Dag's Orwell Project is comprehensive, offering all of Orwell's main works in both English and Russian. Orwell fans will also discover a large photo gallery here — with the opportunity to access a selection of photos from Orwell's life as well as the extracts from biography written by Sir Bernard Crick — ‘George Orwell: A Life ’ and a complete Orwell bibliography. The section ‘A Life’ features critiques on Orwell's work and discussions devoted to the writer's continuing relevance in today's world.
This web-site also features full text versions of Aldous Huxley's ‘Brave New World ’ and Evgeny Zamyatin's ‘WE ’ (in Russian only so far).
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The story unfolds on a cold April day in 1984 in Oceania, the totalitarian superpower in post World War II Europe. 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. Now that’s playing with fire. 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.
At work, Winston becomes curious about "the brunette" ( a.k.a. Julia), a machine-operator in the Fiction Department. 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. Charrington’s shop in the prole district. All of these places are away from surveillance – or so they think.
As Winston and Julia fall deeper in love, Winston’s views about their government (the Party) change. There’s something about Ingsoc that doesn’t seem quite right – is it the manipulation? The changing of history? The all-around sketchiness? Winston is drawn to the revolutionary "Brotherhood" because, well, they’re revolutionary. Eventually, Winston makes contact with O’Brien, who Winston thinks is a member of the Brotherhood, but who in actuality is a member of the Thought Police. O’Brien arranges for Winston to receive a copy of "the book," a resistance manifesto which supposedly exposes the how and the why for the resistance.
Unfortunately, Winston never finds out the why. Instead, he gets tortured. But before the torturing, he and Julia are apprehended by the Thought Police. Turns out that secret hiding place wasn’t so secret after all. 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. O’Brien runs the show as far as Winston’s torture sessions are concerned.
Months later, Winston is sent to Room 101, where 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!" That’s pretty much what O’Brien was looking for, so Winston gets to go back to being a happy member of the rat race. Released, Winston’s heart is filled with love for the Party. Even when he and Julia meet again by chance, they feel apathetic towards each other. The last man in Europe has been converted and destroyed. Quite the fine point there, George.
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So I have to write an 8 page cultural essay on 1984 by George Orwell and The Country of the Blind by H.G. Wells. I've already written about the authors, the historical/cultural events that influenced Orwell's writing and compared both of the works.All i need now is to identify two major themes from 1984(full statements, not just a couple of words!) and an example of figurative language (characterization, diction, etc.)What would be two really good themes from 1984 that I could support with 3 quotes from the novel?i was thinking something about totalitarian government or free will or something like that?help would be greatly appreciated :)(ex: Not theme:courage, actually a theme:courage allows us to face even the worst of fears)Similar Asks:
The 1984, George Orwell Essay – Some Great Topic Possibilities
When the year 1984 arrived, people in the Western world revised discussion of Orwell’s 1984. primarily being amused about the things he predicted that would occur by that year but which, of course, had not. Still, Orwell was not incorrect in many of the things he predicted – surveillance cameras, the use of technology to “spy” on people, etc. except those things did not arrive until the end of the 20 th and beginning of the 21 st century. So, his predictions were not too far off – just his timing.Orwell’s Obsession With Totalitarianism
Orwell was a writer who was profoundly concerned about the horrors of totalitarian governments. He wrote during a time when Stalin was the Communist leader in Russia and Franco, the Fascist dictator of Spain. He was extremely worried about the threat that the world faced from totalitarianism, and at least two of his novels reflected that – Animal Farm and 1984. Any book summary on 1984 or essays that you might write, therefore, will of necessity deal with totalitarianism in some facet.
1984. George Orwell Essay Topics
Essay topics dealing with the themes of 1984 all relate in some way to the dangers of a totalitarian government that has the power to control every aspect of its citizens’ lives – thought, speech, and activity. Here are some potential topics for 1984 essays related to those themes.
In case you had a previously familiar with tips on wriring a book summary and able to find a summary of your own it might as well serve you as an inspiration
It is clear that Orwell was truly fearful of what a future Western world would look like and wanted to warn citizens of democratic countries about these possibilities. Is book is a classic because we continue to compare the Oceania political regime and its practices with current practices of governments today.
It is a complicated theme, indeed. For whatever reason, if you are struggling with developing the right topic for your essay, as it may be that the political novels are not of your interest, or if you can't come up with the best topic that suits you - writing an essay on 1984 with Essay Penguins is always a good idea.
Hi, I'm new and I need help on this argumentative essay that we have to write in class.
Basically we have to think of our own topic and I kind of thought of one. I was thinking of an argumentative essay on totalitarianism and using fear to make a totalitarian society. I think it's okay but I can't really think of any arguments for this topic. I don't even know if this topic is an argument. Can you argue with this topic?
We don't really have to write the essay on 1984, I've decided to use 1984 as a source.
And for people who haven't read "1984" it's about this guy called Winston Smith who works in the ministry of truth. He lives in a totalitarian society where the leader, Big Brother watches your every move. Big telescreens are set everywhere. There are four classes in this society: Big brother, inner class, outer class and the proles. Winston doesn't like this society so he finds ways to rebel. He does it in small ways at first by writing in a diary. Soon few days later, Winston meets this young women Julia and they get into a relationship which B.B simply forbids them because if two people fall in love they don't remain loyal to B.B anymore. Winston and Julia rents a room assuming it is safe but unfortunately it is not safe because the thought police found them and the two of them are arrested. They are imprisoned separately in the ministry of love where O'Brien (who works in the ministry) tortures Winston until he spills the truth. Then O'Brien puts Winston in a room with his fear which is rats and Winston blames everything on Julia and then he was sent free. Couple days later, he meets Julia again and tells her that he has betrayed her. He then sits at a café and he realizes that he loves B.B after all.
I need all the help I can get and THANK YOU for your suggestions. )
sofiagvaladze Threads: 1
Author: Sopiko gvaladze
Hi there, I have read "1984" and it's really great book. To begin with Big brother reminds me Stalin very much. When I was readying it the fact that in every house was camera, seemed for me very unreal.
I thought that system can not control people so hardly. But after I have seen a documentary film, where was said than in 1930 in SSR there was line radio, that was propagandistic of course.add in every house it must be turned on loud, in the way that neighbors where eshure that you are listening it. If you not, than you would be suspected. I think that it is really interesting, because such a terror is so unbelievable.
Another interesting thing is that everybody loved Big brother. IT may seem for you unreal but loving dictators is very natural. I live in georgia where Stalin was born. and my grandmaher's generation adore Stalin, in spite of what he have done. I want to say that propaganda really works, even people who's relatives were killed love Stalin. They think that he didn't know anything about it, but someone evil killed their relatives. But the fact is that every document was signed by Stalin. So he knew what was happening. (sorry for my english, I hope it will help you a little but)
Nice topic, and it is controversial, but first you need to decide what part of it will you be arguing. I make the same mistake often in class, and am told constantly by my teacher that I need to be more specific, or I could end up writing for days. If you're unsure, then I'd suggest arguing the meaning of the book. You could easily bring one of Orwell's other books into the essay as well, I believe it's called "The Animal Farm" or something similar (shame on me for not knowing). That book is very anti-communism, while in 1984, Orwell seems to be saying that B.B. may seem oppressive, but in the end it's probably best. You can argue one way or another with that, and using his other works will show that you know what you're talking about. Be extremely careful with your research and I mean "extreme" literally. Orwell is studied very heavily, and many people can argue all day about him, so get your facts straight, and always have evidence. Great topic, and good luck, let me know if you need any other help.
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George Orwell 1984
SHORT PLOT/CHAPTER SUMMARY (Synopsis)
The novel 1984 is a story about Winston Smith, a member of the Party that is ruling over the state of Oceania. The Party rules under the dictatorship of Big Brother.
Winston is shown to be leading a lonely life in what used to be known as London before the Party came to power following a revolution. Moreover, the society created by the Party is based upon hatred, suspicion, and fear; it lacks all the finer emotions like love, trust, and friendship.
There are strict rules laid down for Party members, and members of the opposite sex cannot meet freely. All movements and activities of the members are under constant surveillance through telescreens. Neighbors and children are taught to keep an eye on others and report on what they observe.
Winston, who is an intelligent and sensitive person, begins to hate everything the Party stands for; but he knows he cannot openly express his feelings, for questioning the Party means death. As a result, Winston leads a double life, privately abhorring everything the Party says or does, while publicly putting on a facade of loyalty and enthusiasm towards the ideas of the Party.
Winston meets Julia, who is also a Party member. She is working in the Fiction department at the Ministry of Truth, where Winston is working in the Records department. They fall in love and meet away from the prying eyes of the microphones, telescreens, and patrols.
Young Julia gives the lonely Winston a purpose for living and an ally. Since she also hates the restrictions and controls of the Party, they discuss ways of overthrowing Big Brother. Both of them are aware of the secret organization known as the Brotherhood, whose head is Goldstein; he is the chief enemy of the ruling Party. Winston and Julia think of joining the Brotherhood, but do not know how to go about it. They meet with O'Brien at his flat, where he tells them about the Brotherhood.
The Thought Police soon catch Julia and Winston together. Arrested and sent separately to the Ministry of Love, they are made to confess their sins and mistakes. Here, Winston meets O'Brien, who reveals his true identity. O'Brien tortures and punishes Winston until he agrees to accept the ideas of the Party unquestioningly.
After nearly one year of solitary confinement, Winston is released. Before he is allowed to leave, O'Brien warns Winston that the Party will kill him whenever it thinks it is appropriate. Once released, Winston is no longer allowed to work in the Ministry of Truth's Records department. Instead, he is given a job as part of the subcommittee of a subcommittee appointed to study and prepare an interview report on some minor problems faced in the preparation of the eleventh edition of the 'Newspeak' (the new language) dictionary. Winston spends any spare time at the Chestnut Tree Cafe, the chief haunt of all rebels.
The end comes unexpectedly when Winston is listening to the news of Oceania's victory over Africa. Amidst the cheers and screams of the crowd, Winston is shot with a thought bullet as he is sitting at the Chestnut Tree Cafe. As he dies, he has a feeling of reverence for Big Brother.
Note: Others interpret the events in the final chapter as a dream in which Winston comes to peace with Big Brother and finally learns to love Big Brother. In that interpretation, Winston does not literally die and the ending is a dream. The bullet is imaginary. That said, your interpretation may differ. In reading the original text, it is not specifically clear.
PLOT STRUCTURE ANALYSIS
The novel is divided into three parts with 8 to 10 chapters each. The story of the new society, under a single-Party dictatorship, unfolds in the Part I. In the second part, Julia and Winston are attracted to each other and resist the Party's oppression. Part III dwells on Winston's imprisonment, torture, and brainwashing. He is finally released from prison when O'Brien thinks that he was totally crushed Winston's spirit and made him a true believer in the Party. When Winston reveals that he still has human emotions in his continued lover for Julia, the Party puts him to death with a thought-bullet at the back of his head.
The plot of 1984 is really rather simple. The protagonist fights against his enemy, Big Brother and all he represents in the totalitarian society. He forms a relationship with Julia, who thinks similarly to himself. They defy the Party with their acts of companionship and sexual intimacy. They are arrested by the Party and imprisoned. Winston is tortured and brainwashed; verbally, he espouses the beliefs of the Part and wins his release. He is shot by the enemy when he reveals that he still harbors human emotions. There are no strange twists or wild surprises in the story, except for learning the true identities of Charrington and O'Brien. In retrospect, even these characters are not truly surprising, for they behave in a manner expected of true Party member.
The plot is deliberately simple so that Orwell can clearly convey his negative ideas on the new society. Totalitarianism and excessive control of people are horrors to the author, and he succeeds in clearly revealing the depth of the horror within the pages of the short novel. He is fearful that government can too easily seize 'power over all men'. In fact, Orwell's story is a warning about what dictatorship of any form can do to mankind.
Finally, Orwell's simple plot is allegorical, He uses Winston Smith, a common man, to represent all mankind. Winston tries harder than most in the new society to resist the control of Big Brother. In truth, he is powerless to fight against the Party in any large way. His only defense is to hold on to some small shred of his humanity. When he does, he is murdered by the Party. Orwell is trying to indicate to the reader that what happens to Winston Smith can happen to any man if the wrong leaders come to power.
To bring his plot and setting to life, Orwell uses imaginative descriptions, a racy style, and harsh language to make the reader live through everything that the main character in the novel experiences. His detailed negative descriptions of the society and the Party influence the reader to react like Winston and hate the system. His subtle use of imagery, smells, colors, and sounds, especially in the scenes of torture, make the plot more meaningful. In spite of the many descriptions, the story of Winston unfolds in a rapid enough manner to make the plot interesting for the reader from beginning to end. As a result, 1984 is a memorable novel with a plot that fully involves the reader and a theme that still has meaning for contemporary times.
Society and Polity in the Novel
1984 is a scathing criticism of past, present, and future societies. In particular, it alludes to totalitarianism as found in both right wing fascist and left wing communist governments that arose between the two World Wars and in the post-war periods. The portrayal of Big Brother and his Party brings up images of the Soviet Union under the leadership of Stalin. The description of Emmanuel Goldstein, as the enemy of the Party and the State of Oceania, conjures up the image of Leon Trotsky, who was branded as an anti-revolutionary in the Soviet Union. In fact, Goldstein's Black Book on 'The Brotherhood' is a parody on Trotsky's book The Revolution Betrayed. In addition, the celebration of 'Hate Week', with the description of a public meeting where mass hysteria is created by an enflamed speaker, brings to mind the image of Hitler, who had the ability to arouse mass frenzy against the Jews.
The society created in Orwell's novel is a society totally controlled by the Party, which strips the individual of all freedom. All activities, words, facial expressions, and thoughts are closely monitored by Big Brother through telescreens and Thought Police. Anyone who criticizes or questions the government, even mentally, is branded as a criminal, guilty of committing a 'thought crime'; and criminals are "vaporised" or put to death. Only those who blindly accept everything that the Party does or says is a 'law abiding citizen of Oceania'. Freedom of thought and expression, a basic democratic right of all men, does not exist in the new society.
Further, the Party under Big Brother systematically falsifies facts and records, especially those related to history. Winston Smith works at the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth. His main jobs are to change historical information to reflect the Party's perception of it and to alter the speeches of Big Brother to match previous forecasts to actual production numbers. Truth, to Big Brother, is whatever he wants it to be, and what he wants can change from day to day.
The Party claims that it is a proletarian government, working in the interests of people to create a classless society. In reality, the working class of Oceania is shown living in miserable conditions. There is a scarcity of essential items, especially food and clothing; cheap labor is exploited. Class is strictly identified, and Party members are not allowed to mix with the proles. In fact, the Party's contempt for the masses is evident from its slogan: 'Animals and Proles are free'. At the same time, the Party officials live the life of the privileged few basking in the lap of luxury, as evidenced by the lovely apartment owned by O'Brien and the expensive wine served by him.
The most terrifying phenomenon related to the polity in the novel is that the entire world is divided into three superstates: 1) Oceania, comprising the American continents and stretching to the British Isles; 2) Eurasia, which comprises the entire region of Europe; and 3) East Asia, including the Far East and South-East regions of the world. In the novel, Oceania is permanently at war with either East Asia or Eurasia, with constant air raids and bombings. It is not a pleasant view of the world and a picture that everyone feared greatly during the Cold War of the 1950's.
Alienation and Love in the Novel
The new society created in 1984 is a society that is stripped of all human bonds and finer human emotions. Friendship is not tolerated, as evidenced by Winston's reaction to Syme. When he meets Syme in the staff canteen of the Ministry of Truth, he cautiously talks to him and does not dare refer to him as his friend. Everyone in Oceania, including children, are taught to keep an eye on one other and report misconduct to the Party. Two-minute hate sessions are directed by the Party. It is a society that values hatred, suspicion, and fear.
Oceania is a picture of cold alienation. It is a fully armed and highly automated world of machines. Even humans are treated like machinery and expected to act like them. They are awakened by the telescreen, directed in mandatory physical workouts, told which facial expression to wear, and placed in jobs that are directed by the Party. Friendly contact with other humans is discouraged, and sexual relationships are banned. If a person fails to follow Party orders, Big Brother will be watching, and punishment will be imposed.
The alienation is heightened by the Party's stance on sex. Girls from a very young age are taught in schools that sex is dirty. Extramarital relationships are strictly forbidden. Married couples participate in sex without love, joy, or emotion. Winston's wife is so indoctrinated by the Party rules that her body stiffens even at being hugged. Sex as a means to reproduce does not exist. Artificial insemination or 'artsem' (in Newspeak language) takes care of producing the babies.
The author's depiction of alienation in the novel is still relevant to contemporary times. Although there is not an exact Orwellian Oligarchy in existence, the highly industrialized society and extremely competitive world of today make a person feel alienated from others. In spite of automation and communication advances, people seem to have less time for families and friends, creating a sense of loneliness, similar to that experienced by Winston.
1984: HOW RELEVANT IS IT TODAY?
1984 is an anti-Utopian novel in which Orwell depicts a society four decades into the future. It is a society that has been perverted, rather than perfected, by a government that strips humans of their basic rights. Even though the year of 1984 has now passed without the creation of a Big Brother state, the novel still has relevance today. Although the cold war is over and the fascist governments no longer exist, man still feels alienated.
The heavily automated society of today has stripped people of human contact. Prejudice and hatred still exist in many forms. Political maneuvers are still made throughout the world, often without the interest of people in mind. The threat of war still hangs heavy. As a result, 1984 is as relevant now as it was in the post-war period. It is still a warning to humankind that it can never let down its guard; it must protect precious human rights, both today and in the future.
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“No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky.” Bob Dylan said this probably not knowing its profound connection with George Orwell’s novel “1984”, but the as well could be in “1984”. Orwell depicts a totalitarian dystopian world where there is no freedom and citizens are being brainwashed constantly. Without any sense of individual fairness, people work for the party just like the gear wheels in a machine. In order to achieve this, the politicians in “1984” suppress people’s thinking and eliminate their freedom by creating fear through propaganda, strict laws and incessant surveillances.
In “1984”, lies, myths and false information controls the thinking of the citizens. The Party uses propaganda as the deadliest weapon of control. Propaganda increases the citizens’ morale and makes them think that what the party tells them to do is always right. There are mainly two types of propaganda, one changes truth, so-called doublethink, and another creates fear. “Doublespeak” can be seen frequently in the world of 1984. The party’s big slogan “WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.” (George Orwell, 4) is an good example. The idea of the slogan is to convince the citizens that what they want, is what they already have. Only war can make peace and harmony, so peace is no longer peace, it becomes war; anyone who is slaved and wants freedom, he already has freedom; you can only strengthen yourself by not knowing things and being ignorant. The slogan changes truth and make the citizens believe that anything they want other than what their government wants can only make them unhappy, therefore, no one will consider rebellion because they believe the Party’s way of governing is the best and only way. “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” (George Orwell, 3) is another core slogan. It is nearly everywhere in the country and usually presented beneath the picture of Big Brother on a poster. It creates fear of obliterated privacy among citizens by alerting them that they are watched all the time. At the same time, the slogan also emphasizes Big Brother’s power to tells the citizens that they are indeed safe and protected. The party uses this to make them believe that within the party nothing can go wrong, and without Big Brother they will not have such lives. Everyone thinks he is safe in Oceania because of the Big Brother, but they are in fact in danger, all the time.
The laws is another powerful tool for politicians in “1984” to limit citizens freedom. No parties, no dates, no love, no citizens walk on street after curfew, laws are everywhere in Oceania. Although these are strictly implemented, they cannot be called laws theoretically because they are not written in a system. There is no written laws in 1984, there is no such thing as constitution or court, but that is exactly how fear is created, as citizens are always living in uncertainty. For example, “And yet it was a fact that if Syme grasped, even for three seconds, the nature of his, Winston’s, secret opinions, he would betray him instantly to the Thought Police” (George Orwell, 30). There is no law that defines thoughtcrime However, Winston could be arrested any time for committing thoughtcrime by even a tiny facial twitch suggesting struggle, and his nervous system literally becomes his biggest enemy. Since there is no written law, the Party can change and adjust the strictness of laws freely as it wants, citizens never know if they have committed any crime, therefore no one is brave enough to defy the Party by any level, so fear is created. In addition, “Newspeak” is another law that is enforced to solidify the Party’s control. Humans use language to express their ideas, by eliminating words and replacing emotional words such as “excellent”, “wonderful” and “fantastic” by a single word “good” and its comparative degrees “plusgood” and “plusplusgood”. Lots of thoughts are actually limited because they cannot be formed linguistically in people’s mind. Citizens then cannot have their own critical thinking, and only do what they are told to do, they work just as computers, which surprisingly only have two words.*
Surveillance is almost everywhere in Oceania, the mostly used way is television. There is a two-way screen, so-called television in every apartment and on street but they only serve the purpose of monitoring and propaganda, the Party gets simultaneous image of what its people are doing. Even facial expression can be detected. Only senior members of the Inner Party have the power to turn them off for a short period. Children are also used to keep track of their parents, “The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations” (76). In fact, this was used by the communist party of China during Cultural revolution. With extremely mighty surveillance, citizens cannot express their ideas towards the negative side of the Party at all, and even thoughts are controlled because the Party can “reeducate” people for an incorrect facial expression
By using language as a tool of control as well as the evidence for sentence, Orwell creates a world where language, a word or a sentence, can determine ones life. Through language plays the key role in the Party’s propaganda, strict laws and surveillance, total physical control as well as phycological manipulation is achieved. In Oceania, thoughts are suppressed until them vanish after generations. In this world, nothing is free, even a bird.
*0 and 1, Binary numeral system
Nineteen Eighty-Four (or 1984) is an English dystopian novel by George Orwell, written in 1948 and published in 1949. It is the story of the life of the intellectual Winston Smith, his job in the Ministry of Truth, and his degradation by the totalitarian government of Oceania, the country in which he lives. It has been translated into sixty-two languages, and has deeply impressed itself in the English language. Nineteen Eighty-Four, its terms and language, and its author are bywords in discussions of personal privacy and state security. The adjective "Orwellian" describes actions and organizations characteristic of Oceania, the totalitarian society depicted in the novel, and the phrase "Big Brother is watching you" refers to invasive surveillance.
In turn, Nineteen Eighty-Four has been seen as subversive and politically dangerous and thus been banned by libraries in many countries. Along with Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, and Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, it is among the most famous dystopias in literature. In 2005, Time magazine selected it as one of the 100 best English-language novels since 1923.
Probably the most important thing to remember while reading 1984 is that Orwell never intended the book to be a prediction of the future. It was more or less a satire of political fiction, however, I believe Orwell was on the right track concerning future possibilities of a New World Order, or total government control. An interesting quotation from the book is from the "thought police" when they say "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever." I believe Orwell's hope in writing the book was to warn people of political warning signs he saw.
Another interesting characteristic I noticed about the book, was the fact that he only revealed to the reader the full names of only three characters in the book. The book features the main character, Winston Smith, who is a man in his late 30's and a member of the 'outer.