1984, George Orwell
Winston is the unfortunate victim of a totalitarian society gone haywire. In Oceania 1984, the Party has complete control over every aspect of its citizens’ lives. Telescreens that monitor their movements are found in every house and apartment. If a member of the Thought Police catches you so much as gritting your teeth during one of Big Brother’s speeches, it’s off to the Missionary of Love to be interrogated about your partaking in a conspiracy against the Party. It’s a time of unknowing chaos where war is peace, ignorance is strength, and freedom is slavery.
The Party avoids revolt by using an interesting technique–not giving its
citizens a reason to revolt. If the Party promises, for example, that there will be no reduction of chocolate rations and there does happen to be a reduction, they simply go back and change their original statement. This meaning they rewrite any newspaper articles, etc. that give evidence that they said there would be a reduction, and destroy all of the old copies. In this way, the Party’s predictions are always true.
So our good old friend Winston is sitting in his office one day when he starts to have–gasp!–negative thoughts about the Party and its leader, Big Brother. He buys a diary, a crime considered worthy of death by the Party, and begins to record these thoughts daily.
By chance, Winston happens to meet a fellow Party-hater, Julia. They
believe that the Brotherhood (an organization against the Party) exists and that
their co-worker O’Brien is involved with it. They meet with O’Brien and confirm that yes, indeed, he is involved with the Brotherhood. O’Brien gives them a copy of ‘The Book’; written by the Brotherhood’s leader Emanuel Goldstein about his political ideas.
Julia and Winston are secure in their involvement with the Brotherhood and
are fairly certain that the Thought Police aren’t on to them. That is, until one day when the Thought Police bust into their apartment and drag them off to the Missionary of Love.
Winston and Julia are separated, and Winston learns that his interrogator
and the person behind his getting caught is none other than O’Brien. Through a
series of torture and brainwashing, O’Brien ‘converts’; Winston to the ways of the Party and the love of Big Brother.