19841984 is about life in a world where no personal freedoms exist. Winston the main character is a man of 39 whom is not extraordinary in either intelligence or character, but is disgusted with the world he lives in. He works in the Ministry of Truth, a place where history and the truth is rewritten to fit the party’s beliefs. Winston is aware of the untruths, because he makes them true. This makes him very upset with the government of Oceania, where Big Brother, a larger than life figure, controls the people.
His dissatisfaction increases to a point where he rebels against the government in small ways. Winston’s first act of rebellion is buying and writing in a diary. This act is known as a thought crime and is punishable by death. A thought crime is any bad thought against the government of Oceania. Winston commits many thought crimes and becomes paranoid about being caught, which he knows is inevitable (Greenblast 113). He becomes paranoid because a young woman who is actively involved in many community groups follows him. Winston is obsessed with the past, a time before Oceania was under strict dictatorship. He goes into an antique shop and buys a shell covered in glass, which is another crime punishable by death. He sees the same woman following him. Many thoughts race through his mind I wanted to rape you and then murder you afterwards. Two weeks ago I thought seriously of smashing your head in with a cobblestone. If you really want to know, I imagined that you had something to do with the Thought Police (Orwell 101). The girl who was following him slipped him a note while at work. The note said, I love you(Orwell 90). They make plans to meet each other and carry on an illegal love affair. This love affair is another rebellion against the government. It goes on for some time. Winston rents a room where he and Julia can be secluded from the outside world. They meet a man named O’Brien who indicates that he is another revolutionary. Winston and Julia go to his house to meet with him. O’Brien gives than a seditious book to read. Soon after that, they are caught by the Thought Police and never see each other again.
O’Brien, becomes Winston’s rehabilitator and torturer for the next 9 months. O’Brien tortures Winston in stages. The first two stages are to force the party’s beliefs on him then learn and understand what is expected of him. In the third stage, Winston is made to face what he secretly fears most, rats eating his face. After being completely rehabilitated by O’Brien, Winston now loves the establishment and the government. He is set free.
Big Brother is the figurehead of a government that has total control. The Big Brother regime uses propaganda and puts fear in its citizens to keep the general population in line. Big Brother is watching you(Orwell 5) is just one example of many party slogans that puts fear in its citizens. Big Brother uses various ways to catch people guilty of bad thoughts In the world of 1984 the tyrant Big Brother does employ a vast army of informers called thought police, who watch every citizen at all times for the least signs of criminal deviation which may consist simply of unorthodox thoughts(Daley 112).
Winston Smith represents Orwell’s view on totalitarianism. Winston rebels against the government of Oceania by starting a diary and constantly having bad thoughts against the government. Winston knows that he is doomed from the moment he has his first heretical thought. The tensions of the novel concerns how long he can stay alive and whether it is possible for Winston to die without mentally betraying his rebellion (Greenblast 115). Winston starts writing in a diary for two reasons. The first is that he wants to be able to remember the daily occurrences in the world. In 1984, the memory of individuals, is effectively manipulated, programmed, and controlled from the outside by the party (Kolakowski 127). People don’t know what they are consciously remembering and what is told to them. The party had invented airplanes (Orwell 127) is just one example of the party’s propaganda and false