Society’s Influence on 1984 and George Orwell
"To say 'I accept' in an age like our own is to say that you accept concentration-camps, rubber truncheons, Hitler, Stalin, bombs, aeroplanes, tinned food, machine guns, putsches, purges, slogans, Bedaux belts, gas-masks, submarines, spies, provocateurs, press-censorship, secret prisons, aspirins, Hollywood films and political murder" (Bookshelf I).
Politics, society, economy, and war during the forties had a direct impact on life at the time. A good example of this influence was the writing of Eric Arthur Blair, whose pen-name was George Orwell (Bookshelf II).
George Orwell's 1984 is written from a third person perspective-in this case, a selective omniscient, focusing mostly on the character of Winston Smith. The story was written in 1949-the same year Silly Putty was invented (Bookshelf III)-and was a prediction of the future world (as Orwell saw it). The story starts out in the residence of Winston, where he begins to write a diary. He does not know if the year is 1984, though. It must have been "around that date, since he was fairly sure that his age was thirty-nine, and he believed that he had been born in 1944 or 1945" (Orwell 10). He works for the Ministry of Truth, in the Records Department. The job of the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue-in Newspeak; the native language in Oceania, where Winston lived) was to be concerned with the news, entertainment, fine arts, and education of Oceania (Orwell 7-8). The society he lives in is a totalitarian society and he works for the government, along with most of the people in the society. He has negative thoughts about the governmental system that he lives in and he starts to become curious if there is a way to over throw this enormous power. He begins searching (subtlety, without being caught by the "thought police") for people that believe the same way as him. He discovers Julia, whom he falls in love with, and she has the same beliefs as him. Together they find O'Brien-a member of the inner-party, whom-Winston believes-could overthrow "The Party" (the Government), and Big Brother: the supreme governmental leader that may be fictional or may be real, we never know. They become inner-party members but then are betrayed by O'Brien, separated from each other (that's the last we hear of Julia), and Winston is tortured, until he believes the way of the party. He finally is put through enough torture in the Ministry of Love that he gives in, and believes everything the party believes-the past is alterable, the present can change, and that 2+2=5 if they say it is so.
It is a classic case of negative utopia; the absolute worst life possible. Having to watch every step you take, especially with a Telescreen (an object that looks like a modern television but is two way, meaning that the person in the TV can see you) around every corner. George Orwell made this prediction of life in 1984 based entirely on what was happening in the 1940s. If the...