1984 is a science fiction novel which is set in an alternate 1984 where the whole world is immersed in totalitarianism. The narrator is omniscient and tells the story of Winston and Julia in a world which is constantly at war - although the narrator is also limited in that they do not know everyone’s thoughts.
Winston is the protagonist and he does not believe the ideas of the party. The society they live in is full of lies and manipulation. Winston, as a matter of fact, works in the Ministry of Truth which is in charge of updating any sort of written article to the present making the party always look as if they were always correct. For this to work the party uses a number of methods to control the population for example the telescreens or the microphones making it very difficult to escape the thought police (which is an entity of the Ministry of Love).
Winston and Julia have relationship but are eventually caught and betrayed by everyone who they thought was their ally. O’Brien is, at first, another person who wants to rebel against the party but the we later learn that he had lied to Winston and Julia, ‘They got me a long time ago’. When he is caught Winston is severely tortured and drugged to ‘cure’ him of his inability to perform ‘double-think’ which is the ability to believe in two contradictory truths. In addition, O’Brien wants him to love big brother, which we wonder whether he will ever manage to do.
In my opinion, the book was interesting but too descriptive. George Orwell really makes you get in Winston’s skin, especially when he is tortured you suffer with him and imagine how he is feeling. The moment that struck me most was when Winston was forced to say ‘Do it to Julia’ to avoid having his face eaten by rats. This moment proved to me how the party had really eaten everyone’s brain and that Winston was ‘The last human’. But most importantly it shows how far humanity can be pushed to self-destruction.
I would recommend the book as it is quite interesting. In my opinion, Orwell manages to connect with the suffering of Winston and how he can be remoulded to change his way of thinking.
Eduardo M, Year 10