1984 by George Orwell

1984For the author, George Orwell, the year 1984 seemed so far away. But in the present, the year 1984 has already come and gone. The setting of the story was so distorted, with the whole country under the control of a strong leader named ‘Big Brother.’ ‘Big Brother’ was worshiped like crazy. His photos were everywhere across Oceania and people chanted his name. Winston Smith, who was the main protagonist, was a dilligent and hard worker, a member of the middle class. But secretly, he hated the party, questioning who ‘Big Brother’ really was. He wrote down his thoughts in a journal.

His thoughts grew more and more disturbed as he thought of the way Big Brother could manipulate people minds. Like the last week, the television announced that chocolate rations were decreased from 30 grams to 20 grams, but the next day, everyone was cheering as Big Brother had increased the chocolate rations. Oceania was suddenly at war with another country, while it used to be alliance. It was announced that they always were under war. People amazingly believed it. This term was called double think in the story.

Every house in this world has a telescreen. So everything said and done would be monitored. If everything heard and done was against the government, it would result to capture and torture. Death, of course, was always at the last time. But strangely, other people didn’t know about this. They wouldn’t notice the disappearance of that person at all. The Party had wiped them out of existence, and they were never seen again.

Winston Smith had a intuition, that this man called O’Brien whom he never talked to (but would, in the middle of the story) shared his same believes. They had same hatred towards the government. That belief was led by a two second glance at each other. That glance was filled with knowledge, before they were directed to the two minute hate period, when a guy named Goldenstein insulted Big Brother, making the whole people feel sorry and pity for their leader. Winston believed there was no such guy.

There was  a girl, often described as the ‘girl with dark hair’ at the start of the chapter. Winston really loathed her. He though that he would try to kill her, as she might be a member of the Thought Police – police who tracked people down and killed them. Winston was already breaking a lot of rules by writing down that journal. Then, Winston saw a note expressing her love, and the two immediately formed a love affair.

This story was full of people betraying each other. Reality and fiction turned around, making people didn’t know which to believe and which to not. If the party say 2+2=5, of course everyone would say the 2+2=5, not 4. It was rather interesting, and was said to be George Orwell’s nightmarish vision of 1984.  This, of course, could happen somewhere now and also, in the distant future when the truth became the lie and the lie became the truth.

This adult story relates to the young adult’s book The Giver by Louis Lowery. I am glad I read it before, when I was eleven year old. It also talks about a government (or control system) that wants the ‘sameness’. Something that happens a lot in this story where everyone acts like a robot who responds to every lie that happens, and to believe it as the truth. They think that the government (or ‘Big Brother’ in 1984) is the savior, or exactly God. Big Brother never really appeared in this story. He (or maybe ‘she’?) was only appearing in posters with ‘Big Brother is Watching You’ in large letters. Later, it was confirmed by O’Brien in Winston’s capture, that he existed. Big Brother would never age, that he was god/God, although mentioned indirectely. My big Q is: what if this “Big Brother” a.k.a god/God is true? This would be a terrifying thought.

This novel is a wonderful read. Orwell has written a fictional story, but I soon realized  almost everything Orwell writes about has happened somewhere in the world. This is Orwell’s message to warn people that ‘Big Brother’ can and will spring up anywhere and any time. In the past, one can look to the Hitler regime (I learned it at school), for example of what Orwell is talking about. There are also many smaller examples, such the control of the medias or the religious extrimists that trying to control their own “truth”. This book is dark and disturbing. I think, 1984 is a novel that everyone living in a free sociaty must read, at least once,

George Orwell was just a pen name his real name was Eric Arthur Blair. He was born on 25th June 1903, and died on 21st January 1950. He never lived to see the year 1984. He was ranked as one of the most writers with the most influence for the twentieth century. He was best known for Animal Farm (I read this book when I was 10) and 1984. In 2008, he was ranked 2nd in “50 greatest British Writers since 1945” in The Times.


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