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1984 by George Orwell covers many different characters throughout the book. Some examples are the life of Winston Smith, the Party, Big Brother and the Brotherhood. I will be going through these three topics and how they relate to the book.
The life of Winston Smith is very strange, from the Party watching his every moveto having an affair that is completely illegal in Oceania. Winston Smith is a Outer Party member of the ruling Party in London. The Party watches Winston everywhere he goes and everything he does, through the telescreens. Winston works in the Ministry of Truth, where he alters historical records to fit the needs of the Party. He is troubled by the Party’s control of history, the Party claims Oceania has always been allied with Eastasia in a war against Eurasia, but Winston seems to remember when this wasn’t true. Winston doesn’t really like the Party because of all of the rigid control of the Party, which prohibits free thought, sex, and any expression of individuality. So Oceania is kind of similar to North Korea.
Winston illegally purchased a diary which he writes his criminal thoughts in. He has also become fixated on a powerful Party member named O’Brien. Winston and Julia’s affair was illegal in Oceania because the party put up a law where you can’t have sexual intercourse. So when Winston received a note from Julia that said “I love you” on it, he couldn’t resist so they began a covert affair. They rented a room above a second hand store where they made love, and kept the affair a secret.
What’s the Party and who is Big Brother. There are two parts to the Party, there is the Inner Party and the Outer Party, there is also the Proles. The Inner Party is often known as, the Party. They are the upper class of Oceania.
The Inner Party only makes up 2% of the population of Oceania, they are also the rulers. So they are one of the most powerful people of Oceania, apart from Big Brother. The Inner Party have different rights than the Outer Party and the Proles, such as being able to turn off their telescreens for a short period of time, live in nicer and more comfortable homes; they have better food to eat and better drinks to drink, they also have personal servants and, access to helicopters and automobiles.
Nobody from the Outer Party and the Proles may enter Inner Party neighborhoods without a very good reason. But, they will also treat the Inner Party members like if they were part of any other class in Oceania, if they do something bad or break one of the laws.
The Party deals with out of line people, mainly through torture, imprisonment and/or being erased from history.
The Outer Party is given state administrative jobs and are composed of the more educated members of society. Winston is part of the Outer Party. They are responsible for the direct implementation of the Party’s policies but have no say. They are basically the middle class of Oceania and have strict rules/laws applied to them. They are spied on through telescreens and other means of surveillance, they are also, being encouraged to spy on each other for any suspicious activities.
According to history, the Outer Party/middle class is the most dangerous because of their intellectual ability with limited power means they are more likely to have revolutionaries and anarchist in the Outer Party and also, more likely to start a revolution against the upper classes. The Outer Party is required to have a constant patriotic frenzy for the Party, following blindly every order from them. They live in rundown neighborhoods and are subjected to rations to an almost ongoing state of starvation. They are also required to restrain themselves from sex unless it’s for procreative purposes. So the Outer Party is like most of us in the world. The lower class of workers that perform the majority of low to no skill tasks and labour in Oceania.
The Proles live in the poorest of conditions, but have the most freedom of any other classes in Oceania. Also, the Party doesn’t spy on them, thinking they aren’t worth it. The Party keeps the Proles entertained by giving them alcohol, letting them gambling, watch sports and fabricated novels and pornography, called “prolefeed”. They are kept uneducated and are considered unable to gain any type of intelligence of their lives and the society they live in. They are considered harmless and nothing, but animals.
Some members of the Thought Police wander around the prole neighborhoods to see if any of the Proles have gained or bin displaying any sort of intelligence and if so they are taken away to be vaporized. The Proles make up 85% of the population. In Winston’s diary he writes, “If there is any hope, it lies with the Proles.”
Now let’s talk about Big Brother. Big Brother is the leader of Oceania. He is kind of like the Prime Minister or the President, but worse so basically Donald Trump. The Party spies on the Outer and Inner Party. They especially watch Winston very closely. They watch Winston’s every move, so Winston has to be careful on what he does and says. They watch everybody in Oceania through telescreens, but only the Inner Party can turn them off.
Who’s the Brotherhood? The Brotherhood is the name of a secret organization whose job is to try and bring down the Party. The leader of the Brotherhood is Emmanuel Goldstein. Whether or not the Brotherhood really exists it is not 100% clear, but it is uncertain that the Brotherhood actually exists. More than likely, the brotherhood, as well as Goldstein are made up by the government or the Party of Oceania as means of trying to seek out revolutionaries and anarchists. Also by letting people believe that Emmanuel Goldstein and the Brotherhood really exist and by showing people the terrible fate that will happen to those who try and join or associate with the Brotherhood. This might be how the Party keeps the citizens of Oceania in line. People sometimes see or hear about the tortures that happens to anyone who tries to go against the Party. Their fear of that happening to them keeps them from going against the Party and trying to join the Brotherhood. In this book there is a scene where, Winston tries to join the Brotherhood and by doing that O’Brien, the inside man for the Party, captures Winston and Julia who eventually are tortured into liking Big Brother and the Party.
The themes that are throughout the book pull the story together. 1984 is similar to what our society is like today with different classes of people and the internet tracking our every move. George Orwell prediction of what the future would be is very close to what we are currently living.
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