1984, could this ever happen?

1984 was written by George Orwell about a grim future in which people are controlled by a party known as the brotherhood which is led by Big Brother. The background of the story is that nuclear war has ravaged the earth and three superpowers have arisen out of the rubble, Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia, all of which are at war with each other. The leading party in Oceania, where the story takes place, experts maintain its power through such techniques as “Spies”, a youth group that encourages children to report adults, including their parents, to the party officials, if they go against the party. Another technique is the “thought police”, who observe and spy on society and eliminate those who have thoughts against the party.

The party engages in many activities that people would consider inhumanly wrong. These include the changing of history with the objective of making the party look good. They also make up things it has the people believe through its telecasts, which the entire population watches. The main character is Winston, who works for the Ministry of Truth, which is an ironic name since it makes up what the people are to believe. Winston has thoughts all the time against the party, but luckily has never been caught by the “thought police”. He keeps on seeing some woman and eventually they meet and he finds out her name is Julia. They differ in their view of how best to oppose the party. He believes in a widespread rebellion while she believes in just going against the party when it is safe. Eventually, they come to follow a man named O’Brien who is the leader of an opposition party to the brotherhood. He gives the couple a book by a man named Goldstein that is against the brother hood. He reads the book but soon after is arrested by the thought police because there was a hidden camera inside his room. It turns out that O’Brien was a member “thought police” that had tricked them. Both he and Julia are taken away large cells with all the other people that have betrayed the party. Beforehand, they had pledged to never betray each other. He is tortured there and O’Brien tried to “rehabilitate” him into believing in the true power and righteousness of the party. Eventually he is half way rehabilitated and double thinks meaning he accepts the brotherhood but still prides himself in the fact he hasn’t betrayed Julia. He yells he name one night in his sleep and is then brought to the dreaded Room 101 where the worst tortures take place. Rats are strapped to people’s faces and they scream as the rats eat their faces through the eyes. At this point, he finally gives in and loves big brother. He is soon after released from the jail.

Once out he sees Julia and they discuss how the both betrayed each other. He then hears a news broadcast saying something he knows is false but he just accepts it as the truth and he feels very fond of big brother. This story shows the danger of a world in which the government has too much control. The government in the novel controls all the people eliminating their individuality and the essence of everything that makes a human a human. Though the society is efficient, it means nothing since the people cannot enjoy anything.

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The techniques used by the party have happened in different places of the world in history. Hitler changed the history books in Germany during the late twenties and thirties. Stalin and Lenin also had people executed or imprisoned if they did not agree with their ideas. This book compiles all of the worst situations that could possibly happen. Hopefully this never happens in this world.