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Item: Book Report Created by: Charles Chiang Note: Big Brother is watching you

Charles Chiang

on 6 April 2010

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Transcript of 1984

1984 By: George Orwell Major characters Winston Smith Julia O'Brien The Protagonist A clerk in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth
Disgusted by the oppression from the Party
Seeks to rebel against the Gov't The Antagonist Employee of the Ministry of Love
Embodiment of the Thought Police The Temptress Winston's brown-haired lover
Rebels against the party differently than Winston
Ultimately causes Winston's rebelling to fail And... Big Brother The Almighty Dictator of Oceania
Head of the Party
Few have seen him
Target for Winston's hatred plot summary Three parts to 1984 Winston's life
Punishment Setting Alternate history, year 1984
A region renamed "Oceania," specifically Airstip One
Totalitarian Society dominated by "the Party"
Winston's life Winston is an intellectual, and a member of the Outer Party. Working in the Recording Department for Minitrue, short for Ministry of Truth, he alters documents to agree with the Party. Outwardly obedient, Winston longs to rebel against the oppressive government of which he is a part of. He believes other Party members, such as O'Brien, wish for a new government, but Winston is fearful of acting. He lives alone under Big Brother, under the fear of the Thought Police, until he meets Julia... Resistence Upon meeting Julia, the two engage in a sexual relationship. The party forbids sexual affinities and this small rebellion fills Winston with power. He seeks out O'Brien, who reveals himself as a member of "the Brotherhood," who seeks to create a new government, and recieves a book by Emmanuel Goldstein, an enemy of the Party. Retreating to a room he rented with Julia, Winston reads the book until the Thought Police bursts into the room and knocks him and Julia unconscious... Punishment Winston wakes in a small holding cell. In walks O'Brien, who reveals himself a member the Ministry of Love, and more specifically a member of the Thought Police. It was his job to trap those thinking of rebelling against the Party and "re-educate" them. O'Brien begins the process of physically and psychologically breaking Winston down. Ultimately, O'Brien uses Winston's primal fear of rats to completely break him. Winston cries, "Do it to Julia!" betraying her to save himself. Upon Winston's reintegration into society, Winston is only capable of fulfilling the Party's desires, and loving Big Brother. Themes Totalitarianism and its dangers
Power of Information
Manipulation of human mind
Totalitarianism - the entire government system is totalitarianism (single party, limitless power, uses its power to regulate everything). If unopposed, the people easily give up their civil rights and ultimately don't even realize the freedoms they have lost. Power of Information - by simply controlling what the people learn and are exposed to, the Party has effectively brain-washed its civilians into whatever the Party needs them to be. The Party also appears omniscient because history is created and changed by them. The Party because the Truth because nothing is against it, and no one can remember otherwise. Manipulation of the human mind - The Party barrages its subjects with psychological stimuli designed to ultimately overwhelm the mind’s capacity for independent thought. This makes people much easier to control, and therefore makes them harmless before the Party (eg. Winston after his re-education). Julia reveals that the Party manipulates people by forcing them to suppress their sexual desires, and uses their pent-up frustration to direct towards the Party's enemies as hate and anger. Review I really liked this novel. By living through a single person under this horrible, dark, and oppressive system, I think I can understand some of the message Orwell is trying to convey to us. Our individual thoughts are arguably the most valuable asset we possess, but when we lose that, we become dehumanized.
1984 really sparked my interest about how life would really be. Trust no one. Make no mistakes. Always be on your guard. Some questions that came up also include:
Is Big Brother real? Does he need to be? He's a symbol to keep the people in line.
How would this kind of government ever flourish on such a large scale? Overall, I highly recommend this book. Its pragmatic view on how life could have been is highly, highly interesting and Orwell describes it amazingly. I can almost feel the terror Winton goes through within the torture rooms (Room 101). Though this has a tragic ending, I like how it seems fitting for such a story. Most interesting Scene For me, the most interesting scene was the breaking down of Winston's psyche. It shows how Winston's mind slowly deteriorates as he convinces himself that he loves O'Brien, because he stops the pain. The scene reveals the raw animal instinct humans have placing themselves before anything else. The way O'Brien brutally truthfully admits the evils of the Party is simply so astounding. I cannot place my finger on it, but how heartless O'Brien was to Winston was simply so riveting and exciting that I read through that section very quickly. war is peace

freedom is slavery

ignorance is strength
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