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Work : Summaries & Interpretations : Nineteen Eighty-Four
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Work : Summaries & Interpretations : Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-four


Summary (below)

Characters - Winston Smith | Julia | O'Brien | Big Brother


Political System - Party | Proles | Newspeak | Doublethink



The story starts, as the title tells us, in the year of 1984, and it takes place in England or as it is called at that time, Airstrip One. Airstrip One itself is the mainland of a huge country, called Oceania, which consists of North America, South Africa, and Australia. The country is ruled by the Party, which is led by a figure called Big Brother. The population of Oceania is divided into three parts:

  1. The Inner Party (app. 1% of the population)
  2. The Outer Party (app. 18% of the population)
  3. The Proles
The narrator of the book is 'Third Person Limited'. The protagonist is Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party, working in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, rewriting and altering records, such as newspaper-articles, of the past. The action starts when Winston develops critical thoughts against the ruling dictatorship of the party, for the first time. Doing so he buys a book, a rare thing these days, to use it as a diary. As individual expression is forbidden by the Party, having a diary is a crime, which may even be punished by death. There are so-called telescreens in each room, showing propaganda and political pamphlets, and which has a built-in camera and microphone, in order to spy on people. Therefore keeping a secret book is not only forbidden, but also very dangerous. When Winston makes the first entry in the diary, he thinks about an experience he has made during the Two Minutes Hate, a propaganda film repeated each day. During this film he caught the eye of O'Brien, a member of the Inner Party, whom he thought might also be critical to the regime, or that at least there is a bond of some kind between them. After this reminiscence, he finds that he has written the sentence: "Down with Big Brother" all over the page. The same night Winston dreams about his mother and sister, who starved to death in the war, because he had been so greedy. Then he dreams of having sex with a girl he has seen in the Records Department, during the Two Minutes Hate. Early in the morning, Winston is woken by the harsh voice from the telescreen. During the performance of the physical exercises, Winston's thoughts move back to his childhood. The last thing he remembers clearly is the World War. After the WW, the Party took control of the country, and from then on it has been difficult to remember anything, because the Party changes history constantly to their own benefit (see Doublethink - Political System). After the exercises Winston goes to work at the Minitrue (Ministry of Truth), where his job is to alter records, and once altered, to throw them into the Memory Hole where they are burnt. For example B.B. (Big Brother) has promised that there will be no reduction of the chocolate ration, but there has been one, so Winston has to rewrite an old article, where the speech of B.B. is reported. At dinner Winston Smith meets Syme, a philologist, who is working on the 11th edition of The Newspeak Dictionary (see Newspeak - Political System). Syme explains the main character of their work on this dictionary. During their conversation the telescreen announces that the chocolate ration has been increased to 20 g a week, whereas yesterday it was cut down to 20 g a week. Winston wonders whether he's the only person with memory who isn't inflicted with Doublethink. As he looks around in the dining room he catches the eye of the dark-haired girl he had dreamed of the same night. Back home again he makes an entry in his diary about his meeting with a prostitute three years ago. He remembers her ugliness, but nevertheless he had sex with her. Winston had a wife, but she was very stupid and just following the orders of the Party, which said that there may only be sex to produce "new material" for the Party, and that sex for personal pleasure is a crime. Then Winston thinks about the Party and believes that the only hope lies in the Proles who constitutes over 80% of Oceania’s population. Later he remembers another fact of his past - Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford, the last three survivors of the original leaders of the Revolution. They were arrested in 1965 and confessed to all kinds of sabotage during their trial; they were pardoned, reinstated but not long after arrested again and executed. During the brief period Winston saw them in the Chestnut Tree Cafe. In the same year, a half page torn out of The Times came to Winston trough the transport tube in the Minitrue. This page of The Times showed the three men in Eastasia on a certain day. But Winston remembered clearly that they had confessed to being in Eurasia on that day (at this time Eurasia was at war with Oceania, and Eastasia was an allied). So Winston could prove that the confessions were lies. But Winston had sent this paper down to the Memory Hole (a kind of paper basket). The last entry Winston writes in his diary is that freedom is the freedom to say that two and two make four. If this is granted everything else follows. The next day Winston decides not to participate in the community actions, but to take a walk in the quarters of the Proles, around St. Pancras station. During the walk a rocket-bomb explodes nearby. After a while Winston finds himself in front of the junk-shop, where he has bought the diary. There he sees an old man just entering a pub. He decides to follow the man, and to ask him about the time before the revolution, but the old man has already forgotten nearly everything about this time, except for some useless personal things. Winston leaves the pub and goes to the shop, where he finds a pink piece of glass with a piece of coral inside which he buys. Mr Carrington, the owner of the shop leads him upstairs to show him an old-fashioned room. Winston likes the room because of its warmth and of course because there are no telescreens. When Winston leaves the shop he suddenly meets the dark-haired girl in the street. He now believes that this girl is an amateur spy or even a member of the Thought Police, spying on him. The next morning he meets the girl in the Ministry of Truth, and in the moment she passes, she falls down and cries out in pain. When Winston helps her up, she presses a piece of paper into his hand. At the first opportunity he opens it and finds the startling message: "I love you" written on it. For a week he waits for an opportunity to speak with her. Finally he is successful, and he meets her in the canteen where they fix a meeting. Some time later they meet at the fixed place, and there the girl gives Winston precise instructions how to get to a secret place on Sunday. It is Sunday, and Winston is following the girl's directions. On the way he picks some bluebells for her. And then finally she comes up behind him, telling him to be quiet because there might be microphones hidden somewhere. They kiss and he learns her name: Julia. She leads him to another place where they cannot be observed. Before she takes off her blue party-overall, Julia tells Winston that she is attracted to him because of something in his face which shows that he is against the Party. Winston is surprised and asks Julia if she has done such a thing before. To his delight she tells him that she has done it scores of times, which fills him with a great hope. Evidence of corruption and abandon always gives him with hope. Perhaps the whole system is rotten and will simply crumble to pieces one day. The more men she has had, the more he loves her, and later as he looks at her sleeping body, he thinks that now even sex is a political act, a blow against the falseness of the Party. Winston and Julia arrange to meet again. Winston rents the room above Mr Carrington’s junk shop, a place where they can meet and talk without the fear of being observed. It is summer and the preparations for "Hate Week", an enormous propaganda event, are well forthcoming, and during this time Winston meets Julia more often than ever before. Julia makes him feel more alive, she makes him feel healthier, and he even puts on weight. One day O'Brien speaks to Winston in the Ministry of Truth. He refers obliquely to Syme, the philologist, who has vanished a couple of days earlier and is now, as it is called in Newspeak, an unperson. In doing so O'Brien is committing a little act of thoughtcrime. O'Brien invites Winston to his flat, to see the latest edition of the Newspeak dictionary. Winston now feels sure that the conspiracy against the Party he has longed to know about - the Brotherhood, as it is called - does exist, and that in the encounter with O'Brien he has come into contact with its outer edge. He knows that he has embarked on a course of action which will lead, in one way or another, to the cells of the Ministry of Love. Some days later Winston and Julia meet each other to go to the flat of O'Brien, which lies in the district of the Inner Party. They are admitted to a richly furnished room by a servant. To their astonishment O'Brien switches off the telescreen in the room. (Normally it is impossible to turn it off.) Winston blurts out why they have come: they want to work against the Party, they believe in the existence of the Brotherhood and that O'Brien is involved with it. Martin, O'Brien's servant brings real red wine, and they drink a toast to Emmanuel Goldstein, the leader of the Brotherhood. O'Brien asks them a series of questions about their willingness to commit various atrocities on behalf of the Brotherhood and gets their assent. They leave, and some days later Winston gets a copy of "The Book", a book written by Emmanuel Goldstein, about his political ideas. Now it is Hate Week and suddenly the war with Eurasia stops, and a war with Eastasia starts. This of course means a lot of work for Winston. He has to change dozens of articles about the war with Eurasia. Nevertheless, Winston finds time to read the book. The book has three chapters titled, "War is Peace", "Ignorance is Strength" and "Freedom is Slavery", which are also the main slogans of the party. The main ideas of the book are:
  1. War is important for consuming the products of human labour; if this work were be used to increase the standard of living, the control of the party over the people would decrease. War is the economic basis of a hierarchical society.
  2. There is an emotional need to believe in the ultimate victory of Big Brother.
  3. In becoming continuous, war has ceased to exist. The continuity of the war guarantees the permanence of the current order. In other words, "War is Peace"
  4. There have always been three main strata of society; the Upper, the Middle and the Lower, and no change has brought human equality one inch nearer.
  5. Collectivism doesn't lead to socialism. In the event, the wealth now belongs to the new "upper-class", the bureaucrats and administrators. Collectivism has ensured the permanence of economic inequality.
  6. Wealth is not inherited from person to person, but it is kept within the ruling group.
  7. The masses (proles) are given freedom of thought, because they don't think! A Party member is not allowed the slightest deviation of thought, and there is an elaborate mental training to ensure this, a training that can be summarised in the concept of doublethink.
So far the book analyses how the Party works. It has not yet attempted to deal with why the Party has arisen. Before continuing with the next chapter Winston turns to Julia and finds her asleep. He also falls asleep. The next morning when he awakes the sun is shining, and down in the yard a prole women is singing and working. Winston is again filled with the conviction that the future lies with the proles, that they will overthrow the greyness of the Party. But suddenly reality crashes in. "We are the DEAD", he says to Julia. An iron voice behind them repeats the phrase, the picture on the wall falls to bits to reveal a telescreen behind it. Uniformed man thunder into the room and they carry Winston and Julia out. Winston is in a cell in what he presumes is the Ministry of Love. He is sick with hunger and fear, and when he makes a movement or a sound, a harsh voice will bawl at him from four telescreens. A prisoner who is dying of starvation is brought in, his face is skull-like. Later the man is brought to "Room 101" after screaming and struggling, and even offering his children's sacrifices in his stead. O'Brien enters. Winston thinks that they must have got him, too, but O'Brien says that they got him long time ago. A guard hits Winston, and he becomes unconscious. When he wakes up he is tied down to a kind of bed. O'Brien stands beside the bed, and Winston feels that O'Brien, who is the torturer, is also somehow a friend. The aim of O'Brien is to teach Winston the technique of doublethink, and he does this by inflicting pain of ever-increasing intensity. He reminds Winston that he wrote the sentence: " Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four". O'Brien holds up four fingers of his left hand, and he asks Winston how many there are. Winston answers four a couple of times, and each time the pain increases (this is not done to make Winston lie, but to make him really see five fingers instead of four). At the end of the session, under heavy influence of drugs and agony, Winston really sees five fingers. Now Winston is ready to enter the second stage of his integration (1. Learning, 2. Understanding, 3. Acceptance). O'Brien now explains how the Party works. The image he gives of the future is that of a boot stamping on a human face - for ever. Winston protests, because he thinks that there is something in the human nature that will not allow this; he calls it "The Spirit of Man". O'Brien points out that Winston is the last humanist, he is the last guardian of the human spirit. Then O'Brien gets Winston to look at himself in the mirror. Winston is horrified by he sees. The unknown time of torture has changed him into a shapeless and battered wreck. This is what the last humanist looks like. The only degradation that Winston has not been through, is that he has not betrayed Julia. He has said anything under torture, but inside he has remained true to her. Winston is much better now. For some time he has not been beaten and tortured, he has been fed quite well and allowed to wash. Winston realises that he now accepts all the lies of the Party, that for example Oceania was always at war with Eastasia, and that he never had the photograph of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford that disproved their guilt. Even gravity could be nonsense. But nevertheless Winston has some unorthodox thoughts that he cannot suppress. But now it is time for the last of the three steps, reintegration. Winston is taken to Room 101. O'Brien says that the room 101 is the worst thing in the world. For each person it is his own personal hell. For some it is death by fire or burial alive. For Winston it is a cage containing two rats, with a fixture like a fencing mask attached, into which the face of the victim is strapped. Then there is a lever that opens the cage, so that the rats can get to the face. O'Brien is approaching with the cage, and Winston sense the bad smell of the rats. He screams. The only way to get out of this is to put someone else between himself and the horror. "Do it to Julia", he screams in a final betrayal of himself. Winston is released, and he is often sitting in the Chestnut Tree Café, drinking Victory Gin and playing chess. He now has a job in a sub-committee, that is made up of others like himself. On a cold winter day he meets Julia, they speak briefly, but have little to say to each other, except that they have betrayed each other. A memory of a day in his childhood comes to Winston’s mind; it is false, he is often troubled by false memories. He looks forward to the bullet, they will kill him with some day. Now he realises how pointless it was to resist. He loves Big Brother!


Winston Smith

Orwell named his hero after Winston Churchill, England's great leader during World War II. He added a common last name: Smith. The action of this novel is built around the main person, Winston Smith, and therefore the understanding of his personality and his character is important for the understanding of the whole book. Winston was born before the Second World War. During the War, there was a lack of food, and Winston had taken nearly all of the food that was allocated to the family, although his younger sister was starving to death. In 1984, Winston often dreams of this time, and he often remembers how he once stole the whole piece of chocolate that was given to the family. I think that Winston now (1984) somehow regrets his egotistic behaviour. He also sees a kind of link between his behaviour and the behaviour of the children that are educated by the Party. These children persecute their own families (Parsons). He finally realises his and the Party's guilt. To my mind Winston is a sort of hero, because he is aware of the danger that he has encountered. So, for example, he knew from the very beginning that his diary would be found. And as one can see, the things that are written in this book (that freedom is to say that two and two makes four) are used against him later. He also knew that his illegal love affair was an act of revolution, would be disclosed by the Thought Police. But nevertheless he is also somewhat naive. He has opened his mind to O'Brien before he was sure that he was also against the Party.


Julia is a women around 25, and she works in a special department of the Minitrue, producing cheap pornography for the proles. She has already had a couple of illegal love affairs. Unlike Winston, she is basically a simple woman, something of a lightweight who loves her man and uses sex for fun as well as for rebellion. She is perfectly willing to accept the overnight changes in Oceania's history and doesn't trouble her pretty head about it. If Big Brother says black is white, fine. If he says two and two make five, no problem. She may not buy the Party line, but it doesn't trouble her. She falls asleep over Winston's reading the treasured book by Goldstein. Orwell draws Winston's love object lovingly. Julia is all woman, as sharp and funny as she is attractive, but she may also be a reflection of the author's somewhat limited view of the opposite sex.


Probably the most interesting fact about O'Brien is that we have only Winston's opinion of him. This burly but sophisticated leader of the Inner Party is supposed to be the head of the secret Brotherhood dedicated to the overthrow of Big Brother. In his black overall, he haunts both Winston's dreams and his waking moments to the very end of the novel. Another very interesting thing about O'Brien is that the reader doesn't precisely know if he is a friend or an enemy of Winston. Even Winston himself doesn't know it. I would say that O'Brien, the powerful and mighty Party member, is a kind of father figure to Winston. Before Winston's capture, O'Brien "helps" Winston make contact with the Brotherhood, and he teaches him about the ideology and the rules of this secret organisation. After Winston’s capture, O'Brien gives him the feeling that he is somehow protecting him. The relation between O'Brien and Winston has all attributes of a typical relation between a father and a child: The father is all-knowing, all-mighty; he teaches, punishes and educates his child, and he is protecting it from anything that could harm the child. But I think that O'Brien is only playing his role to reintegrate Winston.

Big Brother

Big Brother is not a real person. All-present as he is, all-powerful and forever watching, he is only seen on TV. Although his picture glares out from huge posters that shout, BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, nobody sees Big Brother in person. Orwell had several things in mind when he created Big Brother. He was certainly thinking of Russian leader Joseph Stalin; the pictures of Big Brother even look like him. He was also thinking of Nazi leader Adolph Hitler and Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. Big Brother stands for dictators everywhere. Orwell may have been thinking about figures in certain religious faiths when he drew Big Brother. The mysterious, powerful, God-like figure who sees and knows everything - but never appears in person. To Inner Party members, Big Brother is a leader, a bogeyman they can use to scare the people, and their authorisation for doing whatever they want. If anybody asks, they can say they are under orders from Big Brother. For the unthinking proles, Big Brother is a distant authority figure. For Winston, Big Brother is an inspiration. Big Brother excites and energises Winston, who hates him. He is also fascinated by Big Brother and drawn to him in some of the same ways that he is drawn to O'Brien, developing a love-hate response to both of them that leads to his downfall.


The plot has three main movements, corresponding to the division of the book in three parts. The first part, the first eight chapters, creates the world of 1984, a totalitarian world where the Party tries to control everything, even thought and emotion. In this part, Winston develops his first unorthodox thoughts. The second part of the novel deals with the development of his love to Julia, someone with whom he can share his private emotions. For a short time they create a small world of feeling for themselves. They are betrayed, however. O'Brien, whom Winston thought was a rebel like himself, is in reality a chief inquisitor of the Inner Party. The third part of the novel deals with Winston’s punishment. Finally he comes to love Big Brother. Generally, the plot is very simple: a rebel, a love affair with a like-minded, capture, torture, and finally capitulation. Apart from Julia, O'Brien, and of course Winston, there are no important characters; there is no attempt to create a range of social behaviour, and the complex personal interactions therein, all traditional concerns of the novel. Indeed, one of Orwell's points is that life in 1984 has become totally uniform. So the traditional novel would be unthinkable. In fact, Winston is the only character worth writing about; all the other characters are half-robots already. So one could say that the plot was built around Winston’s mind and life. This gave Orwell the opportunity to focus on the reaction of the individual to totalitarianism, love, and cruelty.

Political System

The Party

The Party of Oceania is made up of about 19% of the whole population of Oceania’s mainland. Generally, one could divide the Party into the Inner Party, which is comparable to the communist nomenclature, and the Outer Party. Winston Smith himself is a member of the Outer Party. The members of the Inner Party hold high posts in the administration of the country. They earn comparably much money, and there isn't a lack of anything in their homes, which look like palaces. The people of the Outer Party live in dull grey and old flats. Because of the war there is often a lack of the most essential things. The life of the Outer Party is dictated by the Party, even their spare time is used by the Party. There are so-called community hikes, community games and all sorts of other activities. And refusing participation in this activities is even dangerous. The life of a Party member is dictated from his birth to his death. The Party even takes children away from their parents to educate them in the ideology of Ingsoc. (One can find this also in the communist future plans.) The children are taught in school to report it to the Thought Police when their parents have unorthodox thoughts, so-called "thoughtcrimes". After their education, Party members start to work mainly for one of the four Ministries (Minipax, Minitrue, Miniluv, Miniplenty). The further life of a "comrade" continues under the watchful eyes of the Party. Everything people do is recorded by the telescreens. Even in their homes people have telescreens. Each unorthodox action is then punished by "joycamps" (Newspeak word for “forced labour camps").


The proles make up about 81% of the population of Oceania. The Party itself is only interested in their labour, because the proles are mainly employed in industry and on farms. Without their labour, Oceania would break down. Despite this fact, the Party completely ignores this social caste. The curious thing about this behaviour is that the Party calls itself socialist, and generally socialism (at least in the beginning and middle of this century) is a movement of the proletariat. So one could say that the Party abuses the word "Ingsoc". Orwell again had pointed at another regime, the Nazis, who had put "socialism" into their name. One of the main phrases of the Party is "Proles and animals are free". In Oceania, the proles live in very desolate and poor quarters. Compared with the districts where the members of the Party live, there are far fewer telescreens, and policemen. And as long as the proles don't commit crimes (crimes in our sense, not in the sense of the party - Thoughtcrime) they don't have any contact with the state. Therefore in the districts of the proletarians one can find things that are abolished and forbidden to Party members. For example, old books, old furniture, prostitution and alcohol (mainly beer) Except "Victory Gin" all of these things are not available to Party members. The proletarians don't participate in the technological development. They live like they used to do many years ago. To my mind, the Party ignores the Proles because they pose no danger to their rule. The working class is too uneducated and too unorganised to pose any real threat. So there is not really a need to change the political attitudes of this class.


Newspeak is the official language of Oceania and has been devised to meet ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism. In the year 1984, nobody really uses Newspeak in speech nor in writing. Only the leading articles are written in this "language". But it is generally assumed that in the year 2050 Newspeak will replace Oldspeak, or common English. The purpose of Newspeak is not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other methods of thought impossible. Another reason for developing Newspeak is to make old books, or books which were written before the era of the Party, unreadable. With Newspeak, Doublethink will be even easier. Its vocabulary is constructed so as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This is done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings whatever. Generally Newspeak words are divided into three groups: the A, B(also called compound words) and the C Vocabulary.
A-Vocabulary: The A-Vocabulary consists of the words needed in business and everyday life, for such things as drinking, working, and the like. The words of this group are nearly entirely composed of Oldspeak words, but in comparison, their number is very small. Nevertheless, the meaning of these words is much more defined, and it allows no other interpretation.
B-Vocabulary: The B-Vocabulary consists of words which have been deliberately constructed for political purposes. Without the full understanding of the principles of Ingsoc it is very difficult to use and understand these words correctly. The B-Vocabulary consists in all cases of compound words, two or more words merged together in an easily pronounceable form. Example: goodthink - Goodthink means very roughly orthodoxy, or if it is regarded as a verb "to think in a good manner". The word is inflected as follows: noun-verb goodthink; past tense and past participle, goodthinked; present participle, goodthinking; adjective, goodthinkful; adverb, goodthinkwise; verbal noun, goodthinker. The B-Words are not constructed according to any etymological plan. The words of which they are made up can be placed in any order, mutilated in any way which makes them easy to pronounce (e.g. thoughtcrime, crimethink thinkpol, thought police). Many of the B-Words are euphemisms. Such words for instance as joycamp (forced labour camp) or Minipax (Ministry of Peace in charge of the army), mean almost exact opposite of what they appear to mean. Again some words are ambivalent, having the connotation good when applied to the party, and bad when applied to its enemies. Generally, the name of any organisation, building, and so on is cut down to a minimum number of syllables and to a minimum of length, in an easily pronounceable way. This isn't only in Newspeak; already other, especially totalitarian systems, tended to used abbreviations for political purpose (Nazi, Comintern, Gestapo, ....). But the difference is that only in Newspeak this instrument is used deliberately. The Party intended to cut down the possibility of associations with other words.
C-Vocabulary: The C-Words consist of technical and scientific terms.
From the foregoing account it is very easy to see that in Newspeak the expression of unorthodox opinions, above a very low level, is impossible. It is only possible to say "Big Brother is ungood". But this statement can't be sustained by reasoned arguments, because the necessary words are not available. Ideas inimical to Ingsoc can only be entertained in a very vague and wordless form, and can only be named in very broad terms. One can in fact only use Newspeak for political unorthodoxy, by illegitimately translating some of the words back into Oldspeak. For example "All mans are equal" is a possible Newspeak sentence, but only in the same sense in which "All man have the same weight" is a possible Oldspeak sentence. It does not contain a grammatical error, but it expresses a palpable untruth, i.e. that all man have the same size, weight ..... The concept of political equality no longer exist. In 1984, when Oldspeak is still the normal means of communication, the danger theoretically exists that in using Newspeak words one might remember their original meanings. In practice, it is not difficult for a person well grounded in Doublethink to avoid doing this, but within a couple of generations even the possibility of such a lapse will have vanished. A person growing up with Newspeak as his sole language will no more know that equal had once had the secondary meaning of "politically equal" (also free,....). There will be many crimes and errors which will be beyond of the power to commit, simply because they are now nameless and therefore unimaginable. It is to be foreseen that with time Newspeak words will become fewer and fewer, their meanings more and more and more rigid, and the possibility of putting them to improper uses always diminished. So when Oldspeak has been once and for all superseded the last link with the past will have been severed.


Doublethink is a kind of manipulation of the mind. Generally, one could say that Doublethink makes people accept contradictions, and it makes them also believe that the party is the only institution that distinguishes between right and wrong. This manipulation is mainly done by the Minitrue (Ministry of Truth), where Winston Smith works. When a person that is well grounded in Doublethink recognizes a contradiction or a lie by the Party, then the person thinks that he is remembering a false fact. The use of the word Doublethink involves doublethink. With the help of the Minitrue, it is not only possible to change written facts, but also facts that are remembered by people. So complete control of the country and its citizens is provided. The fact of faking history had already been used by the Nazis, who told the people that already German Knights believed in the principles of National Socialism.


In "Nineteen Eighty-Four" Orwell draws a picture of a totalitarian future. Although the action takes place in the future, there are a couple of elements and symbols taken from the present and past. So, for example, Emmanuel Goldstein, the main enemy of Oceania, is, as one can see from the name, a Jew. Orwell draws a link to other totalitarian systems of our century, like the Nazis and the Communists, who had anti-Semitic ideas, and who used Jews as so-called scapegoats, who were responsible for all bad and evil things in the country. This fact also shows that totalitarian systems want to arbitrate their perfection. Emmanuel Goldstein somehow also stands for Trotsky, a leader of the Revolution, who was later declared an enemy. Another symbol that can be found in Nineteen Eighty-Four is the fact that Orwell divides the fictional superstates in the book according to the division that can be found during the Cold War. So Oceania stands for the United States of America , Eurasia for Russia and Eastasia for China. The fact that the two socialist countries Eastasia and Eurasia (in our case Russia and China) are at war with each other, corresponds to our history (Usuri river). Other, non-historical symbols can be found. One of these symbols is the paperweight that Winston buys in the old junk-shop. It stands for the fragile little world that Winston and Julia have made for each other. They are the coral inside of it. As Orwell wrote: "It is a little chunk of history, that they have forgotten to alter". The "Golden Country" is another symbol. It stands for the old European pastoral landscape. The place where Winston and Julia meet for the first time to make love to each other, is exactly like the "Golden Country" of Winston’s dreams.

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