Summary of 1984

The story begins with Winston, the main character, coming back to his
apartment from his job at the Ministry of Truth. Winston¹s job was to change
recorded events, predictions made by the Party, and documents to make then ³
correct². In actuality his job was to falsify history to whatever was in the
Party¹s current best interest. Whatever the Party said must always be correct
and undisputable, there fore history was constantly being rewritten by people
like Winston. One of the Party¹s slogans was ³He who controls the past, controls
the future. He who controls the present, controls the past.²
Every word anyone said was heard by the inner Party, also, every motion
anyone made could be seen by the telescreens that were like two-way TVs. Anyone
who showed any discontent or disapproval towards the Party was seen or heard,
and taken to Ministry of Love, which concerned itself with law and order. No one
knew what happened in the Ministry of Love, but people who were taken there most
often disappeared. Their very existence falsified by the Ministry of Truth.
Winston hid his hate of the Party very well from the telescreens. He
hated the party but he knew there was nothing he could do. He had heard of an
anti-Party organization called the Brotherhood, but there was no way of knowing
if it really existed. He didn¹t know if anyone felt the same way he did, but he
was sure there must be.
The Party was reconstructing society as a whole, and no one seemed to
notice. it was done so systematically and effectively, it was hard to believe
the world had ever been otherwise. Children were raised to love Big Brother (the
human face the Party took on). They were taught to turn anyone in who showed
signs of deviation from the Party, even their own parents. they were born not
knowing anything of the past, and without anyway of finding out. Anything that
was taught to them as true, was taken as the truth. Even a whole new language
had been in development, called Newspeak. Newspeak effectively limited the
amount of words to a bare minimum. The goal was to completely get rid of any
words that allowed for individual or original thought. Words such as Love,
science, God, and freedom (in the sense of political or intellectual freedom)
were all nonexistent. People had no way of expressing anything, because there
were no words to do so with. That way,any possible threat to the Party could be
wiped out of existence.
The world had been divided into three large countries: Eurasia, Eastasia,
and Oceania. Oceania was the country in which Winston lived, and the Party
controlled. The three countries were constantly at war with one another. Oceania
may be allies with Eastasia and at war with Eurasia one month, and the exact
opposite the next. But whoever Oceania was at war with at the moment, they
insisted they had always been at war with. There were no documents to prove
otherwise, and people were constantly brainwashed by the ever present
telescreens. The Party was never wrong.
One day Winston notices a woman at work that he notices something
strange about. At first he thinks she is probably a member of the Thought Police,
out to catch him. One day as she is walking towards him down a hall, she falls
purposely. As Winston helps her up, she slips him a piece of paper that says ³I
love you². He had been wrong, she felt the same way about the Party as he did.
They arranged for a place to meet in he woods, far from telescreens or
microphones. Her name was Julia. Eventually they get a room above a small store
where hey can go.
Winston also notices signs of unorthodoxy in his boss. Mr. O¹Brian, at
the Ministry of Truth. Winston takes a huge risk and asks O¹Brian about it.
Although O¹Brian is a member of the Inner Party, he admits to being involved in
the mysterious Brotherhood organization. O¹Brian gives Winston a copy of ³The
Book², which contains the teachings of the Brotherhood and the truth about the
Party. As Winston and Julia are reading The Book in their secret room, they hear
a voice. A telescreen had been hidden in the room the whole time. The Thought
Police had finally caught him, O¹Brian had betrayed him.
Winston and Julia are separated and taken to the Ministry of Love. The
Party does not just kill people against the Party. First, they make the people
fully accept the Party, then they kill them. Winston