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Transcript of 1984
summer reading project
Elements of Plot
is watching you."
The climax of
is when Winston is in Room 101. Room 101 consists of the "worst thing in the world, which varies from person to person." (p. 233) For Winston, the worst thing in the world is rats. O'Brien knows this, and secures a cage with rats inside to Winston's head. However, O'Brien never releases the rats because Winston cries out: "Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!" (p. 236) This is what the Party wanted to achieve by this form of torture. Winston has finally done the thing he said he would never do, betray Julia.
Winston is released from prison and leads a "normal" life in which he drinks gin at the Chestnut Tree Cafe, and believes that 2 + 2 = 5. He has a better paying job doing something entirely different than what he was before. He sees Julia in the park, and they both realize they are no longer in love because they have both betrayed each other.
Winston fully accepts the ideas and concepts of the Party, including no longer feeling any affection towards Julia. Most importantly, he learns to love Big Brother. Once this has been accomplished, Winston is shot.
The scene is set in Airstrip One, Oceania. Also known as London, England. We meet Winston Smith, the protagonist of
he is a member of the outer party. We learn that everyone is watched by a device called the telescreen, the Party uses this to make sure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do. The Party prohibits things like sex, freedom of speech/thought, and going against the Party. Winston writes about his hatred towards the Party illegally in his diary.
"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: Thoughtcrime IS death." p. 27
This quote foreshadows Winston's death. We already know that he has committed thoughtcrime, so it is certain that he will die from it.
"In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five and that you would have to believe it." p. 69
This quote foreshadows O'Brien's torture of this metaphor. While Winston is in prison, O'Brien holds up four fingers and torments Winston until he claims there are five.
"Of all the horrors in the world- a rat!" p. 120
This quote foreshadows what is in Room 101. This is the only thing that Winston has shown fear towards in the entire novel.
"...here comes the chopper to chop off your head." p. 83
This quote is a part of the rhyme that Mr. Charrington remembered from his childhood. This song is associated with the painting in Winston's hideout. The painting was what ultimately lead him to the Thought Police who killed him or 'chopped off his head.'
"I bet that picture's got bugs behind it. I'll take it down and give it a good cleaning someday." p. 122
The picture actually has a bug behind it. Just not in the common sense. Behind the picture of St. Clements is a telescreen, which can hear everything Winston and Julia say.
Winston has a "small frailish figure, the meagerness of his body merely emphasized by the blue overalls which were the uniform of the Party. His hair was very fair, his face naturally sanguine, his skin roughened by coarse soap and blunt razor blades and the cold of the winter that had just ended." (p. 6) Winston is a very ordinary man for his time, he has a normal job at the Ministry of Truth where he alters the past. Winston is very spirited. He wants a civilized society, such as how it was in the past when he was a boy. Winston does what he can, such as buying things from an antique shop, thinking freely, and speaking in a historic tongue. However, this does not work, as he is destroyed by the end of the novel. Winston is also very rebellious. He hates the Party and commits a countless number of crimes, both minor and major, throughout
. From writing "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER" (p. 19) multiple times in his illegal diary, to having a secret love affair with a Party member, to becoming apart of the Brotherhood, an anti-Party organization that is used by the Party to find thought criminals. All of these traits make up Winston Smith from George Orwell's
"The Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war; the Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order... The Ministry of Love was the most frightening one. There were no windows in it at all...It was a place impossible to enter...only by penetrating through a maze of barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors, and hidden machine gun nests. Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed with jointed truncheons." p. 8
This quote is ironic because peace should be exactly that-- peaceful. It's ironic because it is dealing with its exact opposite, war. Same with the Ministry of Love. Anything with the word 'love' should be warm, inviting, and of course, loving. But the Ministry of Love is anything but. It is closed off, harsh, cold, a truly terrifying place. Making the name to the place, very ironic.
"A narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League, was wound several times around the waist of her overalls, just tightly enough to bring out the shapeliness of her hips." p. 12
This quote is ironic because the thing that makes Winston lust for Julia is the Junior Anti-Sex League. The sash brings out her curves, drawing in Winston instead of pushing him away like the sash should do.
"'I am with you,' O'Brien seemed to be saying to him. 'I know precisely what you are feeling. I know all about your contempt, your hatred, your disgust. But don't worry, I am on your side!'" p. 18
This is ironic because as we learn in the last few chapters of the book, O'Brien was definitely not on Winston's side.
"..slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions." p. 5
There is noting victorious nor mansion like about these homes. They are tiny, drafty, and sub par.
"WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH." p. 7
The first part of this slogan is ironic because according to Winston, Oceania is always at war. The second part of the slogan is ironic because no one in Oceania is "free." Sure, there may be no laws, but you're still prohibited from going against the grain or doing something against the Party. If you do something unorthodox, you will be punished. The third slogan is not necessarily ironic, but it shows the Party's control. People aren't able to recognize lies and propaganda that the Party feeds to them, which strengthens the Party.
Who is telling the story?
The narrator of the story is unknown. However, while reading, I imagined the narrator to be Big Brother, since "Big Brother is watching you." Big Brother was watching Winston.
What type of narrator?
Third person, limited.
Explain the effect of Orwell's decision.
The decision of making the narrator third person limited is an interesting one. It is a fresh perspective from what I was accustomed to reading. Choosing third person limited gave us a less biased view of Winston than if
were told in first person. Having a story told in TPL lets me know who I need to identify with since it is specifically about Winston. Sometimes, when novels are told told in first person or omniscient, it is hard to know who you should be relating with.
Winston dreams about the girl with the dark hair in a place called the "Golden Country."
We see what Winston actually does at his job at the Ministry of Truth, which consists of altering the past.
Winston writes "If there is hope, it lies in the proles." (p. 60)
Winston goes to where the proles live, and we meet Mr. Charrington, the shop keeper. Winston buys some coral from him.
The dark haired girl gives Winston a note that says "I love you" (p. 90) Julia and Winston's love affair begins.
Winston's dream comes true, he meets Julia in the golden country.
They eventually use the room above Mr. Charrington's shop.
We learn that Winston is terrified of rats.
O'Brien invites Winston to his home.
Winston and Julia visit O'Brien's home and they tell him about their hatred.
O'Brien arranges for them to get
by Goldstein, the leader of the Brotherhood, a group against the Party, during Hate Week.
A telescreen is revealed behind a painting in Winston's hideout above the store. Mr. Charrington, the storeowner is a member of the Thought Police. Winston and Julia are taken to Ministry of Love to be imprisoned.
Winston can not make out how long he has been in prison, or what time of day it is. The Ministry of Love has no windows, making it the place "where there is no darkness." (p. 147)
Winston receives little food and is forced to keep still in his cell.
There is talk of a place called 'Room 101' where many people do not want to go. Winston does not know what is in this room.
We learn that O'Brien is not against the Party, but a proud member of it.
Winston confesses to everything he knows.
Winston is tortured by O'Brien until he can admit that 2 + 2 = 5.
Winston claims that he hates Big Brother to O'Brien.
Winston is sent to Room 101.
"For a moment he clung to O'Brien
like a baby
, curiously comforted by the heavy arm round his shoulders." p. 207
"..a monstrous woman,
solid as a Norman pillar
..." p. 114
"Someone was talking rapidly and continuously, a harsh gabble almost
like the quacking of a duck
, which pierced the general uproar of the room." p. 45
"Her voice seemed to stick into his brain
like jagged splinters of glass
." p. 87
"But what was startling was the emaciation of his face.
It was like a skull
." p. 194
This comparison is showing that even though O'Brien has tortured Winston, Winston still views him as a protector.
This comparison is showing how strong and built the woman is, almost in a masculine sense.
This comparison is showing how loud and obnoxious this person is being.
This comparison is showing how rough and sharp the lady on the telescreen's voice is.
This quote is showing how thin, malnourished, and haunted this man's face is.
is a "bold-looking girl of about twenty seven, with thick dark hair, a freckled face, and swift athletic movements." (p. 12) Julia works in the fiction department in the Ministry of Truth. Julia serves as Winston's love interest and ally in
. Julia is a Jezebel. "'Have you done this before?' 'Of course. Hundreds of times-- well, scores of times, anyway.'" (p. 104) Based off this statement, Julia gets around quite often. She does this to fulfill her needs and unintentionally rebel against the Party at the same time. Julia manages to fly under the Thought Police's radar for some time by participating in many Party-organized events to make it seem as though she is very pro-Party. Julia gives Winston hope. She is proof that love and actual feelings can exist, and that not everything is controlled by the Party. Julia is very practical, she focuses in the now rather than the future like Winston. "We're not dead yet... Oh rubbish! Which would you sooner sleep with, me or a skeleton? Don't you enjoy being alive? Don't you like feeling?" (p. 113) She's also very practical unlike Winston who thinks any little bit of the past can cause a rebellion. "Well I wouldn't! I'm quite ready to take risks, but only for something worth while, not for bits of old newspaper." (p. 129) However, Julia isn't as interested in the deeper aspects of the Party, because she falls asleep whenever Winston reads about it to her, making her a little bit idiotic. Julia reminds me a lot of Johanna Mason from the Hunger Games. Johanna is a character who is known for her sexual advances made towards other characters and her hatred towards the capitol. Much like Julia, she sleeps around to gain power and also rebel against the government. According to O'Brien, Julia was a "text book case" meaning once she was captured, she automatically confessed and was easy to convert to loving the Party. She really has no inner strength, and does most of these illegal things for herself (such as having sex with many Party members) Since she doesn't know about the more intellectual and ideas of the Party (falling asleep while learning about it) it's no wonder that her will was so easily broken.
"Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by
gorilla faced guards
in black uniforms, armed with jointed truncheons. p.8
This quote shows hyperbole because obviously the guards do not have gorilla faces, it shows that they are tough and scary looking.
heart seemed to turn to ice and his bowels to water
." p. 85
This quote is a hyperbole because this shows how instantly nervous he is to see a coworker in a place where they are not to be seen. This is an exaggeration because obviously is heart is still working, and his bowels still consist of fecal matter, not water.
"He felt as though a
fire were burning in his belly
." p. 90
This quote is an exaggeration because all he has is a stomach ache, there is not an actual fire in his stomach.
Other Figures of Speech
"She's a meter across the hips, easily." p. 181
This quote shows hyperbole because if someone were to be a meter across there hips, it would be impossible for them to do everyday things, like the laundry.
"Outside, even through the shut window pane, the world looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no color in anything except the posters that were plastered everywhere." (p. 6)
Imagery: This quote shows imagery because everything is well described, and provides a vivid image in the reader's mind.
"Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the future, controls the past." (p. 32)
Repetition: This quote shows repetition because it is basically the same thing repeated with flip flopped letters.
"was a large, burly man with a thick neck and a coarse, humorous, brutal face, who had a certain charm of manner." (p. 13) O'Brien is the true antagonist of the novel. "But there was a fraction of a second when their eyes met, and for as long as it took to happen Winston knew-- yes, he knew! 'I am with you!.. I know precisely what you are feeling. I know all about your contempt, your hatred, your disgust. But don't worry, I am on your side!'" (p. 18) Winston has a gut feeling that he can trust O'Brien, and is drawn to him, he looks up to him as an inner Party member who despises the Party almost as much as he does. However, it is the complete opposite. O'Brien is a very wise and cunning man, almost like a fox. He tricks Winston into believing he is apart of the anti-Party group named the Brotherhood. He tortures and brainwashes Winston while he is in prison into believing the ways of the Party. "'And if the Party says that it is not four but five-- then how many?' 'Four.' The world ended in a gasp of pain... 'How many fingers, Winston?' 'Five! Five! Five'" (p. 206)This quote shows the torture and manipulation O'Brien inflicts on Winston. However, it is arguable that O'Brien was once like Winston. The quote " They got me a long time ago." (p. 197) could mean that he was once rebellious and hated the Party, but was brainwashed and tortured like Winston. O'Brien reminds me a lot of Hans from the movie Frozen. Hans in the beginning of the movie seemed like a good guy who could really help the protagonist, however, by the end, we learned that he was the antagonist as his plan all along was to try to take over the kingdom and hurt the protagonist. O'Brien is a devious Party member who's trickery ultimately lead to Winston's and Julia's demise.
"It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move." (p. 5)
Personification: Big Brother, is personified to be a real person, but in this quote, the eyes are made of paper, so they obviously can not follow anyone around.
Telescreens: Telescreens represent how the Party abuses technology to promote the Party and brainwash more people about how good it is to be a citizen of Oceania. They also show how you're never alone, even if you might think you are.
"He thought of the telescreen with its never-sleeping ear. They could spy upon you night and day, but if you kept your head you could still outwit them. With all their cleverness they had never mastered the secret of finding out what another human being was thinking." (p. 138)
"Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom." (p. 56)
Big Brother: Big Brother himself represents the Party. In the eyes of obedient people who love the Party he is a big brotherly figure, he provides comfort, reassurance, and love. However, to people like Winston, he is a symbol of fear. "Big Brother is watching you" (p.5) looms over him, to remind him that the Party is always watching.
"Even from the coin the eyes pursued you. On coins, on stamps, on the covers of books, on banners, on posters, and on the wrapping of a cigarette packet-- everywhere. Always the eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep of awake, working or eating, indorrs of out of doors, in the bath or in bed-- no escape. Nothing was your own except for the few cubic centimeters inside your skull." (p. 26)
The Room Above Mr. Charrington's Shop: Specifically the items in it (such as the glass and coral paperweight.) The items in this room are symbols of the lost past that the Party has destroyed. Since the Party is able to control the past and weaken people's memories about it, no one knows that these historic items exist, they are truly lost in history.
"The paperweight was the room he was in, and the coral was Julia's life and his own, fixed in a sort of eternity at the heart of the crystal." (p. 122)
External: Winston vs. The Party
The main conflict in the novel is Winston vs. the Party. Winston Smith, the protagonist of
, severely hates the Party due to its totalitarian (where the government has total control) ideas and practices. He rebels against the Party by illegally writing in his diary, and having a secret love affair with an ally. They give him small victories in trying to overthrow the Party, however he can not do it alone. Winston thinks that if there is hope, that "it lies in the proles" (p. 60) Once Winston is arrested by the Party, he loses hope that he can win, and the Party ultimately is victorious over Winston. They brainwash him into loving Big Brother and shoot him once he does.
Internal: Winston vs. Winston
The main internal conflict is Winston vs. himself. He allows the Party to get inside of his head, the dystopian world outside has burrowed its way to into his skull. He begins to look and feel terrible once he is captured by the Party. "The thin shoulders were hunched forward so as to make a cavity of the chest, the scraggy neck seemed to be bending double under the weight of the skull. At a guess he would have said that it was the body of a man of sixty, suffering from some malignant disease." (p. 224) This description of Winston once he is arrested by the Party shows how he has let the Party get to him and how he is not staying strong. In the beginning of the novel, Winston would have never admitted that 2 + 2 = 5. By the end of the novel, he does, which lets us know that he has been defeated by himself, and the Party.
Thinking too much can lead to your ultimate demise.
"For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory? He tried to remember in what year he had first heard mention of Big Brother. He thought it must have been at some time in the Sixties, but it was impossible to be certain. In the Party histories, of course, Big Brother figured as the leader and guardian of the Revolution since its very earliest days...Winston could not even remember at what date the Party itself had come into existence. (p. 33)
If Winston could just accept that the Party has always been in existence, he would not waste his thoughts on the past, and become a good Party member.
"Big Brother is watching you." (p. 5)
"...and kept up a stream of talk about preparations for Hate Week. He was particularly enthusiastic about a paper-mache model of Big Brother's head, two meters wide, which was being made for the occasion by his daughter's troop of Spies." (p. 91)
This quote, although concise, shows the fear that can be instilled by just a single statement. The fear of being constantly watched can scare someone into being obedient, Winston allows Big Brother to get into his head as someone mean and scary, instead of the 'big brotherly' figure he is intended to be.
Mr. Parson's is a perfect example of the perfect Party member, someone who incapable of independent thought. All he knows is what he has been told by the Party, he accepts it and lives by its statements.
"Orthodoxy means not thinking-- not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness." (p. 47)
"If you are a man, Winston, you are the last man. Your kind is extinct; we are the inheritors. Do you understand that you are
? You are outside history, you are non existent." (p. 222)
This quote shows that being obedient requires you to not think at all, being completely submissive allows you to be dutiful to the Party without punishment.
This quote shows that Winston (a man who thought too much, and decided to rebel) is already dead or "non existent" because of the crime he has committed.
"How does one man assert his power over another Winston... Exactly. By making him suffer." (p. 219/220)
"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face-- forever." (p. 220)
There are multiple ways of asserting power over someone besides making them suffer. You could gain power by having good ideas and being able to help out your community, you don't necessarily have to make them suffer.
Does this really need an explanation as of to why it's pessimistic? Most people look at the future as bright, or better than the present. This depiction of the future is very pessimistic.
"There seemed to be no color in anything except the posters that were plastered everywhere." (p. 6)
Orwell makes Oceania seem very bleak and cold. He makes it look as though everything is plastered with Big Brother posters, and there is nothing cheerful about Oceania.
"We are the dead." (p. 113)
Most author's make their protagonists fight until the end. Winston acknowledges that he is already dead before he is even arrested.
"But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. he had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother." (p. 245)
As a reader, it's always a very upsetting thing to see the protagonist defeated. Winston finally lost the battle he had been combating with for almost 40 years.
"The thing that suddenly struck Winston was that his mother's death, nearly thirty years ago, had been tragic and sorrowful in a way that was no longer possible. Tragedy, he perceived, belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there were still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason." (p. 28)
"He stopped, but did not come back. His mother's anxious eyes were fixed on his face. Even now he was thinking about the thing, he did not know what it was that was on the point of happening. His sister, conscious of having been robbed of something, had set up a feeble wail. His mother drew her arm round the child and pressed its face against her breast. Something in the gesture told him that his sister was dying. He turned and fled down the stairs' with the chocolate growing sticky in his hand. He never saw his mother again." (p. 135)
"He remembered better the rackety, uneasy circumstances of the time: the periodical panics about air raids and the sheltering in the Tube stations, the piles of rubble everywhere the unintelligible proclamations posted at street corners, the gangs of youths in shirts all the same color, the enormous queues outside the bakeries, the intermittent machine gun fire in the distance-- above all, the fact that there was never enough to eat." (p. 133)
This quote shows what life was like before the Party was in control. A time of running to bomb shelters, things being destroyed constantly, and the consistent hunger. As a reader, I can only assume that life was even more terrible before Big Brother was in charge.
This flashback provides us with the knowledge that people have become desensitized since the rise of the Party. People aren't even concerned when someone disappears from their life, even someone close like a relative or a coworker.
This flashback lets us see a lot of the guilt that Winston has carried with him since he was a boy. He blames himself for his families disappearance, and it has been haunting him since the day it happened.
George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning. The novel was written during WWII largely known for its fascist government. Orwell was trying to impart that if these types of governments continued to rule, the world would become a dystopia, and the events that occurred in 1984, would soon become real. If a government is facist it means that the there are no personal rights or freedoms, it is led by dictators and the government tells you how to live. This description defines the Party in 1984. Orwell was trying to say that if people didn't win the fight against the fascist government, then life would soon become like that in Oceania.
Some of the fictional components of 1984 can be interpreted as things that have happened in real life during WWII.
The Party = The fascist government
Big Brother = Hitler (the dictator that ruled during WWII)
The Spies = Hitler youth
The Brotherhood = The Allies (people who wanted to overthrow Hitler)
Thought Police = Members of the Nazi Party
Forced Labor Camps = Work/death camps
Oceania = WWII Germany