By F. Thompson
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Additional info for 1984 (Cliffs notes)
It is a mixture of fact and fancy, disregarding any organizing Page 15 concept of time; thus, the concepts of capitalism are mixed with concepts of medieval feudalism in a kind of historical montage, but the elements of the montage are disparate and unrelated to what might today be considered reality. The lords' privilege of deflowering virgins, for instance, is attributed to capitalists of the early twentieth century by the historians of Oceania. While the concepts appear slightly insane to modern readers, they are not very distantly removed from the idea of history propounded in the Soviet Union in the late 1920s.
These are all very serious crimes in Oceania. Curiosity is a thoughtcrime, and Winston is a thoughtcriminal. He is ready now, by the confluence of circumstances, to commit the ultimate thoughtcrime. The first part of the novel comprises about one-third of the text. It sets the physical scene, the London of Oceania in 1984. It establishes the characters: the central figure is Winston Smith, a minority of one in a totalitarian state. And it sets the political scene, a state in which absolute control is exercised over the life of every individual by regulation of privacy, destruction of language, and the elimination of eroticism.
By the time of these later books he was no longer satisfied with the novel as he had written it and turned to the anti-utopian novel as the most effective means to embody his urgent purposes. Page 10 Brief Synopsis Winston Smith, who works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth, revising the past as it appears in newspapers, is dissatisfied living under the inflexible, outwardly paternalistic government of Oceania, epitomized in the ever-present picture of Big Brother. His dissatisfaction increased by the austerity characteristic of daily life, at first he rebels in small ways: writing in a diary, an act viewed with suspicion by the Thought Police; speculating about the political orthodoxy of O'Brien, an important official in the governing oligarchy; becoming unaccountably disturbed by a young woman who watches him; dreaming, over and over, of an idyllic scene in which sexual expression is as natural as the landscape.
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