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Technology through the Eyes of George-Orwell

Updated on December 26, 2010

 

     The novel 1984 published in 1949 takes a look at society of future in 1984. This society called Oceania is a totalitarian one, where state controls everything including the people’s thought. The government, which runs Oceania is called INGSOC (English Socialism). The controllers are known as “The Party”, whose leader is Big Brother.

     Winston Smith, the central character, a 39-year old man lives in London. He secretly hates Big Brother. He decides to rebel by keeping a diary in which he reveals his rebellious thought. He knows the crime he is committing and also that one day the thought police would discover his crime and probably kill him.

     The lowest class in the social hierarchy of Oceania are “proles”, who are relatively free of police surveillance. He befriends Mr. Charrington, the prole owner of a junk shop, who shares similar interest in the past life before the rule of Big Brother. A dark haired girl, in another department slips a piece of paper in Winston’s hand. It says, “I love you.” Winston is surprised and disturbed as any sexual relation between Party members is strictly forbidden. Nevertheless, he falls in love and they meet secretly. A love affair begins and the girl finally introduces herself as Julia. They are careful enough to meet in places unlikely to be watched. Winston and Julia eventually hire a room above Mr. Charrington’s junk-shop as a place for the two of them to meet.

     O’Brien, a member of the Inner Party gives Winston his home address. Winston believes O’Brien may not be politically orthodox and possibly sympathize with his hatred of the Party. When Winston and Julia go to see O’Brien, he enlists them into the Brotherhood, a secret society to fight against Big Brother. He gives Winston a copy of “The Book”, which contains the truth about Big Brother and the development of the super-state. Winston and Julia go to their private room, above the junk-shop to read the book. Soon, they discover thought police bursting-in to arrest them and also that Mr. Charrington is a Thought Police Agent. They are led separately to the Ministry of Love. To his surprise there, Winston discovers that O’Brien is in fact an orthodox government agent and had deliberately tricked them.

     O’Brien is now in charge of “re-integrating” Winston. His task is to torture and brain- wash him until he fully believes in the Party and its doctrines. As a final step to this indoctrination process, Winston is forced to betray his love for Julia, and his feelings for her are shattered.

   Winston is finally released as a broken man. The Thought Police are going to soon execute him. Winston is a different man now, thoroughly humbled, who loves Big Brother.

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