How "1984" Relates to 20th Century European History Essay

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The book 1984 describes a future society in which Winston Smith lives as a member of the Outer Party, the organization which rules the state of Oceania, where Winston lives. The year 1984 is an arbitrary year, since Winston cannot be sure of the past or present, due to the fact that the Party and Big Brother are in the continuous process of manufacturing history, much like revisionists, in order to control the minds and the memories of the citizens of Oceania. Orwell describes the citizens in Oceania as "cut off from contact with the outer world, and with the past, the citizen of Oceania is like a man in interstellar space, who has no way of knowing which direction is up and which is down" (164). Winston eventually falls in love with a …show more content…
The proletarians in 1984 are called "proles." The Revolution was led by intellectuals; the peasants did not care about the ideals of the Revolution. They were only concerned with having food on the table, and land on which to live. Ultimately the Revolution was betrayed, and became a totalitarian state led by Stalin. Did the Communists in 1917, when the intellectuals seized the power for the ultimate good of the peasants, really have the best interests of the peasants at heart? The main opponent of Stalin, who had stated that the Revolution had been betrayed was Trotsky, who has a counterpart in the book 1984 in the person of Emmanuel Goldstein, who is the enemy of the state which Big Brother rules over, and is supposedly the author of the book, "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism," which Winston obtains from O'Brien and is reading at the time of his and Julia's capture by Big Brother. Goldstein was a member of the original Revolution, but broke off from his fellow revolutionaries, and is now seen as a traitor by them. The book explains to Winston how the modern society came into being, and how the Party maintains power, but the question of why the Party, or system, is in place is later explained by O'Brien during torture sessions. The book 1984 is about the use of power by and the need for power of totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century. O'Brien compares the power of the Party to the power…

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