In 1984, Winston Smith, the main Character, lives in Victory Mansions, an apartment for Outer Party members in what used to be London which is part of the country Oceania. Winston works in the Records Department in the Ministry of Truth and his job is to rewrite history and distort the facts of history in order to fit the needs of the Party. Everywhere he goes, the party monitors him. His every step is followed through telescreens and he can only see the the face of the Party’s leader, known as Big Brother.
To escape this tyranny and to feel psychologically free, Winston starts writing an own diary as the act of writing allows him to stay human and to nurture his independent thoughts. In Oceania, basic ideas such freedom of speech, thoughts and the right to privacy are nonexistent.
With the advent of technological progress, the issue of privacy and the practice of some authoritarian regimes in some parts of the world, the concepts and themes at the core of the fictional world in 1984 Orwell’s has stayed current in our postmodern society: Violence, repression, rebellion, manipulation, technology and modernization.
Top 10 Quotes From 1984
Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
Winston had disliked her from the very first moment of seeing her. He knew the reason. It was because of the atmosphere of hockey-fields and cold baths and community hikes and general clean-mindedness which she managed to carry about her. He disliked nearly all woman, and especially the young and pretty ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy.
In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.
The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed–would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper–the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.
People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.
And when memory failed and written records were falsified—when that happened, the claim of the Party to have improved the conditions of human life had got to be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again could exist, any standard against which it could be tested.
And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed-if all records told the same tale-then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.
Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.
And what he wanted, more even than to be loved, was to break down that wall of virtue, even if it were only once in his whole life. The sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion. Desire was thoughtcrime.
In Oceania at the present day, Science, in the old sense, has almost ceased to exist. In Newspeak there is no word for ‘Science.’ The empirical method of thought, on which all the scientific achievements of the past were founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles of Ingsoc.