1984 Summer Assignment

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Title: 1984 Author: George Orwell Setting: The time period is an alternate 1984. Since the book was written in 1949, this is the future according to Orwell. Winston lives in Oceania which was formerly known as London. The country of Oceania consists of several continents and countries which to us are The British isles, North and South America, the Atlantic Isles, Australia, and Africa. In this alternate future, freedom is a thing that seemingly no longer exists. Major Characters: Winston Smith - The protagonist of the story. Winston Smith works as a clerk in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, where his job is to rewrite historical documents. This involves revising newspaper articles and doctoring photographs, mostly to remove "unpersons," people who have fallen foul of the party. Because of his proximity to the mechanics of rewriting history, Winston Smith nurses doubts about the Party and its monopoly on truth. Julia - Julia is an enthusiastic participant in the Two Minutes Hate directed against Emmanuel Goldstein. Winston Smith, a fellow worker in the Ministry of Truth, is both excited and disgusted by Julia and has fantasies of raping and then murdering her. Winston also fears that Julia is a member of the Thought Police. O'Brien - The protagonist Winston Smith, living in a dystopian society governed by the Party, feels strangely attracted to Inner Party member O'Brien. Winston suspects that O'Brien is secretly opposing the Party. Eventually O'Brien approaches Winston with some leading remarks which seem to confirm Winston's suspicions. Winston finds the courage to approach him and openly declares himself an enemy of the totalitarian state. Winston's intuition seems to be correct: O'Brien presents himself as a member of the "Brotherhood" seeking to overthrow the Party. Big Brother - Big Brother is the enigmatic dictator of Oceania. In the society that Orwell describes, everyone is under complete surveillance by the authorities. The people are constantly reminded of this by the phrase "Big Brother is watching you", which is the core "truth" of the propaganda system in this state. In the novel, it is unclear if Big Brother is a man or an image crafted by the Party. In a book supposedly written by the rebel Emmanuel Goldstein, it is stated that nobody has ever seen Big Brother. His function is to act as a focusing point for love, fear, and reverence. Emmanuel Goldstein - In the novel, Goldstein is rumored to be a former top member of the ruling Party who had broken away early in the movement and started an organization known as "The Brotherhood", dedicated to the fall of The Party.
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