1984: Summary

Nineteen eighty four is a tale of future society, a society in which independent
thinking is a crime punishable by death. This is also a society who\'s leaders
are self serving and don\'t set their goals for the common good by which all of
the society will benefit. The party doesn\'t need to justify its selfish ways
because it holds all of the power. The symbol of the party was Big Brother. The
idealism of blind loyalty was embodied in this symbol. It was the centre of
control. The Party has set its agenda of completely controlling every single
human mind by narrowing down the complexity of human thought. They will try
accomplish this through the elimination of speech to a form where humans can no
longer think for themselves. These future citizens would not be able to commit
any crimes against the Party. There is no possible way these humans would even
think "criminal" thoughts to begin with since they had no knowledge of any crime
from personal experience or history.

The main character of this book is Winston Smith. Even though he is portrayed as
a criminal, I believe that he is a victim of a system that is criminal. All
through this book Winston\'s convictions lead us to believe that he is ethical
and the Party is unjust but it is left up to the readers discretion to decide
whether he is the criminal or just a victim of a totalitarian society. The first
instance of Winstons "criminal" nature was when he bought an illegal journal,
quill and bottle of ink to record his thoughts. Although he had so called
"criminal" thoughts before, the journal seemed to bring out the more daring
ideas in him as to how to get free from the Party\'s reign. This all indirectly
led to his meeting with a woman called Julia who shared his feelings and was
either very brave or very foolish because she was more open then he about her
feelings. I believe that these and the other actions following his initial
"criminal" offence are justified and that Winston Smith is not a "criminal".

My first set of examples as to the flaws in the Party government are how they
pitted family members against each other, and how the true nature of the family
was destroyed because of this. The controlling intentions of the Party were
reflected in how children were used to spy on their parents. The toys given to
the children such as ear horns were used to listen in on the conversations of
their parents. Through groups and activities that were provided , the children
were actually taught how to spy and were given justification for this act. They
were given the title of "Child Hero" when they denounced their parents and
reported them to the thought police. The children felt it was perfectly
acceptable to inform on their parents to the authorities even though it meant
punishment for their mothers and fathers. When Winston was in jail he met a
colleague named Mr. Parsons who\'s child turned him in for saying " down with big
brother " in his sleep. Husbands and wives were also affected. They would
report their spouses or children if they said anything improper, did anything
improper, displayed a facial tick or any other abnormalities.

The Party took away the basic pleasures of their people, as another method of
control. One example of this is how the food was intentionally very bland and
tasteless. There is an account in the book where Winston is in a public
cafeteria and longingly remembers a better time and how food was pleasurable
then. Another example od pleasure deprivation is how they brought sex down to a
level where the general public was repulsed by the thought via the anti-sex
league. The public continued having sex as it was the will of the Party that
people must reproduce. The degradation of sex also kept the married and
unmarried alike brimming with energy for hate week, war marches and other
fascist public activities which the people had to attend. A specific example of
the degradation of sex in Winston\'s life was the account he made in his journal
of his wife\'s attitude towards sex and how she cringed at his touch. She called
sex "our duty to the Party" or "making a baby". Because of his wife, he became
as repulsed at the idea of sex with her as she was with him. Winston recalls
becoming physically sick at the mention of it. Winston wasn\'t satisfied with the
status quo regarding sex. It