Essay

1984 Book Report

1984 is about a parallel world 35 years into the future, in which all nations have been combined into three major countries: Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia. London still exists, but it is now a part of Oceania, governed by an entity called the Party, headed by a dominant figure called “Big Brother”. The Party's one goal is power; power over everybody and everything in Oceania. There is constant surveillance; devices called telescreens are put in people's homes to monitor thoughts, actions and broadcast Party propaganda continuously, with no way for the person to turn it off or change the channel. Free thinkers are not tolerated, and the "Thought Police" are sent to capture the culprits. The Party is developing an official language called “Newspeak,” whose goal is to simplify language by eliminating as many "extra" words as possible and reducing vocabulary to a small number of basic words, thus narrowing the range of thought.

The protagonist of this story is Winston Smith, who works at the Ministry of Truth as a sort of professional history revisionist. His job is to rectify newspaper articles and documents in which Big Brother made predictions or statements that did not agree with the actual outcome of events; in other words, to maintain the public illusion that the Party is perfect. Unhappy with his state of being, Winston would like to overthrow the Party but is powerless to do so. So he teams up with his love interest Julia who is another Party worker. He also collaborates.