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Barron's Booknotes-1984 by George Orwell-Free Book Notes
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As he writes, Winston broods on his day at work. Who is the dark-haired girl, and why is she following him? What was O'Brien, the burly, urbane and powerful Inner Party member, doing in their sector during the Two Minutes' Hate today? Everybody in the section was taking out pent-up emotions on Emmanuel Goldstein, the rebel leader on the telescreen when Winston found himself distracted. (The Party uses Goldstein to focus members' hatred. Like the Nazis, the Party whips up anti- Jewish sentiment-Goldstein is a Jewish name-along with hatred for the superpower they're currently at war with. When everybody's hatred is at a high pitch, the Party channels this hatred into love for Big Brother.)

NOTE:

The parts of the government of Oceania are:

Minitrue, the Ministry of Truth, or propaganda arm.

This is where Winston works.

Minipax, the Ministry of Peace, which makes war.

Miniplenty, the Ministry of Plenty, which arranges shortages.

Miniluv, the hated and feared Ministry of Love, the center of secret Party activities. When he is captured, Winston will find out what happens here.

Today Winston was distracted by the nearness of the dark- haired girl, whom he hates because he wants her but knows he can't have her. Worse yet, in the few seconds before the Two Minutes' Hate wrought its inevitable magic and everybody present loved Big Brother, Winston hated Big Brother. He was even more excited because he caught O'Brien looking at him. "It was as though their two minds had opened and the thoughts were flowing one into the other through their eyes." He thinks O'Brien may be part of the Brotherhood pledged to overthrow Big Brother. Some readers believe Winston's real love affair in 1984 is with O'Brien. Watch them together in scenes to come and see what you think.


In a unique mixture of sex and politics, the Party channels sexual frustration to its own purposes. In Winston this channeling misfires. Lust and politics get all mixed up with the dark-haired girl, because, he now realizes, it's the Party's fault that he can't have her. He looks down and finds to his horror that he has been writing, over and over: DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER. He has committed the unforgivable- Thoughtcrime, as it's called in Newspeak. He knows his action will lead to capture and punishment. Thought Police will drag him away in the middle of the night (just the way Nazis in World War II took people to concentration camps). He will end up in the mysterious Ministry of Love, where terrible things happen to people who oppose Big Brother. He will be vaporized.

There is a knock at the door. Winston fears the worst.

NOTE: ON NEWSPEAK

In an Appendix at the end of the novel, Orwell describes Newspeak. It's the official language of Oceania, made to meet the needs of INGSOC, or English Socialism. When it becomes universal, Orwell tells us, nobody will be able to commit unwanted acts or think bad thoughts because actions and thoughts cannot exist without language to describe or define them. Example: "Free" will mean "without." A cat will be "free" of ticks, but people will no longer hanker for "freedom." Things will be "ungood" or "double plus ungood," but never bad. Orwell is playing with both words and politics. He asks us to believe that language affects life. You may disagree, but for the purposes of his story, Orwell asks us to believe that limiting vocabulary limits thought and action.

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