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George Orwel. “1984”

Flower-de-luce
George Orwell’s controversial futuristic novel “1984” is generally seen as a deliberately exaggerated parody on any authoritarian rule. The scene is set in the twentieth century London in of Oceania, a superstate which came into existence after a full-blown nuclear war. The society is built on a hierarchy of the three social layers: the High, meaning the Inner Party which is omnipotent, all-knowing and oppressive, the Middle, representing the Outer Party whose members are merely figureheads and the most intimidated of the three, and the Low who are the proles (i.e. proletarians in Newspeak) – the most ignorant and neglected, living their life below the poverty line. The main object of love, worship and inspiration is Big Brother, leader of the party.

The protagonist, Winston Smith, belongs to the Outer Party, and works in the Ministry of Truth which is, actually, the place where mass falsifications of facts take place as long as they don’t satisfy the Rulling Party or contradict Big Brother’s proclamations.

Winston pretends to be an exemplary, obedient citizen, but he is nursing doubts on the righteousness of the Party. Though not an acute observer he compares the events, which he witnessed personally, to their press accounts, and notices contradictions. Seeking to revive the events of long-ago he breaks the tenets of the ideology – Ingsoc. He starts a diary, plunges into an illicit love affair with a girl, searches for the legendary Brotherhood, what finally leads up to his arrest and harsh questioning in the Ministry of Love. After months of torture and starvation he denies his rebellious ideas and betrays his feelings to Julia. When released, he becomes a shuttered creature devoid of emotions and his initial beliefs. The only thing he knows: he loves Big Brother.

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