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George Orwell's 1984 is dystopian social science fiction published in 1949. The story is set in Oceania, one of the three inter-continental superstates, ruled by Ingsoc (party)which is being controlled by The Big Brother. Oceania is place where no one can freely think, everytime people are being watched and overhead through are telescreens and microphones. Before we look into the novel let's talk about the author.
Eric Arthur Blair known by his pen name George Orwell was born in Motihari , Bengal , India in 1903. He is an English novelist, critic , essayist, journalist and one of the most influential writer's in the world. His works told the realities and hardships faced by the common people. He criticized the totalitarian and facist Governments, which blinded the ordinary lives. His famous works includes Animal Farm, 1984, The road to the Wigan pier, Homage to Catalonia. Among these Animal farm and 1984 are the most popular novels by him , which gained huge popularity.He died of tuberculosis in January 21, 1950 at the age of 46.
Overview of the novel
Oceania is ruled by Ingsoc ( the party controlled by big brother). Everywhere there is banners of a face , a black moustachio'd face , at every corner gazing at everyone, with captions " Big Brother is watching you". 1984 is nightmare about the future where people are helpless, and hope isn't even a word that exists.
At the beginning, the protagonist of the story Winston Smith is starting to write diary, but he isn't even sure which year it is. People are being fed by lies, truth only exists in one's consciousness. No one can speak against these constructed lies, no one can even think against the party. They want people to tell 2+2=5 if the party wanted them to, they want to get inside the head.
Newspeak is the language of Oceania, it is a language constructed to control and restrict the thoughts. They invent new words and destroy hundreds of words everyday so there would restricted vocabulary hence control once ability to think. In future the people won't even Remember the past , that party don't want and It will be lost forever.
One day Winston Smith gets a note from a women named Julia, by telling that she loves him. That changes their lives forever. Although they keep their relation a secret thought police finds them and is taken into ministry of love. Winston is taken into "room 101" . They are brutally tortured , and are violently forced to reveal the truth , confess and betray each other. At the end of the story, Winston loves big brother, the person who he hated all his life.
The ordinary people are not getting proper food, they use blackberry leaves instead of tea leaves, saccharine instead of sugar and everything is substituted with its cheap version. But the members of inner party have access to everything. It's the ordinary people who are suffering, it's always them.
How George Orwell predicted the future?
Now let's look around us, what's happening in this 21st century? Are we being watched or overheard? Do we truly have the rights our governments claim that we are enjoying?
The story of 1984 isn't much different from the current state of our world. He warned us about the future, to stop it from happening but it's still happening around us. The powerful people control's the lives of common people. They are being forced to live the way they live. We can't really trust anyone nowadays. Some people have access to others life, with power and technology they can make anyone their slaves. Our rights have and sometimes restrictions. Power, once acquired they will do anything to keep it in their hands. What can we do about it?