“Nineteen Eighty-Four”, written by George Orwell, depicts the effects of totalitarianism and how absolute political authority can be dangerous and result into societal degradation. This paper will explain the protagonist’s struggle within the totalitarian governance of the Party and the need to escape the constraints around him.
The narrative is set in 1984, in a dystopian version of London “Airstrip One”. A life of a citizen can be watched by the government’s spies monitored on telescreens and followed by the Thought Police. A day in a life of a citizen may consist of regular bombings which becomes the norm. Streets are excessive of posters of “Big Brother is watching you”, a figure thought to be the leader of the Party. The government, known as the Party, diminishes the truth, the past and instead, allow false news and claims throughout the media, to keep the citizens “distracted”. The Party controls everything, to the point that they prohibit freedom of speech, thought and living out of instinct and love, following the slogan, “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.”
The conditions given compel Winston Smith, the main protagonist, to escape from the constraints. Wintson feels frustrated by the conditions – not being able to have sex and to express his thoughts. He feels constricted and pressured by the surveillance of the telescreen. He works in the Ministry of Truth, where he reforms the past data that fits to the Party’s approval. Despite finding mental pleasure in his job, he abominably opposes the Party. “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” (p.14), he wrote, several times in his diary.