Big Brother Is
1984 was written by George Orwell in the year 1948, 36 years before the year in which the novel takes place. It is a dark look at an imaginary future of government surveillance, world wars and total government control over its citizens.
1984 tells the story of Winston Smith. He is a man who is living in what was once England, but is now a totalitarian world ruled by Big Brother. Everyone is constantly being watched, and has a very strict schedule.
Winston’s job is to rewrite history. He works in the records department of the Ministry of Truth a place in which the government can rewrite the parts of history they wish to hide. During his breaks he has limited chances to socialize with others. He is required to participate in mandatory exercise activities and Two Minutes of Hate sessions in which citizens gather to express their hate against Big Brother’s enemies.
Winston knows that it isn’t right, but can’t do anything about it, because even to have a bad thought against Big Brother is a thought crime.
Writing his thoughts and ideas in a notebook is also a crime and Winston knows he could be punished for it, but he does so anyway. The more he writes down the more he begins to understand and remember.
But, how much can he really ever understand in a society run by Big Brother?