1984: Summary

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Newspeak, Ingsoc Pages: 14 (5809 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The Story starts, as the title tells us, in the year of 1984, and it takes place in England or how it is called at that time, Airstrip One. Airstrip One itself is the mainland of a huge country, called Oceania, which consists of North America, South Africa, and Australia. The country is ruled by the Party, which is led by a figure called Big Brother. The population of Oceania is divided into three parts: 1.The Inner Party (app. 1% of the population)

2.The Outer Party (app. 18% of the population)
3.The Proles

The narrator of the book is all-knowing and he is not participating in the action of the book himself. The protagonist is Winston Smith, a member of the OuterParty, working in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, rewriting and altering records, such as newspaper-articles, of the past. The action starts when Winston develops critic thoughts against the ruling dictatorship of the party, for the first time. Doing so he buys himself a book, a rare thing these days, to use it as a diary. As individual expression was forbidden by the Party, having a diary was a crime, which could even be punished with death. There were so-called telescreens in each room, showing propaganda and political pamphlets, which had a built in camera and microphone, in order to spy on the people. Therefore keeping a secret book was not only forbidden, but also very dangerous. When Winston makes the first entry in the diary ,he thinks about an experience he has made during the Two Minutes Hate, a propaganda film, that was repeated each day. During this Film he caught the eye of O'Brien, a member of the Inner Party, of whom he thought that he might alos stand critic to the regime, or that at least there is a bond of some kind between them. After the reflection, he finds that he has written the sentence :"Down with Big Brother" all over the page. In the same night Winston dreams about, his mother and sister, who had starved to death in the war, because he had been so greedy. Then he dreams of having sex with a girl he has seen in the Records Department, during the Two Minute Hate. Early in the morning Winston is waken up by the harsh voice from the telescreen. During the performance of the exercises, Winston's thoughts move back to his childhood. The last thing he remembers clearly, is the World War. After the WW the party has taken control of the country, and from then on it was difficult to remember anything, because the party changed the history permanently to their own benefit (see Doublethink - Political System).After the exercises Winston goes to work, to the Minitrue (Ministry of Truth), where his job is to alter records, and once altered, to throw them into the Memory Hole where they are burnt. For example B.B. (Big Brother) has promised that there will be no reduction of the chocolate ration, but there has been one, so Winston has to rewrite an old article, where the speech of B.B. is written down. At dinner Winston Smith meets Syme, a philologist, who is working on the 11 th edition of The Newspeak Dictionary (see Newspeak - Political System), Syme explains the main character of their work on this dictionary. During their conversation the telescreen announces that the chocolate ration has been risen to 20 g a week, whereas yesterday it was cut down to 20 g a week.Winston wonders whether he's the only person with memory, that isn't inflicted by Doublethink. As he looks around in the dining room he catches the eye of the dark-haired girl he had dreamed the same night. Back home again he makes an entry into his diary about his meeting with a prostitute three years ago. He rememberes her ugliness, but nevertheless he had sex with her. Winston had a wife, but she was very stupid and just following the orders of the Party, which said that there may only be Sex to produce "new material" for the Party, and that sex for the personal pleasure is a crime. Then Winston thinks...
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