What you are about to read is a simple analogy of how we are living in George Orwells 1984 today. If you have to write one for class just remember that the point of view I am giving you is not well received by many of your professors. So before you write the ideas down presented here on your paper, just think twice because it could cost you a grade. D. Finkle
Background: 1984 is a dystopian novel about Oceania written by George Orwell. Oceania was ruled by an oligarchical dictatorship of “The Party.” The story takes place in London, England, the chief city in “Airstrip One”. Airstrip One is supposed to be representative of England. Oceania is one of three intercontinental super-states who divided the world among themselves after a world war (the others being Eurasia and East Asia). Life there is a world of perpetual war, government surveillance, and public mind control enforced by an English Socialist political system called Ingsoc into which the inner party elite swears to. At the top of the ruling chain is “Big Brother” who subordinates everyone into collectivism and decries individuality and punishes people for their thoughts.
The social class system of Oceania is as follows:
I. Big Brother (he is at the top). It is unclear whether he actually exists. His picture is everywhere. The “party” maybe using him in a psychological way to scare people into doing what they want.
II. The upper-class Inner Party, the elite ruling minority
III. The middle class outer-party
IV. The lower class Proles who are about 85%
As for the government, the “party” controls the population with four ministries:
.Ministry of Peace (Minipax)
.Ministry of Plenty(Miniplenty)
.Ministry of Love(Miniluv), also called thinkpol and
.Ministry of Truth(Minitru)
The main characters are Winston Smith, Julia, Ampleforth, Charrington, Katharine, Parsons, Mrs. Parsons, and Syme.
Winston Smith is a member of the outer party who lives in the ruins of London and grew up during the revolution and civil war after which the party assumed power. He was placed in an orphanage because his parents and sister disappeared. Ingsoc placed him in the orphanage to receive training as a civil servant. He lives in a one room flat and eats black bread, synthetic meals and drinks gin. he keeps a journal that if uncovered by the thought police is a crime. His flat has a telescreen in which the thought police spy on him. Children most of all are told to spy on their parents. He is the protagonist who is a member of the outer party. He works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue-as called by Newspeak).They are responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. He rewrites past newspaper articles so that the historical record is congruent with party ideology.
Julia is a mechanic who repairs the Minitru novel writing machines. One day she falls and Winston helps her. She hands him a note that says, “I love You.” They cautiously begin a love affair in which the thought police find out. It is illegal in Oceania to experience this kind of pleasure because it leads to more children and sometimes unwanted children and more people for big brother to control. Julia and Winston are imprisoned and tortured for this.
Big Brother is the dark-eyed mustache man of whom you see all around. It is unclear if he is real or made up by the party. He is the one who rules.
Obrien is a member of the inner party who poses as a member of “the Brotherhood,” which is a counter-revolutionary resistance, to deceive Winston and capture him.
Emmanuel Goldstein is a former leader of the counter-revolutionary wrote the book, “the Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism.” He is considered an “enemy of the state,” of whom unites Oceanians through hatred during the “two minutes of hate.”
Ampleworth is a friend of Winston’s and is imprisoned for leaving the word God in a Kipling poem. He respects poetry and language, which is contrary to “the party’s beliefs.
Charrington is an officer of the thought police posing s a sympathetic antiques shop owner. Julia and Winston rent the upstairs not knowing this.
Katharine is the wife of Winston who separated from him. She disliked sex and was loyal to “the Party”. She could not bear children.
Parsons is a neighbor of Winston’s whose children place him in Minitru because they heard him speak out against the party during his sleep.
The two other characters are Mrs. Parsons and Syme. Mrs. Parsons is always intimidated by her children because they act as spies for “the party.” Her children represent a new generation of citizens who will never know the freedoms that existed before the creation of “Big Brother.” Syme worked at Minitru. He became vaporized because “The Party” thought he was too intelligent for his own good.
Other less known characters are Aaronson, Jones, and Rutherford. The are former members of the “Inner Party.” They were the original leaders of the Revolution who confessed to treason with foreign powers and later executed. Winston sees them in a cafe prior to their executions and notices they have broken noses. He figures out the confessions were forced and that evidence suggests that the party lied as to what their confessions were.
The story begins with protagonist character Winston Smith on April 4th, 1984 and the clock striking 13. There are 13 hours in a day because “the party” says so. Winston Smith is a member of the outer party and works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue-as called by Newspeak).They are responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. He rewrites past newspaper articles so that the historical record is congruent with party ideology. Because of “the party’s” revisionist tactic of time, we are actually unsure of the date. He reads “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, ” by Emmanuel Goldstein. This book explains the concept of perpetual war, the true meaning of the slogan War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength.” It also says how “the Party” can be overthrown by political awareness of “the proles.” After the Second World War, England fell to civil war and then was annexed by Oceania, the USSR annexed continental Europe and was called Eurasia, Eastasia comprised both southeast and East Asia. The three states fight a perpetual war at their convenience to acquire land and what they say, “to promote peace.”
The story takes place in 1984 after a global atomic war via Winston’s perception. It describes his rebellion with the party, romance with Julia, imprisonment for it, interrogation, torture, and re-education by the Thinkpol in Miniluv.
Chapter one open up with a scene of the “two minutes hate.” It also introduces the characters and sets the stage of what life is like in Oceania under an oppressive government. You are introduced to the telescreen, see all the pictures of Big Brother, find out where he works, and see that Winston commits his first crime, which is writing his thoughts in a journal. In this chapter and throughout, you see the living standards he lives in. It is one of decay, standard of living is low among the populace, there is hunger, disease and filth.
It is here where you see the see the adverse effects of him working at Minitru. He perpetually rewrites records, alters photographs, renders the deleted people as “unpersons”; and destroys original documents in a “memory hole.” Summaries of the chapters are as follows:
“In Chapter 2, we are introduced to Winston’s neighbor (Parsons)) whose children are spies for “the Party.” They put him away. Their mother is afraid of them.
Chapter Three: Winston dreams of his mother, of a naked girl running toward him, and of Shakespeare, all three of which represent thought crime. He awakens to the telescreen’s shrill cry of exercise time.
Chapter Four: Winston goes to work at The Ministry of Truth. His job is to falsify past records to make them conform to current reality.
Chapter Five: Winston eats lunch with Syme, an expert on Newspeak, the official language of the party, whose purpose is to reduce the number of words and to render thought crime impossible.
Chapter Six: Winston records his most recent sex act in his diary, a disgusting affair with a Prole prostitute with no teeth. He longs for a meaningful love affair, what he considers the ultimate rebellion against the party.
Chapter Seven: Winston writes in his diary that the only hope is in the Proles, the working class. He longs for a sense of the past, picks up a children’s history book, and realizes any record of the past is controlled by the party and has been falsified.
Chapter Eight: Winston wanders into the Prole district and buys a paperweight at the same store he bought the diary. He notices a woman from the Ministry of Truth and fears he is being followed. He contemplates smashing her face in with a cobblestone.
Chapter One: The girl who earlier Winston wanted to strike in the face with a cobblestone passes him a note that says, “I love you.” It takes several attempts, but the two are able to converse and schedule a meeting at Victory Square. Winston feels he has a reason to live.
Chapter Two: The two meet in the country and engage in romantic love acts.
Chapter Three: The two return to normal party lives and manage to meet only for short amounts of time. They rendezvous at an abandoned church. Winston realizes that Julia is not interested in a wide rebellion. She is only interested in outsmart the party and having intercourse.
Chapter Four: Winston rents a room above Mr. Charrington’s shop, where he purchased the diary and the paperweight. He realizes it’s a huge risk but he feels it’s worth it.
Chapter Five: Syme disappears (as WInston predicted earlier). Winston constantly thinks about the room above Charrington’s shop, considering
what goes on there, I think we understand.
Chapter Six: O’Brien stops Winston in the hall and gives him his address. Winston is not sure if this is a sign from the underground or if he’s one-step closer to his doom.
Chapter Seven: Winston and Julia visit their rented room frequently. They know they will eventually be captured and tortured and that renting the room is stupid. They continue to rent it anyhow and promise each other they will remain loyal.
Chapter Eight: Winston and Julia visit O’Brien and discuss the underground with him. He promises Winston that he will deliver a book containing the secrets of the underground.
Chapter Nine: Oceania is no longer at war with East Asia. It’s at war with Eurasia. This forces Winston and his Ministry of Truth coworkers to log 96 hours during the next few weeks. Finally, Winston is able to escape to his rented room where he reads the book given him by O’Brien. The book explains the significance and meaning of War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, and Freedom is Slavery.
Chapter 10: As it turns out, Mr. Charrington is a member of the Thought Police and there’s a telescreen behind the picture in the room above his shop. Winston and Julia are arrested.
Chapter One: Winston awaits his punishment in a cell with other prisoners, victims of starvation and beatings. His coworker Ampleforth has been arrested, as has his neighbor Parsons. O’Brien enters and reveals himself as an agent of the Ministry of Truth. A security guard smashes Winston’s elbow with a club. It hurts.
Chapter Two: O’Brien tries to “cure” Winston’s “insanity” with torture. Winston agrees to anything O’Brien tells him and begins to love O’Brien because he can stop the pain. O’Brien explains that the party has perfected a system that will keep them in power forever. They do not kill any prisoners until they are “cured.”
Chapter Three: O’Brien tortures Winston more. He tells Winston that the party’s true aim is to remain in power forever by controlling all things. Winston argues that the party cannot control external events. O’Brien thinks otherwise, explaining that as long as the party controls the mind, anything is possible. O’Brien admits that Winston has yet to betray Julia, but doesn’t seem too upset by it, knowing that eventually everyone is cured.
Chapter Four: Winston is taken to a more comfortable room, is fed regularly, and is no longer tortured. He still hates Big Brother and wants to die hating Big Brother as a last act of rebellion. He wakes up from a dream and shouts Julia’s name several times. O’Brien arrives and orders Winston to room 101.
Chapter Five: Winston’s face is strapped to a cage that contains starving rats. Just before O’Brien pulls the lever to release them, Winston asks that Julia take his place. With the final betrayal complete, the torture stops.
Chapter Six: Winston sits at the Chestnut Tree Cafe drinking Victory Gin and accepting everything Big Brother says. He has met with Julia once since being released but neither had any interest in continuing their relationship. After news of a great war victory, Winston acknowledges he loves Big Brother.”(1)
Ministries of Oceania:
Oceania’s four government ministries are in pyramids 300 meters high that display “The Party’s” three slogans;
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
Newspeak is the governments propaganda arm who according to the principle of “Double Think.” Doublethink can best be described by this passage,
“The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. Doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”(2)
Ministry of Peace (Minipax)
To Minipax, “The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living. Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods has been latent in industrial society. At present, when few human beings even have enough to eat, this problem is obviously not urgent, and it might not have become so, even if no artificial processes of destruction had been at work (3)
Ministry of Plenty (Miniplenty)
“The Ministry of Plenty rations and controls food, goods, and domestic production; every fiscal quarter, the Miniplenty publishes false claims of having raised the standard of living, when it has, in fact, reduced rations, availability, and production. The Minitrue substantiates the Miniplenty claims by revising historical records to report numbers supporting the current, “increased rations”.(4)
Ministry of Truth (Newspeak: Minitrue)
“The Ministry of Truth controls information: news, entertainment, education, and the arts. Winston Smith works in the Minitrue RecDep (Records Department), “rectifying” historical records to concord with Big Brother’s current pronouncements, thus everything the Party says is true.” (5)
Ministry of Love (Newspeak: Miniluv)
“The Ministry of Love identifies, monitors, arrests, and converts real and imagined dissidents. In Winston’s experience, the dissident is beaten and tortured, then, when near-broken, is sent to Room 101 to face “the worst thing in the world” — until love for Big Brother and the Party.” (6)
Oceania: is English Socialism (Ingsoc) Comprises England, Ireland, Australia, Polynesia, Southern Africa, and the Americas
Eurasia: is Neo-Bolshevism It is other European Countries, and Northern Asia
Eastasia: Obliteration of the self or Death Worship It has China, Japan, Korea, and Northern India. (7)
We know the three superstates emerged after a global atomic war. According to Goldsteins book, ” The Theory and Practice of Oligarchal Collectivism,” each state is so strong that it can’t be defeated even if two other states combined forces or if they changed alliances. The perpetual war is fought over land. In the beginning of the book Oceania is aligned with Eurasia to try to defeat Eastasia over the unchartered territory. That alliance ends and Oceania allied with Eurasia fights Eastasia, a change which occurred during the Hate Week dedicated to creating patriotic fervor for the Party’s perpetual war. The public are blind to the change; in mid-sentence an orator changes the name of the enemy from “Eurasia” to “Eastasia” without pause. When the public are enraged at noticing that the wrong flags and posters are displayed they tear them down—thus the origin of the idiom “We’ve always been at war with Eastasia”; later the Party claims to have captured Africa.(8)
“The book” explains that the purpose of the unwinnable, perpetual war is to consume human labour and commodities, hence the economy of a super-state cannot support economic equality (a high standard of life) for every citizen. Goldstein also details an Oceanian strategy of attacking enemy cities with atomic rockets before invasion, yet dismisses it as unfeasible and contrary to the war’s purpose; despite the atomic bombing of cities in the 1950s the super-states stopped such warfare lest it imbalance the powers. The military technology in 1984 differs little from that of World War II, yet strategic bomber aeroplanes were replaced with Rocket Bombs, helicopters were heavily used as weapons of war (while they didn’t figure in WW2 in any form but prototypes) and surface combat units have been all but replaced by immense and unsinkable Floating Fortresses, island-like contraptions concentrating the firepower of a whole naval task force in a single, semi-mobile platform (in the novel one is said to have been anchored between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, suggesting a preference for sea lane interdiction and denial).(9)
Sexual repression: A successful totalitarian state cannot accommodate private loyalties, since private loyalties will often trump loyalty to the Party. Because sex and family create private loyalties, the Party must somehow control these social acts and constructs. Thus, the Party brainwashes children to believe that sex is despicable, unpleasurable, and merely a means to create new Party members. Chastity is encouraged, sexual drives become repressed, sex is seen as a “duty to the Party,” and all potential private loyalties are thus eliminated.
Nationalism: There is
Positive: Which is Oceanians love for “Big Brother.”
Negative: Their hatred for Emmanual Goldstein
Transferred: In Mid-sentence, an orator changes the enemy of Oceania to another and the crowd goes for it. It takes the emotions off of one power to the next and directs the hatred away from “big brother” to another government.
Futurology: In the book, Inner Party member O’Brien describes the Party’s vision of the future:
There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this, Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.
—Part III, Chapter III, Nineteen Eighty-Four (10)
Censorship: Censorship is seen in Minitru where Winston is told to rid documents pertaining to those “unpersons.” The biggest thing is the telscreens on the wall that hear everything you say.
Surveillance: This again begins with the telescreens. Party members have no real privacy. These telescreens are found in apartments, workstations, and public places. The thought police are everywhere even amongst citizens. The police routinely open mail. Children are encouraged to report suspicious people.
How are we in 1984?
This question can best be answered by examining the characters, government, and themes in the novel. Winston,and to some degrees Julia are protagonists. They think outside the box when they have their relationship and other ways. The protagonists today would be myself and members of the tea party.
Parsons, the neighbor is surging time because his children turned him in. In the novel, the government hates family structure because it means they have to control them. Today, it is so easy for Dyfus to come and investigate you and you children can call them. The family and family values in our times is constantly under attack by the left promoting gay rights, usurping the marriage laws, social justicizing everything, porn all over the place and forcing of two income family households to name a few.
The character of Ampleworth comes to mind because he is imprisoned for leaving the word “God” in a Kipling poem. Today, many of our religious symbols are removed from public places, prayer has been removed from public schools (except if your Muslim), then we bend over backwards to allow footpaths in our facilities like University of Michigan at Dearborn. Funny, the ACLU must be out to lunch on this one.
The next character is Charrington who is an officer of the thought police. He gets paid to do his job. Who pays him is the government. The unions come to mind today. For example, when your teacher or professor gets paid, a portion of their check goes to their local union. The union (through PACS) gives money to whatever political party they support-generally the Democrats. In turn, the Democrats return favors to them. This provides incentives your teachers and professors to spread left leaning ideology which aids in indoctrinating you the student into their way of thinking. They them become the like the thought police. As Pink Floyd once said, “We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control.”
and to further their agenda in the schools.
Obrien would relate to any spy in our government who uses the patriot act to monitor your phone calls, emails, etc. He looks like your average everyday person but beware.
“Big Brother” while unclear in the book if he is a real person or just a scare tactic used by “The Party” is all of the surveillance we do today. There are cameras in many of our public places, on our ell phones, all over the Internet. Anybody can take a picture of you anywhere with a cell phone and post it on the Internet-not to mention the world wide web. In fact our government can tract you using a GPS system. In November 2011 the United States Government argued before the US Supreme Court that it wants to continue utilizing GPS tracking of individuals without first seeking a warrant. In response Justice Stephen Breyer questioned what this means for a democratic society by referencing 1984. At the time of this writing it is unclear how the ruling went.
1984. (novel) Today
Doublethink. Double standard 1984 mentions the blackwhite concept. That also applies today. To often, Caucasians ar called racists in the media yet the media fails tto identify people like Al Sharpon, Reverend Write,or Louis Farrahkkan to name a few. It’s is okay to express hatred against whites but not against any other race.
English Socialism (INGSOC). Democratic Socialism
Totalitarianism. Democrats/liberals who in 2010 controlled all three branches of Government, the education system and the media in which they do today
Unpersons. People who do not get included in statistics. For example, when we talk about poverty we mostly think of ghetto areas that include Africans and Hispanics. Yet we fail to mention the poverty amongst the Caucasians. They are unpersons.
Newspeak. Any news agency that spreads proganda
Ministry if Peace (Minipax) US Defense Department
Ministry of Plenty (Miniplenty) US Departments of Agriculture and Commerce
Ministry of Luv(Miniluv) Departments of Homeland Security, Defense Department and Department of Education, and the left. In 1984, for example, Winston thinks outside the box when he has an affair with Julia. The idea is that “the party” doesn’t want anybody to experience sexual pleasure because it leads to
Children. Children lead to having a family. That in turn leads to privacy and more people to control. The socialists of today are no different. They hate private enterprise-in particular Capitalism. In 1984, after they capture you, they torture you, and then indoctrinate you into their way of thinking. The thought police are the left. Instead of physical torture, the left does so economically if you don’t conform to their way of thinking. For example, singer Donna Summer was expressing her Christian values when she stated that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The left punished her by spreading an economic boycott of not buying her albums. They encouraged those who did to return them . By punishing her financially they also shut down her free speech rights. She suffered for this. (11)
In education. Sometimes this is seen in employment such as the hiring of professors. Your political ideology is not asked on an employment application but let’s look at the stats:
The study, by sociologists Neil Gross of Harvard and Solon Simmons of George Mason University, found that in 2004, 78 percent of faculty voted for John Kerry (77percent) or Ralph Nader (1 percent), while only 20.4 percent voted for President Bush. Among social science professors, Ralph Nader and “other” received a percentage of the 2004 vote as large as that of President Bush.
* Liberals outnumber conservatives by 11-1 among social scientists and 13-1 among humanities professors.
* 25.5 percent of those who teach sociology identify themselves as Marxist. Self-identified radicals accounted for 19 percent of humanities professors and 24 percent of social scientists.
* Although business school professors are believed to be predominantly conservative, professors of business voted 2-1 for Kerry. These professors were barely more conservative than liberal.
* Only 19.7 percent of respondents identify themselves as any type of conservative, compared to 62.2 percent who say they are any type of liberal.
* At elite, Ph.D-granting schools in general, 60.4 percent of faculty members are Democrats, 30.1 percent are independents and 9.5 percent are Republicans.
* Gross and Simmons believe that liberals are losing ground to moderates among faculty, though conservatives are not gaining at all. Faculty members who are 35 or younger are less likely than their elders to be left-wing, and less likely to be conservative as well. (12) I ENJOY THAT LAST STAT.
Minitru. Those who are in power, have money and want to keep it. Minitru controls the media, entertainment and other propaganda industries. Today our media on tv is corporate owned and favor a political party-mainly the left. Have we not seen an increase in political movies lately? How about Michael Moores “Sicko.” Are you now convinced we are living in 1984?
(1) ” Chapter Summaries of 1984,” Bright Hub, site created by
Bright Hub, 12/6/2011,
“1984,” Wikipedia, site created by Wikipedia, 12/12/11,
(11) “Donna Summer,”Wikipedia, Site created by Wikipedia,”
(12) “Professors, Just as Liberal or More Moderate, “Minding the
Campus,” Site created by Minding the Campus, 12/23/11
Leo, John, “Professors: Just as Liberal or More Moderate,” http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2007/10/ professors/_just_as_liberal_or.html, 12/23/11
Lorcher, Trent, Bright Hub, http://www.brighthub.com/education/homework-tips/articles/40936.aspx., S.Forsynth ed. 12/23/11
Orwell, George “1984,” http://george-orwell.org/1984/index.html,
Wikipedia, “1984,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four
D Finkle firstname.lastname@example.org
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Copyright Publishing Date !2/23/11
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