1984 (Nineteen Eighty Four)
Winston Smith, the protagonist of Nineteen Eighty-Four, is a member of the ruling party in the fictional town of Oceania...
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Winston Smith, the protagonist of Nineteen Eighty-Four, is a member of the ruling party in the fictional town of Oceania in London. The Party’s leader is Big Brother, who monitors the private and public lives of the people. Posters of "Big Brother Is Watching You" dominate Oceania. Each and every action of the people including Winston, are closely monitored. The novel explores totalitarianism and Orwell’s opposition to it.
Winston Smith works in the Ministry of Truth and edits articles for the Party. The Party dominates the entire nation, including areas like language and history. The Party also forces the implementation of a new language called ‘Newspeak’. Its main aim is to prevent political rebellion through elimination of all the words related to it. The Thought Police of the Party restrict any thoughts which are against its Party and any thoughts against the State are regarded as Thoughtcrime.
As the novel progresses, Winston is deeply frustrated by the many rules and rigid oppression of the Party. Winston soon begins to detest the Party which prohibits sex, free thought, or individuality. He purchases a diary illegally and begins to record his criminal thoughts. He also begins an affair with the beautiful and dark-haired Julia. The criminal activities of Winston bring him to the opposition party’s notice. Winston also comes across the mysterious O’Brien. Winston thinks O’Brien is a secret member of the legendary group called the Brotherhood which aims to overthrow the ruling Party.
Will Winston ever be able to escape from Big Brother? How can one reason and think in a nation where everything is fabricated? Who is O'Brien and what does he want from Winston?
Published in 1949, Nineteen Eighty-Four is among Orwell’s best loved works. The novel exerts much influence among its readers and continues to be highly popular even to this day. It has been adapted to the television, radio, film, and theatre formats.
About George Orwell
George Orwell, whose actual name was Eric Arthur Blair, was an essayist, novelist, critic, and journalist from England. Other works of his include Down and Out in Paris and London, Burmese Days, Animal Farm, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Homage to Catalonia, Coming Up for Air, and A Clergyman's Daughter. His works are noted for his lucid prose and themes of social injustice, democratic socialism, and opposition to totalitarianism.
Born in India, Eric Arthur Blair studied at Eton College, where he was a King's Scholar from the year 1917 to 1921. After his studies at Eton, he joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. He also volunteered to fight against Franco's Nationalist Uprising during the Spanish Civil War. He served as a member of the Home Guard during the Second World War and also and worked for the BBC Eastern Service. Orwell was married twice. He died aged 46 in London.