. And when that shot of industrial grade "Victory Gin" kicks in. Click the map infographic to download. At work, Winston becomes curious about "the brunette" a.

Juliaa machine-operator in the Fiction Department.

The Dystopian World of 1984 Explained

Although at one time he feared that she was a member of the Thought Police, all such paranoia ends when she slips him a note reading "I love you" in the corridor one day. The two begin a secret love affair, first meeting up in the countryside, and then in a rented room atop Mr. All of these places are away from surveillance — or so they think.

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The changing of history? The all-around sketchiness? Unfortunately, Winston never finds out the why. Instead, he gets tortured. But before the torturing, he and Julia are apprehended by the Thought Police. The happy couple is then brought to the Ministry of Love, where criminals and opponents of the Party are tortured, interrogated, and "reintegrated" before their release and ultimate execution.

Months later, Winston is sent to Roomwhere a person is faced with his greatest fear. Rats…why did it have to be rats? Musing on the impending rats-chewing-on-his-face scenario, Winston calls out, "Do it to Julia!

Even when he and Julia meet again by chance, they feel apathetic towards each other.Winston lives in the city of London, in Airstrip One. London is contained in the superstate of Oceania, formerly known as Great Britain. The opening section of the book consists largely of Winston's personal reflections on his existence and the world in which he lives. Oceania is a totalitarian state dominated by the principles of Ingsoc English Socialism and ruled by an ominous organization known simply as the Party, of which Big Brother is the figurehead.

Two other superstates inhabit the world along with Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia, and the three are constantly involved a series of shifting alliances and battles. Winston is a Party member, and wears the uniform of a Party member: blue overalls. In the opening pages, we find Winston, having climbed the seven flights to his apartment slowly due to his bothersome varicose ankle ulcer, looking out his apartment window, noting the large and ominous presence of the four Ministry buildings: the Ministry of Truth, which manages news, entertainment, education and fine arts as related to the Party, the Ministry of Peace, which manages war, the Ministry of Love, which manages law and order, and the Ministry of Plenty, which manages economic affairs.

1984 summary

Winston sees the Ministry of Truth clearly from his apartment window, and can even make out the three Party slogans carved into the large, pyramid-shaped, glittering white concrete structure: "War is Peace," "Freedom is Slavery," and "Ignorance is Strength. Winston's apartment contains a telescreen, an oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror that simultaneously receives and transmits information. The machine constantly spews Party propaganda, but also monitors each Party member, listening to his or her words and observing his or her actions in search of evidence of disloyalty.

The telescreens are an important tool of the Thought Police, whose sole responsibility is identifying those disloyal - even with a single word, phrase, or facial expression - to the Party. Strangely, the telescreen in Winston's apartment is hung at such an angle that there is a small alcove in which Winston cannot be seen.

He sits at a desk in this alcove and begins to write in a diary he purchased discreetly from an antique shop. In Oceania, people do not keep personal documentation. Such behavior is considered dangerous, as it promotes independence and individual thought.

In preparing to write in this diary, Winston knows he is committing thoughtcrime and therefore risking his life. Winston writes, "April 4th, ," and then realizes he is not even certain of the year, as it is impossible to tell if the information the Party disseminates is truly accurate anymore. Winston begins writing about a violent war film with vivid death scenes. He then remembers an event from earlier in the day that inspired him to begin the diary.

It occurred at about eleven hundred that morning time is kept in the twenty-four hour method during the Two Minutes Hate, a daily propaganda presentation given to groups at their places of work praising Big Brother, Oceania and the Party, and denouncing Emmanuel Goldstein, the figurehead of capitalism and the Party's number one enemy, and Oceania's current enemy of war.

Plot Summary

While surrounded by fellow Party members caught up in the fervor of denouncing enemies to the Party, literally screaming and throwing things at the screen and praising Big Brother and Oceania, Winston took note of those around him. He observed the dark-haired girl he had often seen in the Ministry who he hated based purely on her apparent worship of the Party, and also a man named O'Brienan Inner Party member whom he also often saw in the Ministry of Truth.

He and O'Brien made eye contact, and immediately Winston felt as though they were both thinking the same things, realizing that O'Brien also found this practice and the Party's propaganda disgusting.George Orwell made no secret of the fact that his novel was not really about the future but about the very time he wrote it in, the bleak years after World War II when England shivered in poverty and hunger.

In a novel where passion is depicted as a crime, the greatest passion is expressed, not for sex, but for contraband strawberry jam, coffee, and chocolate. What Orwell feared, when he wrote his novel inwas that Hitlerism, Stalinism, centralism, and conformity would catch hold and turn the world into a totalitarian prison camp. It is hard, looking around the globe, to say that he was altogether wrong.

Michael Radford's brilliant film of Orwell's vision does a good job of finding that line between the "future" world of and the grim postwar world in which Orwell wrote. The movie's is like a year arrived at through a time warp, an alternative reality that looks constructed out of old radio tubes and smashed office furniture. There is not a single prop in this movie that you couldn't buy in a junkyard, and yet the visual result is uncanny: Orwell's hero, Winston Smith, lives in a world of grim and crushing inhumanity, of bombed factories, bug-infested bedrooms, and citizens desperate for the most simple pleasures.

The film opens with Smith rewriting history: His task is to change obsolete government documents so that they reflect current reality.

1984 summary

He methodically scratches out old headlines, obliterates the photographs of newly made "unpersons," and attends mass rallies at which the worship of Big Brother alternates with numbing reports of the endless world war that is still going on somewhere, involving somebody. Into Smith's world comes a girl, Julia, who slips him a note of stunning force. The note says, "I love you.

Then Smith is summoned to the office of O'Brien, a high official of the "inner party," who seems to be a revolutionary too, and gives him the banned writings of an enemy of the state.

This story is, of course, well known. What is remarkable about the movie is how completely it satisfied my feelings about the book; the movie looks, feels, and almost tastes and smells like Orwell's bleak and angry vision. John Hurtwith his scrawny body and lined and weary face, makes the perfect Winston Smith; and Richard Burtonlooking so old and weary in this film that it is little wonder he died soon after finishing it, is the immensely cynical O'Brien, who feels close to people only while he is torturing them.

Suzanna Hamilton is Julia, a fierce little war orphan whose rebellion is basically inspired by her hungers. Radford's style in the movie is an interesting experiment. Like Chaplin in " Modern Times ," he uses passages of dialogue that are not meant to be understood -- nonsense words and phrases, garbled as they are transmitted over Big Brother's primitive TV, and yet listened to no more or less urgently than the messages that say something. The film version of Orwell's novel turned it into a cautionary, simplistic science-fiction tale.

This version penetrates much more deeply into the novel's heart of darkness. Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from until his death in Inhe won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. Richard Burton as O'Brien. Suzanna Hamilton as Julia. Cyril Cusack as Charrington. Gregor Fisher as Parsons. Reviews The novel's protagonist, Winston Smithis a citizen of Oceania, one of the world's three superstates along with Eurasia and Eastasia.

Winston is a member of the Party, which rules Oceania under the principles of Ingsoc English Socialism. Oceania is an oligarchy, under hierarchical rule. The Party consists of Inner Party members, who are the ruling elite, and regular Party members, who are citizens of Oceania. Outside of the Party are the proles, non-Party members and simple people who live in poverty and are free from Party regulations. The Party's leader is Big Brotherand there are massive images of his kind visage, complete with dark hair and a substantial mustache, displayed throughout London, some accompanied by the words "Big Brother is Watching You.

Winston lost his parents and little sister during the Revolutionary period that destroyed capitalism and instituted Ingsoc in Oceania. He was placed in a Party orphanage and integrated into the Party system. Now he works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, which handles all Party publications and propaganda, altering previously published Party publications to ensure that the Party's version of the Past is never questioned.

Such alterations often remove a person from history, or make previously flawed predictions accurate. The other three ministries are the Ministry of Love, which handles all Party prisoners, the Ministry of Peace, which handles war, and the Ministry of Plenty, which manages the production of Party goods, including Victory cigarettes, Victory gin, and Victory coffee, all of which are of extremely poor quality. Winston has never quite accepted the principles of Ingsoc and the Party.

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He believes in an unalterable past, and finds Party politics reprehensible. Winston wishes for privacy, intimacy, freedom and love, but cannot express any of this in the open for fear of death. Such thoughts constitute "throughtcrimes," which are highly punishable offenses resulting in arrest, imprisonment, torture, and often death. When the book opens, Winston is at home during his lunch break.

He has returned to his apartment in the Victory Mansions, a dilapidated Party housing building, to write in a diary, a relic of the past he obtained from an old junk shop.

Winston's apartment is meager, and like every other Party member's home, contains a telescreen. The telescreen transmits Party information and propaganda, and also allows the Thought Police to watch and listen to Party members at all times. In Oceania, there is no such thing as privacy. Winston is fortunate to have a small nook in his apartment out of the view of the telescreen, and it is in this nook that he begins to write in his diary, despite his overwhelming fear of being caught.

Undoubtedly, Winston will eventually be caught, imprisoned, and tortured by the Thought Police. For now, however, he chooses to forge ahead with his rebellion. Winston writes of various memories, all related to the Party and his life.

Many include violent imagery, which is quite common in the age of Oceania, and reveal anti-Party feelings.Winston Smith is a member of the Outer Party. He works in the Records Department in the Ministry of Truth, rewriting and distorting history.

To escape Big Brother 's tyranny, at least inside his own mind, Winston begins a diary — an act punishable by death. Winston is determined to remain human under inhuman circumstances. Yet telescreens are placed everywhere — in his home, in his cubicle at work, in the cafeteria where he eats, even in the bathroom stalls. His every move is watched. No place is safe. He also catches the eye of a dark-haired girl from the Fiction Department, whom he believes is his enemy and wants him destroyed.

A few days later, Juliathe dark-haired girl whom Winston believes to be against him, secretly hands him a note that reads, "I love you. Alone in the countryside, Winston and Julia make love and begin their allegiance against the Party and Big Brother.

Winston is able to secure a room above a shop where he and Julia can go for their romantic trysts. Winston and Julia fall in love, and, while they know that they will someday be caught, they believe that the love and loyalty they feel for each other can never be taken from them, even under the worst circumstances. Eventually, Winston and Julia confess to O'Brien, whom they believe to be a member of the Brotherhood an underground organization aimed at bringing down the Partytheir hatred of the Party.

O'Brien welcomes them into the Brotherhood with an array of questions and arranges for Winston to be given a copy of "the book," the underground's treasonous volume written by their leader, Emmanuel Goldsteinformer ally of Big Brother turned enemy. Winston gets the book at a war rally and takes it to the secure room where he reads it with Julia napping by his side. The two are disturbed by a noise behind a painting in the room and discover a telescreen.

They are dragged away and separated. Winston finds himself deep inside the Ministry of Love, a kind of prison with no windows, where he sits for days alone. Finally, O'Brien comes. Initially Winston believes that O'Brien has also been caught, but he soon realizes that O'Brien is there to torture him and break his spirit.

The Party had been aware of Winston's "crimes" all along; in fact, O'Brien has been watching Winston for the past seven years. O'Brien spends the next few months torturing Winston in order to change his way of thinking — to employ the concept of doublethinkor the ability to simultaneously hold two opposing ideas in one's mind and believe in them both. Finally, O'Brien takes Winston to Roomthe most dreaded room of all in the Ministry of Love, the place where prisoners meet their greatest fear.

Winston's greatest fear is rats.


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