domingo, 6 de abril de 2014

1984-George Orwell (7/50)

1984 tells the story of Winston Smith, an Oceania citizen whose memories and dreams are pushing him to challenge the world around him. 

The book is divided into three chapters and an appendix. The first chapter is focused on the questions of Winston, his position and doubts about his society. The second chapter is mainly based on his relation with Julia and his desire to become a rebel. The third chapter tells the process of defeating Winston, mentally and physicly by the Party.

Chapter One

Oceania is one of the three world divisions, Winston lives in London the chief city of Airstrip One . He belongs to the outer Party. Londo is a city full of posters and telescreens related with Big Brother, a picture of a man with mustache whose slogan is "Big Brother is Watching You. The telescreens transmitted and recieved simultanously: they were the means of the Thought Police; any whisper, any movement, anything could be monitored by them.

Winston gets a diary with white sheets. He becomes to write his deep feelings, his hatred towards Big Brother, his doubts about the lies of the Party and everything around him.

London is getting prepared for Hate Week, one of the most important events of Oceania. There are four ministries: "the Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education and the fine arts; the Ministry of Peace,  which concerned itself with war; the Ministry of love, which maintained law and order; and the Ministry of Plenty , which was responsible of economic affairs". The official language in Oceania is Newspeak which is not totally spoken by citizen; however, it is a project to reduce some dangerous concepts and to reduce thought.

There are amateur spies, Thought Police and Junior Anti-Sex League. There are daily "Two Minutes of Hate": the workers gather in front of a big telescreen in order to watch images of enemies and Goldstein (one "betrayer" who presumably escaped and tries to destroy the regime through the Brotherhood).

O'Brien an Inner Party member has a warm and civilized aspect which makes Winston believe he is someone who deepy hates the regime too. Julia is a young woman who belongs to the fiction department. He hates her because she seems the typical regime lover who is proud of her clean mindness.

Chapter Two

There are groups called the proles whose life is outside the telescreens world; however, they live in poverty, with low education and controlled by the Party. After a sexual experience with a 50 years old woman (a member of the proles) Winston realizes they have hope to destroy the regime. 

Winston decides to visit the proles, he tries to remeber if London was different before. He has memories of his mother and a younger sister that make him believe in deep and intimate feelings, something unbelievable nowdays. He just finds people who is not interested in answering him, old men whose capability to understand important changes is reduced. Mr Charrington, the owner of a little pub who tells Smith about the life before "the revolution". Winston gets exited until he finds Julia on his road. He is frightened because she could be a spy.

In job, Julia has an accident, when Winston helps her she puts a note in his pocket that says: "I love you". He realizes she is a different person. He tries to find her and to talk her but in London it is very difficult. Cautously, he is able to have contact with her in a canteen visited but Party members. They plan a meeting outside the telescreen pressure, Julia is an expert avoiding controls. They meet and have sex, she confesses to hate the rules of the Party, she steals things and love having sex with Party members; Winston loves it. Mr. Charrington's shop becomes their refuge.

In the Ministry (the place where Winston works) O'Brien talks to him. Actually, he mentions indirectly Symes (a vaporized friend of Smith) something that makes Winston believe O'Brien is planning a meeting against the regime. When they gather, O'Brien seems a conspirator who is able to turn off telescreens and avoid the regime. He talks about an organization whose aim is to fight against the Party. He says members are just members and they can not have more information than they need. Actually, they should be prepared for anything. O'Brien gives a book which contains serious information about Oceania's history and the heart of counterevolution.

Chapter Three

After and intimate meeting between Winston and Julia they talk about their situation, they conclude they are dead. Something behind a picture with robotic voice says: "you are dead". The house was surrounded, Mr. Charrington was an uncovered spy and the couple gets caught.

Winston is taken to a sordid place. He finds a neighbor called Parsons whose childe denounced him because of having forbidden thoughts while he slept. Prisioners were tortured, they had signs of bad nutrition; however; there was something more fearful than all the tortures. room 101.

Winston is tortured and exposed to violence and drugs. He confessed everything in front of O'Brien, Mr Charrington, Julia and other people who laughed. Actually, O'Brien directed everything. Pain is inflicted until Winston can say that there are five fingers instead the four fingers that he is watching. His thoughts about reality are destroyed, he is told Julia betrayed him. He is humiliated.

When he is taken to the room 101 there is a difficult proff. His head is surrounded with an special box and some rats are freed, they enter to his face. Once when he was with Julia he confessed his fear to the rats, it was extreme and powerful. When he feels insecure and unprotected, he asks the to do that thing to Julia and not to him. He feels he has betrayed his love for Julia.

The process is over and he returns to his life. Things for him get better, he has a better a salary and a more confortable life. He talks with Julia. She says her feelings have changed after she was exposed to a difficult situation in which she really wanted torturers made it to Winston and not to her.

The end is astonishing sad. Winston remembers his mother, when she bought some toys and played with him. However, the process of torture was effective and he starts to love Big Brother when he is watching a telescreen.

This is a wonderfully told story about power, human beings and love. It gathers the feeling of the age after the world wars: the human naturally rebels against regimes. However, it defends a thesis: something unnatural and extreme should be done to change it. Finally, human nature is changed.

Commentary: I was lucky because when I finished the book there was a sunny day of April; otherwise, I would have got depressed. Orwell is a genius.

1 comentario:

Elena P.G. dijo...

Yes, he is a real genius!!! : you are so very right