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Winston Smith knows there is something wrong with the world. Surely it hasn’t always been tasteless food, gray, stringy clothing, a dispiriting job, and always the same fear and suspicion of everyone around you? But if life did used to be different, how does he know it was? What makes him question Big Brother, who is always watching, and the Party, who is always right? Why does he instinctually avoid the all-knowing tele-screen, and secretly abhor the Two Minute Hate that everyone else revels in?
These are the questions that plague Winston’s mind constantly. He knows he’s different, but doesn’t know why, and doesn’t know how to find out without detection. The world as he knows it is filled with hate, anger, and fear, but deep down he longs for answers, and for beauty. He’s always wondering about the past, and whether the facts that Big Brother comes out with daily are the truth, or nothing but lies. The past is constantly being rewritten by the Party, and it’s Winston’s job to help change the facts to suit the current day’s needs. He both loves and is horrified by his job but sees nothing he can do about it.
Winston can’t take the monotony anymore and one day starts a very small rebellion of his own by starting a diary, which is forbidden (and punishable by death). A chance meeting with a dark haired girl at the Ministry where he works slowly leads to an illicit affair, which awakens feelings in him he never knew existed. He is filled with love and lust for Julia, and their passionate romance awakens another feeling- all out rebellion against the party. They meet secretly as often as they can, talking about the world and making love in secret rooms. To Winston, it’s paradise.
Another chance meeting leads him to O’Brian, an Inner Party member he believes to be associated with a conspiracy against the Party, part of a secret society known only as the Brotherhood. He and Julia immediately join, and promise to do whatever they can to help the Brotherhood. O’Brian promises them that nothing will ever happen in their lifetime, and their service with the Brotherhood will most certainly lead to torture and death by the Party. This doesn’t bother them in the slightest.youp
It doesn’t take them long to get caught, however (betrayed, ultimately, by a kindly shopkeeper they trusted, who turns out to be a member of the Thought Police), and they’re both taken to the Ministry of Love for torture and interrogation.
Winston is held there for months, getting tortured by O’Brian himself, who turns out to be a member of the Party. He holds out against him and his brainwashing for a long time, but in the end he betrays Julia, and himself. He submits to their brainwashing and learns to love Big Brother, and Big Brother only. He has no individualism, no thoughts that are not approved by the party, and no love for his fellow man. He is released from his prison, considered a “perfect specimen” by the Party and safe for society.


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