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The Image of the Distopia in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four

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Written in 1948 and published a year after, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is a novel whose subject deals primarily with the concept of an oligarchical, collectivist society. The plot is set in a distopian future where Britain - no longer known by its name but as Airstrip One - is a province of the superpower known as Oceania. The other two superpowers are said to be Eurasia and Eastasia, with which Oceania is constantly either at war or at peace.

The story is centered in London, the capital city where everything, and especially everyone, is under the control of a totalitarian figure known as Big Brother. It is a world where constant surveillance and mind control. The Party and its four ministries are the major authorities.

The society is divided into three classes: the Inner Party (upper class), the Outer Party (mid-class) and the Proles (low class) who make the majority of population, although the Party's propaganda talks about prosperity and equality; they shouldn't exist. The way Big Brother's government controls these society classes is through its ministries: Ministry of Love (Miniluv) which deals with doing "justice", Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) which controls information, Ministry of Peace (Minipax) which gives reports about the war and Ministry of Plenty (Miniplenty) which rations food and other goods.

The world of Nineteen Eighty-Four is a world of lies, fear and control. Everyone, especially the members of the Outer Party, is under surveillance through telescreens that are placed in every house, shop or street corner and which can transmit and record at the same time. Small microphones are installed where telescreens are too hard to place, for example in the forest. These methods are said to be ways of protecting the population, but it is the other way round. If anyone is suspected of saying or expressing something disturbing about the Party or Big Brother, he or she is immediately taken to the Ministry of Love, tortured and "reeducated" through brainwashing. If the prisoner is not submissive enough, it is taken to Room 101 where it is faced with his worst fear. In this way, the Party manages to control even how and what a person thinks: as long as the Party says it's true, it is true, even though a normal person would never agree that 2+2=5, as stated at some time in the narrative.

The population is educated to hate whatever is declared an enemy by the Party. This occurs during the so-called "Two-Minutes Hate" program and the "Hate Week" when prisoners of war are killed in front of the crowd, the rumored rebel Arthur Goldstein is shout at over and over again, and at the end Big Brother is praised and thanked for the apparent well-being of all the citizens.

The standard of living is extremely low. Almost every item is rationalized and of poor quality. Half of the population is said to be bare-footed, although the reports on the telescreens say that the boot production has increased. Also, they make the chocolate ration even smaller than it was, but state that it had increased with 30%. Every correspondence between Party members is opened and read, they are not allowed to keep a diary because this implies "doublethinking",



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