The book 1984 was publish on 1949 by George Orwell. The story take place in England, London, also known as the Airstrip One. The story was express about the author’s imaginary predict the future begin on a cold bring day in April, 1984 at 1pm, and it story took 1 year which ended in March, 1985.
Orwell’s main goal is to inform the serious danger of totalitarianism poses to society. He is trying to demonstrate the most horrible degree of power and control a totalitarian regime can obtain and maintain itself. In such regimes, personal rights, freedom and even individual thought are under the all-powerful of the government. Orwell was a Socialist and believed for rebellion to the society, but he observed such rebellions go wrong and develop into totalitarian rule. Moreover, he saw development during his time in Spain and in Russia, where he experienced the rise of communism, honest government, and the economic strength. During the time when the Western world was lauding communism as a step towards human progress in the development in the government, Orwell clearly spoke out against the practice. His prediction in the time in 1984, he clearly presents the perfect totalitarian state. In this novel, Orwell gave the world a brief look of what the control of communism might lead to.
The main factor in the Party’s rule over Oceania is very effective by the propaganda machine. The Ministry of Truth, which is where Wontons work, is responsible for publish all of the Party’s information to the public. But, the Party will choose exactly what to tell the public, even if it not true. The power of the propaganda machine usually corrects old material to show the Party’s current position on any range from chocolate rations to the loyalty of an individual, which mean give the power to the Party control what to publish to the public. Therefore, as O’Brien notes, the machine determines what is the reality.
Moreover, there are many more information that the Party published to the public, and there are also basic form of propaganda such as the Two Minutes Hate, Hate Week, posters of Big Brother that required daily participation in the Physical Jerks. The Party uses waking opportunity to deal into its citizens, and the trucklingly successful in its goal of total loyalty. In 1984, we see power and loyalty such propaganda has influence in the citizens. The citizens are filled with hatred for the country’s enemies, but this hatred can be change easily if the enemy happen to change. Orwell’s presentation of the power of propaganda is supported his warning against totalitarianism. If propaganda control all the information, then there will be hopeless to understand the reality. The world is made up with whatever the Party decide.
The Party works to conquer physical of love and reduce the personalize sex to the point where it is referred to as a “duty to the Party”. Winston suffers the Party’s removal of personal enjoyment in the relationships in his failed to get married with Katharine. Later, when he finds Julia, Winston feel like he is finally to love someone freely again.
In the theme of love, Orwell not just discuss about the romantic love between Winton and Julia, but also through Winston’s memories of his mother and how she cares of him when she was still alive. Winston’s mother was deeply in love with her children and do wherever she can to protect them during the aftermath of the Revolution. In Winston’s time, the Party has eliminated love between family and encourage them to be loyal for Big Brother and the Party. As a result, the Party’s goal is to destroy the family and have all children raised in Party facilities to serve the country.
Because the Party is fueled by loyalty, so they encourage all citizen to support and to be royal to the Party and to be loyal to the Party is to accept anything without question or hesitation. Winston is also agree to be loyal to the Brotherhood and accept the goals and requirements of the Brotherhood without hesitation. Winston is willing to do anything if the Brotherhood requires, even if he has to kill an innocent person. Despite, Winston also agree to be loyal to Julia and promise to never separate from her forever. As O’Brien notice the weakness of Winston, he physical torture and threatening him with rats to break his loyalty to Julia. At the end of the scene, Winston return the love to Big Brother, and the changing of loyalty from Julia to the Big Brother has been accomplish.
e. Wealth vs. Poverty
The living condition in Oceanian society has been clearly divide into two parts. The small part of the Inner Party is living the luxury life with servants, lush and well-furnished place. On the other hand of the Party members is living in run down single doom apartment with no amenities and low quality with flavorless food. The gap between the poor and rich has shown clearly in this novel, specifically as shown in Winston’s everyday life by eating tasteless food every day in the canteen.
Orwell also present how totalitarian societies build up the wealth to Inner Party and decrease the quality of life for other members of society. This type of government is always try to gain benefit and build themselves up by take the advantage from their citizens. In this way, Winston looks out the city of London and see that the world is dying, while O’Brien see the city is trapped and control by the Party.
In this novel, technology is important tool to the society. It has the ability to maintain control over the citizens. For example, the telescreens used to spread out the propaganda to all the citizens. The telescreens are very effective to control all citizens in their daily lives and they are always under observation. The devices can operate both televisions and security cameras which allow the Party to see their members’ daily life, that is how the government control their citizens.
The language plays an important role in Oceanian society, especially to the news speaker for the Party to control over the citizens. In this case, newspeak reduce and eliminate many words in English language and removes words used to describe rebellion. Importantly, the Party works to made up the language itself rather than accepting the natural language of the people who made up the country. As the result, language is used whatever on the mind control.
III. Characters list
This novel is focus specifically on the Winston Smith and the main characters is also called as the protagonists.
a. Winston Smith
He is the novel’s protagonist, about 39 years old, a member of the Party and work at the Ministry of Truth, which where the Party correct what to publish to the public. Winston was married and separate with no kid and later meet Julia and fell in love again. Due to the government want to eliminate love and sexual at the time, Winston was physical tortured by the Ministry of Love because they found out the relationship between him and Julia. Winston was forces to change the love from Julia and come back to be loyal to the Big Brother.
A young woman age about 26 years old, who work in the fiction department at the Ministry of Truth. She is against the Party, but accepts it to rule over her. She confessed love for Winston and they both end up in the prison. They both was tortured inside the Ministry of Love and at the end, they became a new human being and dislike each other.
He is a member of the Inner Party which live in the luxury life and also a boss of Winston. O’Brien is large and intelligent man who leads Winston to believe he is part of an underground movement against the Party, but O’Brien turned out to find Winston weakness and tortured Winston to change his love back to the Big Brother.
d. Big Brother
Big Brother is a symbol of Oceania and the Party and appear everywhere in the city. There are also many large posters appear “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, which Winston is always mentions about in the novel.
IV. The Plot
The story starts off with Winston Smith working in the Records Department at the Ministry of Truth. At the time, everything was control by the government, to escape Big Brother’s power Winston starts to write a diary which included many memories, all related to his life and the Party. Everywhere in the city are placed with telescreen that can generate both security camera and television to watch over their members in the city. Winston feels like he is being watched everywhere because of the telescreen and also many big poster of the Big Brother is place everywhere even on the cigarette label.
One day during the weekly mandatory Two Minutes Hate, Winston noticed an Inner Party member, O’Brien, whom believe that associated with the government. Moreover, he also catches the eye of a dark hair girl from the Fiction Department, Julia, whom he hated her because he cannot love her at first. The relationship between Julia and Winston start out with hate and slowly fell in love with each other. They both make love which against the Party and the Big Brother because love between man and woman was abandon at the time and every marriage must approve by the Party. One day, Winston is able to get an apartment above Mr. Charrington’s flat, where they both can meet up and go for their Romaic trysts. They both fell in love with each other even though one day they will get caught.
Later, Winston and Julia got caught by the Thought Police, whom break in to the department. Mr. Charrington shown up and it clearly shown that he is also a member of the Thought Police. Winston and Julia got arrest, separate and brought to the Ministry of Love. Winston was betrayed by Mr. Charrington and the Thought Police who let him rent the apartment.
While Winston was inside the Ministry of Love, he sees men from the Ministry of Truth come and go. They were arrested for thought crime. Inside Winton’s holding room, he also sees a lot of violence and guards constantly referring to “Room 101”, a phrase that define fear in some of the prisoner. Later, O’Brien has arrived and it becomes clear that he was never a part of the Inner Party, but actually work for the Ministry of Love. When Winston was removed from the holding room, he was tortured very violent, and he is forced to admit his crime, but he refuses to commit. Later, he has become even more violent when O’Brien takes over. O’Brien shows Winston with the use of electric shock machine and he forces Winston to agree if the Party says so, two plus two equal five and Winston has written in his diary before of being freedom is able to say two plus two is four. After Winston finally summit to his re-education, he was no longer beaten, allow to get rest and regain his health back. Even after the terrified torture, Winston is in progress of accepting the reality of the Party, Winston is still holding onto the last remaining of his humanity is his love to Julia. In the middle of his sleep, Winston cried out, “Julia! Julia!, my love! Julia!”
The stage of being torture Winston is forcing him to betray Julia. O’Brien take Winston to Room 101, which contain the worst thing in the world and torture different for everyone. Winston weakness is rate, so Winston is tied to a chair and O’Brien attach a make cage contain huge and hungry rats into his face. Winston feels so desperate and panic fear, he cannot take it and finally screen for O’Brien to put someone else into this place even if it was Julia.
Winston was changed, like a new born person, released back into world. In his new life, Julia and Winston were met by chance, but they were not talking to each and no longer in love because they both were tortured and changed inside the prison. At the end of this novel, Winston is just like in the old day, finding a seat in the cafeteria, drinking gin, playing chess and waiting for a report from the Central America. He was very excited about the report because with this invasion, Eurasia might actually be able to break Oceania’s line of defense ad put the entire nation at risk for takeover.
V. The Conclusion
I find that 1984 is a very interesting story combined with many themes include love, totalitarianism, loyal to the government and many more. The best part of my reading is when Winston and Julia fell in love with each other. Julia’s love makes Winston to feel like freedom and feel like a human being again after his wife has die long time ago. They both fell in love with each even though one day they will get caught by the government and they will torture them. Nearly the end of the story was very frightening me due to the torture movement to Winston as well as Julia to change their change them back to love the Party. In the Ministry of Love is a violent place in the world and they will do anything to the criminal to change them. In conclusion, I would highly recommend this book to any of friend or anyone who are like to know about the past in the country of Oceania. Reading this kind of book will help student improve their learning skill as well as writing skill and also enhance knowledge. The author of this book which is George Orwell, did a very fantastic job writing the book with full explanation and detail between one plot to another. Furthermore, this book has taught me about the totalitarianism and being loyal to the government. In this book being loyal to the government is a very important role of working for the government, it means that you have to accept whatever the government ask for with no question.