A novel’s ending plays a very important role on the way it is perceived; for example, a novel could have a great plot and character development but having a dissatisfying ending will just make the reader want to toss it directly into the trash can. In his novel 1984, George Orwell manages to link the events throughout the novel into the most satisfactory ending I’ve read so far: Winston’s death. When reading the novel for the first time I thought O’Brien actually belonged to the brotherhood and was somehow trying to help Winston, then, after reading a few more pages I’d go back and in a way battle that thought with the idea that at the end, Winston would end up inevitably dead. It’s that what makes the ending so great, it was caused by Winston’s actions throughout the novel, while it still was in a way very surprising and couldn’t have had a different ending that worked with the rest of the book.
Winston’s initial “hate” for the party, his relationship with Julia, his meetings on the old guy’s shop, their initiation in what is known as the brotherhood and the reading of Goldstein’s book; all these events make it seem like Winston and Julia really are joining a rebellious group against the party. Still, after thinking they were actually starting a revolution O’Brien shows up once again, creating big confusion on what’s going on but slowly starting to point towards Winston’s inevitable fate. The fact that it’s the character’s choices, personality and ideas what leads to Winston’s death at the end of the book is what makes it way more satisfactory than having an ending like that in Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road, an ending in which the characters really did not interfere and didn’t relate much to the plot (in which the character was killed by an elephant by accident).
Throughout the first half of the novel, I expected a revolution to take place; that’s what I thought things were pointing towards by then but as Winston is taken into the ministry of...
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