"1984" by George Orwell: Summary of text

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In these opening chapters of the book Orwell sets the backdrop of the novel. The novel takes place in Airstrip One, formally known as England, which is a part of the superpower Oceania. The first few pages give the reader a feeling of a broken down, very unhappy city. The reader is then introduced to Winston, the main character of the novel. The reader then learns of the totalitarian government or "Party" which is ruling Oceania. We are also introduced to Big Brother, when Orwell describes the posters "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU" on every floor of Winston's apartment building. Orwell also shows the reader how the party cares more about watching its citizens than for their health, "It was no use trying the lift. Even at the best of times it was seldom working." The lift doesn't work and yet the telescrenes in every single apartment always work and are always on.

Winston is shown to be a member of the ruling Party, although not a high ranking official. Winston's constant fear of the Party demonstrates his lower class. However we are shown how Winston is different when he starts a diary. When Winston writes, "Down with BIG BROTHER" and shows his fear of being caught this foreshadows his eventual demise. This is extremely evident when he says, "Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever . . . Sooner or later they were bound to get you." In the beginning chapters of the novel Orwell introduces some of the themes of the book.

The main theme introduced is the danger of totalitarian governments and the extent that they go to in order to retain control of the population. Some of these measures are the two minutes of hate (in order for the...