1984 is a book divided into 3 parts. In the first, there is the introduction of the main character, Winston Smith, in the context of a regimented, oppressive world. The second part describes his love for Julia, and the temporary happiness their relationship brings to both. The third and last part deals with Winston’ s imprisonment and torture by the Thought Police, and the final loss of his intellectual integrity. Winston Smith is a man, about 39 years old, who lives in Oceania, a state reigned by the IngSoc. (the English socialist movement) which is a sort of dictatorship. The world is divided into three main states: Oceania, Eurasia and Estasia; these three countries are always involved in struggles against each other and they change their alliances about every 4/5 years, so that they are continually fighting and none of them could really defeat another one: there is a sort of ever-lasting war and it brings the world a sort of balance. Oceania includes London, the city where Winston lives, completely different to the actual London, because it appears as a monotonous city dominated by the imposing building of the four Ministries of the government, a city devastated by the continuous bombing and afflicted by an effective poverty intentionally caused by the members of the Party in order to control people better. Winston works for the Ministry of Truth which is a branch, a mean of the Socialism to modify the past by re-writing documents, newspapers, books and every written document in order to fit it to the ideals of the Party and to its way of acting. By re-writing history the Party wants to make people think that It and especially its leader, Big Brother, is infallible and had ruled Oceania since the first years of the world. The main idea of the Party is to control people’ s mind and thoughts through an oppressive policy, with telescreens put everywhere to monitor what everyone could say and even their face-expressions, with a brain-washing, with the introduction of a strong Propaganda against any possible enemy of the Party, repressing any possible free-minded thought, introducing new cleverly studied recurrences like the Two Minutes Hate, or The Week Hate. They also created a new language called Newspeak, introduced in order to reduce word and so, consequently, reduce the ways to express any possible idea. However, Winston is not completely absorbed by this artificial life and, while obeying to the prescription of the Party, he even thinks like a normal man, considering the others as people accustomed to the regime. He has to hidden every expression which could betray himself and to disguise every thought opposite to the IngSoc. During his monotonous life, he is capable to write in a diary, now implicitly forbidden by the Thought Police, in order to maintain sanity in this disorienting world; in this diary he writes about his illegal minds, his impressions about his work-mates and other compromising things which later lead him to the imprisonment. Winston noticed two people from the place where he works, they are O’Brien and a brown girl. One day this girl, Julia, reveals himself being yet free-minded and falls in love with Winston, so that they can momentary evade this oppressive reality and find temporary happiness. They stay together whenever they can but they don’t know what’s going to happen to them: O’Brien appears as a free-minded man too, and involves them in a subversive organisation against the totalitarianism, but later on he reveals being a false man, a spy and a collaborator of the IngSoc and so imprisons them in order to punish them and to conform their mind to the ideals of the Party. Then they get separated and tortured both physically and mentally: the Party and O’Brien want to recreate their mind by introducing wrong ideas and erasing their capability of free-thinking and their capability to feel sentiments. Their aim is to completely re-write their minds and then liquidate them in order not to give any possible model to the hidden revolutionary movement which could threat the government: the Party must continue forever in ruling Oceania because men are just realising to perpetuate his organisation. Then Winston is tortured but he has a strong mind and, even if he is physically weak and continually tortured, O’Brien finds difficulties to modify it, but under the tortures he can’t even pretend being under the Party control; after a long period of detention, O’Brien, with all his tortures, the electroshocks, the hit of the clubs reaches his aim changing Winston’ s mind, leading his ideas to the absurdity of those of the Party and finally turning his love for Julia to hate, completely changing and distorting his personality and even his human-being. The book ends with the encountering of Winston and Julia after the tortures they suffered and just before being deleted from the nightmarish world they are living in: they sadly realise they had been ruined, any human identity had disappeared in them, and they are not more capable of loving another human creature, they became almost aliens even to themselves and to the world they had lived before the dictatorship, the far normal world. Winston finally get killed and every suffering he had bear are now stopped like his poor life.




In this fable he reproduced the political situation of the USSR through the story of a colony of animals. It is a satire against the Soviet Union and all the dictatorships of the human history. (written in 1943 but not published until 1945 because Russia was an ally during the World War II and couldn’t be offended.

An attack to Marxism and specially to Stalinism.
An attack against all totalitarians.
A pessimistic description of the useless attempts of the Low (Boxer, the sheep, the hens…) to obtain equality, while the Highs (the powerful, the most gifted, the most cunning) try to maintain their power and the Middle (dogs, the Raven, the Cat, Mollie) try to get some part of the cake.
Philosophically, the book seems to say that justice in the distribution of gifts and resources does not exist. From this point of view the book results even more pessimistic than a simple denunciation of the Russian Socialist Revolution.
The parallel with the Soviet Union is easy:
Old Major (Marx and Stalin before the Revolution)
Jones (Tsar Nicholas II)
Napoleon (Lenin & Stalin)
Snowball (Trotsky)
Squealer (the agents for the propaganda)
Pilkington (Britain)
Frederick (Germany)
First invasion (the anti revolution invasion in 1919 by the West)
Second invasion (battle of the windmill)
Boxer’s death (the exploitation of the small republics after 1945 Stalin’s purges)
The windmill (Stalin 5 years plans)
The last dinner party (the Teheran conference).
The denunciation regards political, philosophical and moral questions: how can one concile his conscience with the discipline of an ideological choice?

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