1984 is a novel written in 1949 about a dystopian world. Control and domination set the tone of the book and we are ultimately met with the power struggle between Winston and his “thought crime” and the indoctrination surrounding him. Big brother is the overseer of the controversial party and presents himself as a dictator; enlisting thought police and telescreens to keep the individuals of the party in line. The only people who possess any freedom are ‘the proles’. A clear impression of Winston’s thoughts and beliefs are made when he unconsciously starts writing “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” repeatedly in his diary. Winston’s job itself is very intriguing; he essentially rewrites history by altering small facts or sometimes rewriting articles in order to coincide with the glorification of big brother and support the idea of him being an omniscient and omnipotent figure. This raises questions about the credibility of historical accounts and makes one think critically about how reliable evidence really is.
The totalitarian state presented draws similarities with the era it was written and brings tyrannical leaders such as Stalin and Hitler to mind. Big brother almost acts as an embodiment of these iconic figures through his actions and the description of his face, for example, he has a “heavy black moustache”.
The ending of the book is very powerful and resonates with the reader greatly. We see Winston submitting to big brother despite his rebellion to the regime throughout the book. This shows that even the most resilient can be beaten by the world around them and that Winston truly loses himself to big brother and the party’s ideology. FA
PS: Here is an interesting article on 1984's 42 different book covers...