1. Title: 1984
2. Author: George Orwell
3. Date Published: June 8, 1949
4. Literary Period: Modernism, which spanned from the early 20th century to around the mid-1960s. This was a period were experimentation and individualism were encouraged as it was marked by sudden and unexpected breaks from traditional ways, due to the cultural shock in the early 20th century.
5. Important Terms:
a. Dystopia: an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.
b. Literary Modernism: literary period characterized by a very self-conscious break with traditional ways of writing, in both poetry and prose fiction.
c. Hamlet: A tradegy by William Shakespeare that dramatizes the revenge of Prince Hamlet on his uncle, Claudius, by the ghost of his father.
a. Winston Smith: The book is told through the experiences of Winston as he goes about his day. Throughout the book he tends to rebel against the Party by not submitting to the constraint of his individuality, would often do illegal things like keeping a diary and has an affair with Julia, as Winston starts with a passionate hatred for the Party. He hopes to join the rebellion, the Brotherhood, against the party but is eventually betrayed and conditioned by the Party.
b. Julia: A fellow rebel against the Party and a romantic interest for Winston. Since she shares the same hatred for the Party naturally they spend a lot of time together. But her rebellion is more of private rebellion, having illegal affairs with party members or just general illegal things, and doesn’t believe in organized rebellion like the brotherhood. Much like Winston she is also captured and conditioned by the end of the book.
a. O’Brien: A powerful and corrupt member of the Inner Party who eventually tricks Winston. Using his power O’Brien convinces Winston that he is a part of the Brotherhood, even giving him an illegal book, which eventually leads Winston to getting him self arrested and tortured. O’Brien is also present throughout the seven years of Winston’s imprisonment, torturing Winston every time he shows up.
b. Mr. Charrington: A perceived old man who owns a junk shop that eventually gain’s Winston and Julia’s trust. Winston would often use a private room which he has for his secret meetings with Julia. It is eventually revealed that Mr. Charrington too is a part of the Though Police, which leads to Julia and Winston’s arrest.
3. Parallel Character(s): N/A, I didn’t think there was anything.
4. Foil Character(s):
a. Julia to Winston: Both characters share a hatred for the Party, but whereas Winston is more concerned with a unified and large-scale uprising, like the Brotherhood, Julia is pleased with the way that she rebels privately against the party. Winston also is more ambitious with his rebellion and tries to look for the bigger rebellion, taking risks like trusting O’Brien, whilst Julia is more of a survivalist and portrays her self as a good party member when watched, being a part of the Anti-sex league, but rebelling when not, having sex regularly. Despite Julia not being the usual foil, as she is his love interest, by having her more realistic views on how the party can’t really be taken down, it often helps reveal the flaws in Winston’s thinking and actions.
5. Important Changes:
a. Winston: After his arrest by the Thought Police and seven years of torture his character is significantly changed from what it was in the beginning of the book due to his conditioning. In the beginning Winston is shown as a character that goes against the Party as he doesn’t conform to society and wishes to overthrow the Party. He actively rebels against the party though doing illegal activities like buying and keeping a journal and having an affair with Julia. After he is captured by the Though Police and tortured, which eventually brings him to room 101 where he chooses to betray Julia to save himself. After all the conditioning and being broken by the O’Brien Winston is released. His characteristics afterwards differ greatly as now Winston leads a life of conformity and acceptance of the Party and its power over him. He has lost his individuality and any temptations or thoughts on wanting to rebel against the Party.
a. Man vs. Society (Winston vs. Party): The central conflict in the novel is Winston against Big Brother/the Party. Throughout the majority of the book Winston is rebelling against the dystopian future society that the Party has created through manipulation. It is evident that the Party not only wants to control what the people do and see but also how they feel and what the think. This thereby allows them to control the conformist population and thereby the society. And since Winston wishes to not live in a society in which he is controlled and begins to think for himself, he is acting against the Party and therefor the society.
a. The climax occurs when Winston and Julia are arrested by the Though Police in their private room above the shop. It is revealed that not only was Mr. Charrington a loyal member of the Party, but he is also a part of the Thought police and has been monitoring them through the television hidden behind the painting.