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1984 Essay

868 words - 3 pages

freedom. No joy. No love. No peace. This is the world painted by George Orwell in 1984. Written in 1949, Orwell describes a quite depressing future for the world. It includes televisions that cannot be turned off and act as video cameras into each person's living quarters. Winston, the main character, lives under the control of "Big Brother", the government. Winston wants to rebel from this control and hears about a secret society that wants to usurp Big Brother. Winston beings taking risks, looking for any connection with the days before Big Brother got into power. Winston knows that the "Thought Police" will catch him soon, for they see everything, but he does not care. He can't go on without knowing the truth and progressively becomes more rebellious.

Personal relationships are not allowed in Orwell's world. One day Julia, a young attractive woman, slips him an unexpected note that reads, "I love you." They arrange a meeting place, far off in the forest, and quickly find out how much each of them despises Big Brother. They fall in love, starting an affair. Their meetings are rare and dangerous; both of them know being caught is inevitable. Their rebellion comes to a climax when they meet with O'Brien, a supposed leader of the underground organization. Unfortunately, O'Brien is really a member of the "Ministry of Love". The Ministry is where people like Winston and Julia are tortured.

They are taken into the Ministry and separated. Julia's story is not told, but Winston is tortured with electricity, starvation, and the threat of Room 101. O'Brien tells Winston, "Always we shall have the heretic here at our mercy, screaming with pain, broken up, contemptible-and in the end utterly penitent, saved from himself, crawling to our feet of his own accord" (271). The point of the torture is not to kill or give up information, but to break the individual down until he or she believes in the principle of "doublethink". The definition of doublethink is believing what the government says, no matter how absurd. If Big Brother says 2+2=5, than that is true. Winston does not understand how he will ever be able to think mindlessly. After an unknown amount of time, Winston is sent to Room 101. This is the room where they use individual fears to torture people. Winston's fear is rats. They take a cage full of ravenous rats and put it next to his face. Right before they open the cage door, Winston screams for them to torture Julia instead of him. This is the breaking point for Winston. The last scene of the book is him living out in the world again, a complete follower of...

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