In a world where computers rule our lives, communication is instant, and there is a camera right in most people’s back pockets, it’s sometimes easy to envision the world George Orwell paints in his dystopian novel 1984. Published in 1949, shortly after the end of World War II and during the rise of Communist powers such as Russia and Korea, Orwell’s novel warns readers of important issues that become the novel’s key themes, including government overreach, propaganda, and the importance of free thought and speech.
You are prepared to give your lives? You are prepared to commit murder?
We want to join it and work for it. We are enemies of the Party.
Winston and other adults are wary of kids. Winston notes that the kids across the hall enjoy playing games where they arrest people for thoughtcrime. “With those children... that wretched woman must lead a life of terror. Another year, or two years, and they would be watching her night and day for symptoms of unorthodoxy. Nearly all children nowadays were horrible.”
Winston is plagued by memories, believing he killed his mother. He remembers how much his mother loved him, and how he had been too selfish to love her in return. After running with a full ration of chocolate, he returned to find his mother and sister gone. He isn’t sure what happened, but feels that “the lives of his mother and sister had been sacrificed to his own.”
Winston no longer agrees with the Party. He envisions a society where the proles rise up and overcome the government: “One can imagine little knots of resistance springing up here and there-- small groups of people banding themselves together, and gradually growing, and even leaving a few records behind, so that the next generation can carry on where we left off.’”