1984- A Book Review by Taleaa Masroor


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1984- A Book Review by Taleaa Masroor

  1. 1. 1984George Orwell
  2. 2. Setting Oceania: This is where the story is based in. It is at war with Eastasia and Eurasia. Mrs. Charrington‟s room: This is rented by Julia and Winston. It has no telescreens, hence it was safe for them to carry out their intimate interests without being seen by the Party. Miniluv: Here the prisoners are brainwashed and turned in favor of the party. They maybe killed later, forced to go to labor camps, or may even be allowed to mingle with the society.
  3. 3. Politics of Britain and 1984 Orwell had drafted many of the themes for 1984 from Zamyatin‟s novel “We”, which revolves around the development of state in which free will causes unhappiness, and insinuates that the public should be controlled by “mathematical precision based on the system of industrial efficiency created by Frederick Winslow Taylor”. He had witnessed the distortion of news and falsification of facts during the Spansih Civil war so to turn the tide in the favor of the ruling party. We see a similar propaganda being promoted in
  4. 4.  Language was being warped for political interests. In an essay entitled " Why I Write ", written in 1946, he commented : " To write in plain vigorous language one has to think fearlessly, and if one thinks fearlessly one cannot be politically orthodox “. One of the themes of Nineteen Eighty-Four is the use of language by the State to gain enhanced political control over the people who speak it. Newspeak was based on the idea held by many writers of his time that thought is dependant on words, and if words cannot express that thought, then it is impossible for that thought to occur to the people who use that language. Orwell was against this notion.
  5. 5.  Many aspects of wartime life in ; London are included in Nineteen Eighty-Four, one example being of the news film of the refugees being bombed on the boat. The Ministry of Truth building in the novel was sculpted after the London University building used during World War II and BBCs key building. His wifes worked for Ministry of Food, which publicized the consumption of the “right” kind of food, this gave Orwell the inspiration for the brief, crisp slogans used in „1984‟.
  6. 6. Characters Winston smith – an Outer Party member of Oceania. The main protagonist Julia – Winston‟s comrade O‟Brien – Winston‟s ideal until he betrays him and tortures him in the Ministry of love. He posed as a member of The Brotherhood and deceives him, finally capturing him. Big Brother – an important symbol for the members of the Party. The Party‟s Leader. Syme – Winton‟s friend who was very orthodox but intelligent, thus vaporized.
  7. 7.  Emmanuel Goldstein – the former leader of the Party but became ideological and deserted the party to become the national enemy.
  8. 8. Newspeak It was the language of Oceania. There was a committee set up to destroy the real English words and form newspeak words. This way the motive of the party – to abolish feelings and diminish the sense of comparison, thus preventing revolt from the crowd – could be achieved by words like doublethink, blackwhite and goodthinker.
  9. 9. Futurology & Censorship The main focus of the ingsoc principles was for the future and how to freeze history thus in the future to retain the present. Thus it was necessary for the party to forger the past records, hamper the pictures and abolish anything that does not correspond to the present and words of Big Brother.
  10. 10.  By this process it was made sure that each fact matched the present and when the present became past it would be the same. Also the ulterior motive was to prevent the low class people to revolt as they would not have anything to compare their situation with. Thus freezing time and making sure that the high class people remained on the top, the middle class in the middle and the low at low positions.
  11. 11. Lack of privacy There was no real privacy for the people of Oceania, they could be inspected without prior notice. The members of the party were scrutinized every minute by a telescreen which had a camera eye and was always keeping the people updated. It served the purpose of video calls (but permanent and not to be switched off) and a television.
  12. 12. Ministries Ministry of Love: It sought to inculcate affection and loyalty for “Big Brother” by means of Brainwashing and torture. Ministry of Truth: Ironically it was related with the news and media sector. It‟s function was to contort the facts and alter history in a way which would support the party line. Ministry of Peace: It was responsible for conducting Oceania‟s wars. Ministry of Plenty: It controlled whole of Oceania‟s economy, and was in command over the inflow of food and goods.
  13. 13. Plot The story s about Winston and Julia and how they encountered each other, and the difficulties they faced in communicating and meeting. They meet O‟Brien and Winston trusts him blindly, while he plays along and traps him and Julia. The confessions, betrayal and acceptance of the party believes and ingsoc.
  14. 14.  He re encounters Julia and they both confess they have betrayed each other. The novel concludes after Winston realizes that he actually loved Big Brother and his party.
  15. 15. Living conditions The conditions that the inner party members lived in were exquisite and luxurious. The conditions prevailing in the outer party members were really down trodden. The conditions of the proles (i.e. the normal population of Oceania, consisting of 85% of people) were of scarcity of food and pitiable living
  16. 16.  These conditions were prevailing among the people so that they do not acquire education and intelligence, and in the long run demand more, creating a rift and threatening the dominion of the party.
  17. 17. Emotional repression & war hysteria In the people the instinct for sexual pleasure was repressed along with strong emotional feelings so that the people can have more enthusiasm for war and hatred for he enemy. Thus they would have little to think about except hatred and war and would prevent them coming to sense and revolting for the bad conditions prevailing in the country.
  18. 18. Political Geography Oceania: It comprises of America, Great Britain, S. Africa, Australia and Ireland. Eurasia: It is said that Eurasia came into being when the Soviet Union conquered the rest of Europe. In Goldstein‟s book we are told that Eurasia‟s expansive landscapes act as it‟s natural defenses. It is also implied that there is a dispute between Eurasia and Eastasia over the possession of Mongolia. Eastasia: Not much details are given regarding this super state, as it‟s the smallest and the newest super state, emerging after the passing of a decade since the establishment of the two other.
  19. 19. Varicose Ulcer varicose ulcern. Loss of skin surface in the drainage area of a varicose vein, usually in the leg, resulting from stasis and infection.Credit: The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.In 1984, Winston has varicose ulcer which indicates that his body had grown weak with age, in contrast to youthful Julia‟s (his love interest).