“George Orwell’s was born in India, the second child of Richard Wellesley Blair and Ida Mabel Limonzin. In 1904 Orwell moved with his mother and sister sngland, where he attended Eton. His first writings Orwell published in college periodicals. During these years Orwell developed his antipathy towards the English class systems.” (Blair, “George Orwell” P.2)
In 1922 Orwell began to experience what life was like, when he went to Burma to server in the Indian imperial police he began to understand the types of government that dictated the views of many societies such as the imperial rule which led to his resignation as assistant superintendent. After his journey in Burma, Orwell returned to Europe but he was poor and had no money, no college degree and thus couldn’t find any job or anyone to help him financially. In order to understand society better Orwell attempted to get himself arrested as a drunk one night in order to get a better understand of life in prison, which would perhaps give him an inside into the human mind about exactly what makes a person do a crime and how their psychology changes once they go to prison. This helped him focus his efforts when he wrote 1984 because he explores how a socialist world controlled by big world and allows the thoughts of the main character (Winston) to be able to be read by the audience.
The most important part of his life that affected 1984 the most was when in 1930 Orwell decided to adopt socialistic views. “He fought alongside the United Workers Marxist Party militia and was shot through the throat by a Francoist sniper’s bullet” (Blair, “George Orwell” P.3) During chaos when Stalinists captured his friends he luckily escaped, the war made him a strong opponent of communism as an advocate of the English brand of socialism. Orwell also opposed a war with Germany, but he condemned fascism and during World War II he served as a sergeant in the Home Guard and worked as a journalist for the television broadcasting company BBC.
His first satire titled The Animal Farm was perhaps the wittiest novels ever published were not only was there humor, but there was also a strong scent of hate towards the Russian revolution. This let him to 1984 which was a very bitter protest against the nightmarish future and corruption of the truth and free speech of the modern world. Orwell’s life not only created a masterpiece of works that sound like something that would happen in real life, but for his time he had an amazing imagination for constructing a world controlled by one man, and were no one could be trusted and the life of the party depended on the corruption of historical documents and lying to the people.
Winston Smith: Winston is the novels protagonist. He is thirty nine years old and works in the Ministry of Love correcting historical errors. Smith has an ulcer on his leg which prevents him from walking long distances as that irritates it and causes pain. He also dislikes the party, and hopes to find someone who shares his enthusiasm for finding a way to liberate his people from the dictatorship of Big Brother. Winston truly believes that he could save the world from the Big Brother party and puts himself in peril by joining O’Brien and at the novels resolution is betrayed, loses his beloved Julia and ends loving Big Brother and the party. His aspiration is was to be able to change what the party has done to the world and be able to live freely without oppression.
Julia: Julia is Winston Smith’s girlfriend; she is twenty six years old and works in the Department of the Ministry of Truth. She also hates the party but accepts its rule over her and therefore outwardly appears to be zealously devoted to the Party’s causes. Julia and Winston engage in a relationship which ended with them being caught and imprisoned. Julia is only interested in her survival and personal rebellion against the party. After being captured, Julia and Winston meet once more, but Winston realizes that in the Ministry of Love they have destroyed her mentally and physically and she doesn’t even recognize him. Julia’s error in judgment is that she entrusts herself to Winston and going into the apartment instead of going from place to place when they first met, having this she grows complacent to believing that they wouldn’t get caught. She dreams that Winston and she would live a happy and prosperous life after they ended Big Brother’s reign.
O’Brien: O’Brien is a party member to whom Winston feels a strange close relationship to. Winston believes that even though O’Brien is a party member that he can tell talk to and will understand him. O’Brien is a large, graceful, and clearly intelligent man who leads Winston to believe he is part of an underground movement against the Party, but in fact helps turn Winston in for thought crime and tortures him in the Ministry of Love. Winston trusts him with his life, and it doesn’t pay off, although O’Brien seems to be tender he stills loves the party more than anyone else, and he proves this to Winston.
Tom Parsons: He is Winston’s neighbor and co-worker. He follows everything the party tells him unconditionally.
Mrs. Parsons: Tom Parson’s wife and also the mother of Tom’s two children, who later turn them in for saying things that were against the party.
Mr. Charrington: Mr. Carrington is the owner of the antique shop where at the beginning of the book Winston buys his diary, pen and paperweight in. Winston also goes to him to ask if he could rent his room upstairs, which Mr. Charrington allows him to rent it. Mr. Charrington makes himself appear as a man of intelligence who has an antique store and is interested in history and the past, he later reveals himself as a member of the thought police. Later on in the novel Mr. Charrington reveals to Winston that behind a painting in the apartment, there was a telescreen and that’s what mainly caused them to be arrested.
Syme: Syme is a friend of Winston’s and he is also a philologist who is working on the eleventh edition of the newspeak dictionary. Syme is extremely intelligent and talks too much for his own good, which is why he ends up being vaporized by the thought police.
Tillotson: A coworker of Winston, he works in the Records Department and is extremely secretive about the work he does.
Ampleforth: A coworker of Winston also, he is a poet and works in the Records Department rewriting Oldspeak poems which are politically or ideologically objectionable to the party.
Katharine: Winton’s wife in the novel, he accuses her of being absurdly devoted to the party.
Martin: O’Brien’s servant, a small short man who Winston believes might be Chinese. Leads Winston and Julia to O’Brien’s apartment.
Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford: The three inner party members who are wrongly accused in 1965 and must incriminate themselves with treason and murder among other crimes. Winston later goes on to destroy a piece of newspaper clipping which proves that they were innocent.
Prole Washer Woman: She lives outside Winston’s rented apartment and each time that he is there he sees her doing laundry. When Winston’s sees her it reminds him that democracy is possible and he imagines her giving birth to future generations that will fight the Party’s authority.
Emmanuel Goldstein: Supposedly the leader of the Brotherhood, an organization that has swore to destroy Big Brother’s reign on the world, and supposedly one of the founders of the initial revolution which Big Brother took part in, but Goldstein didn’t agree with the way things were being directed and left.
The battle for Winston against Big Brother commences when he finds Julia, and when he realizes that he really loves her with everything he has. He even makes sacrifices such as sneaking out at certain times from work to go see her, and even compromises himself by renting an apartment to spend time with her. The impact of Winston’s discovery changes the novel completely as it allows for the suspense that was created by Orwell throughout the beginning and middle parts of the novel to be released through the incarceration of Julia and him.
When Winston and Julia get caught in the apartment building by Mr. Charrington it allowed Winston to truly understand what the significance of the party was, and that although for the last time that he would ever really see Julia for the woman that loved him and hated the party with everything inside of her, there was still hope inside of him that he would be able to see her again, and that the party would have mercy on them and perhaps, if O’Brien couldn’t help them, he would at least manage to get a razorblade inside the cell so that they could commit suicide. But this isn’t the case, Winston is taken to the Ministry of Love were he hears his fellow prisoners speak of a mysterious and horrific room called “Room 101”, even Parson tells Winston “One woman was consigned to Room 101,” and, Winston noticed, seemed to shrivel and turn a different color when she heard the words”.
After the most horrific event happens in the novel, Winston is taken to the notorious Room 101, where he meets O’Brien and learns that all along Winston has been playing a cat and mouse game with the party. O’Brien informs him that he has been watched since the beginning, and that the Brotherhood which is discussed throughout the book was merely created to nurture Winston’s hunger and to provide both Julia and him with hopes that one day the Brotherhood will allow them to join, and that then even if the world still hasn’t changed from the oppression of big brother, they might be fighting for freedom even if that means that they will sacrifice themselves for the Brotherhood. O’Brien destroys these hopes by telling him that he is merely crazy, and keeps pressuring him to tell O’Brien that he would rather have Julia tortured than put himself through it.
The tribulation of Winston throughout this part of the book is extensive, not only does he feel extremely cheated by O’Brien for betraying his trust, but the Brotherhood never existed either. It was all a trap all along from the day he purchased his journal and met Julia, and now O’Brien had put an ultimatum against Winston: either tell him that he would like Julia to be going through the horrific tortures he was put through or have the rats eat his face away. Here’s where out of the entire the novel Winston finally loses hope and realizes that if he is lucky enough not to be evaporated by the thought police he will return to society broken mentally and physically, this makes it the main conflict in the book because it completely changes the mental state of Winston from the beginning of the novel to the finale.
In a totalitarian world, there is no room for a revolutionary mind.
Example: When Winston goes to Mr. Charrington’s store and buys the journal and later goes back to his apartment and begins writing in his journal, away from the telescreen because he is scared that they will catch him writing against his disagreement of the party.
In a world where history is rewritten and its citizens are brain washed, there is only room for two options: complacency or death.
Example: When Winston was working in the Department of The Ministry of Truth, he stumbles upon a newspaper clipping of Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford three men who the party made self incriminate themselves and later vaporized them, but Winston is forced to destroy the proof because it would get him vaporized if he attempted to show it to anyone.
Individuality makes a living, breathing human being, more than a machine, but in a government under Big Brother, servitude is the only way to guarantee survival.
Example: When O’Brien is torturing Winston and tells him that there was never a Brotherhood, all that was a fictional mind game to lure him into looking for something that didn’t exist. In Room 101, O’Brien takes away Winston’s individuality by showing him that with his biggest fear; he could be manipulated into betraying even his beloved Julia.
The Victory Gin and Victory Cigarettes: Winston uses both these items to help him escape from the reality of Big Brother and the party, he uses the victory gin as a type of alcoholic beverage to help relieve his anxiety that he feels from so much propaganda that the party gives.
The Red Armed Prole Woman: In the book this woman represented to Winston a hope that the humanity of the people would resurface once Big Brother and the party were eradicated and democracy existed. Winston imagined her as a mother of the future civilization, whom would bear children that would continue to fight for freedom against the party and Big Brother.
The paper weight and St. Clements’s Church: These serve as a connection between Winston and the past. Winston’s job is to destroy and fix then truth, but there are some items that even time couldn’t destroy, and that’s what Winston want, some comfort which these items provide for him.
The Telescreens: These monitor the people, they are a symbol of how technology can be used to take advantage of the people and ensure that rules for a certain government are followed, instead of helping its people.
Big Brother: Big Brother represents the party in the commercial manifestation. His name brings trust to his subjects and the name creates a warm atmosphere that makes the party want to embrace him. Big Brother watches everything and knows everything, thus nothing can escape him, and if anyone in the party does anything against the party then they will be taken away by the thought police.
Emmanuel Goldstein: The leader of the Brotherhood and the sworn enemy of the party and Big Brother.
Julia’s Scarlet Anti-Sex Waist Slash: The slash is supposed to be representative of a member of the party who has sworn herself to do anything and everything for the party; it’s a symbol because it shows that she’s a devoted party member but in reality she hates the party and Big Brother.
Winston’s Mother: She represents both comfort and is representative of the way that things used to be before Big Brother instituted the party and things changed forever. She also represents an intense amount of guilt for Winston.
The Place Where There Is No Darkness: This is a symbol representing the dream that Winston has of meeting O’Brien in a “place where there is no darkness” as its connotation indicates that Big Brother won’t be able to hear their conversations.
Memory Hole: This is a symbol indicative of destroying the memories of the past, the memory holes are large tubes that send papers down to a furnace where they are instantly vaporized.
“There was a violent convulsion of nausea inside him, and he almost lost consciousness. Everything had gone black. For an instant he was insane, a screaming animal.”
“Now we can see you, said the voice. Stand out in the middle of the room. Stand back to back. Clasp your hands behind your heads. Do not touch one another.”
“It occurred to Winston that for the first time in his life he was looking, with knowledge, at a member of the Thought Police.”
“He [Winston] was back in the Ministry of Love, with everything forgiven, his soul white as snow”.
“The rats knew what was coming now. One of them was leaping up and down; the other, an old scaly grandfather of the sewers, stood up, with his pink hands against the bars, and fiercely snuffed the air. Winston could see the whiskers and the yellow teeth.”
“He reeked of gin. It seemed to breathe out of his skin place of sweat, and one could have fancied that the others welling from his eyes were pure gin.”-Winston
“The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed–would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper–the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thought crime, they called it.” -Winston
“There was no reproach either in their faces or in their hearts, only knowledge that they remain alive, and that this was part of the unavoidable order of things”-Winston
“She had her first love affair when she was sixteen, with a Party member who later committed suicide to avoid arrest.” -Winston
“Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don’t care what you to do her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!”-Winston
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