13th December 2012
In George Orwell’s novel 1984, he portrays a society run by a totalitarian government. His novel is an example of Dystopian Literature, which literature that shows a dysfunctional society usually run by a despot. Winston Smith, the main character in the novel, has his own, secret thoughts about the society he lives in. He knows the government has mind and matter control over the people but does not voice it because of the consequences. Winston is forced to live in a Dystopian Society where his rebellion thoughts, feelings and actions become a matter of life and death.
Winston has many thought throughout the novel about overthrowing the party. “If there is this hope, he had written in the diary, it lies in the proles” (91). Winston’s firmest belief throughout the novel is that is the Party could ever be overthrown; the proles were the ones who could accomplish it. The prolse are the lower class in society. These people have more freedom that the middle and upper class, they do not have telescreens and the government hardly pays them any attention. Therefore, Winston believes that this group of people is society’s only hope in overthrowing the government. Winston also dreams of a brown-haired girl in the Golden Country. In the dream the girl tears off her clothes and throws them aside. Winston says, “With its grace and carelessness is seemed to annihilate a whole culture, a whole system of thought, as though Big Brother and the Thought Police could all be swept into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm” (35). Winston also believes that O’Brien, a co-worker, is a member of the Brotherhood. He had a dream where someone said to him, “We shall meet in a place where there is no darkness” (114). Winston thinks that the voice is O’Brien, so he continues writing his diary, and declares he is writing it for of him.
Throughout the novel Winston experiences several feelings towards everything in his life. He describes his secret hatred of Big Brother and the Party. In Book One, during the Two Minutes Hate, “Winston’s hatred was not turned against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary, against Big Brother, the Party, and the Thought Police”(17). At this moment Winston’s true feelings come out about the government which controls everyone. Julia, Winston’s co-worker, becomes a huge part of Winston’s life. His initial hatred of her turns into love throughout the novel. For example, in Book One, Winston fantasizes of having sex with her and killing her. In Book Two, after he slips him the note, his feelings change and after they meet up several times he says how he is now in love with her.
The main thing throughout the novel that depicts Winston’s hatred of the Party is beginning his diary. Writing or having a diary is illegal in Oceania, and Winston decides to buy one and begin writing in it. In the diary he writes, “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” (23). After he writes this he felt panic, he knew he had committed the ultimate crime and that there was no going back now. In the second half of the novel Winston participates in an affair with Julia. They meet up on several occasions to have sex, although they both know that it is not allowed according to the Party. They both state, “We are the dead” (242), this means that they are aware of their crimes and know they will eventually die because of it. Winston also attempts to become a member of the Brotherhood, which is the group against the Party. He goes to O’Brien’s house and is tricked into admitting his hatred against the Party. He does not know it yet, but his thoughts, feelings, and actions against the Party have been revealed.
At the end of the novel, Winston is caught, and tortured into changing his beliefs of the Party. His thoughts, feelings, and actions against the government catch up with him and he pays the ultimate cost. The overall purpose of the novel is to show what society can become with too much government control. 21st century readers can learn a great deal from this novel. From examining Winston throughout the novel, the reader can understand the feelings of living in a totalitarian government. The novel is a precaution to society, and warns of government power being too strong.
Orwell, George. 1984. Harcourt, Brace, & Company, 1949. 1984 and Related Readings.Evanston: McDougal Littell, 1998. 3-342. Print.