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Room 101 or Big Brother you immediately think of the television programs but both of these names come

from a novel that is one of the most influential books of the 20th century. The book is called 1984 and was written by George Orwell in 1948. When I use the words 'room 101' or 'Big Brother' you immediately think of the television programs but both of these names come from a novel that is one of the most influential books of the 20th century. The book is called 1984 and was written by George Orwell in 1948. It is a dark prophesy of a possible future where people are under constant watch from an all powerful government. The book is set in the year 1984 in one of the 3 superpowers that now rule the world, called Ociania. In the novel, Orwell describes a totalitarian society in which a government, referred to as the Party, has complete control over the people. The supreme ruler of the Party is known as Big Brother. Big Brother is never seen, he is simply a figure head for the party, he sees all and knows all and many people see him as a omnipotent god. Posters announce that "Big Brother is Watching You". Telescreens, which can not be turned off, drone endlessly with brainwashing propaganda about wondrous government programs and policies. Coins, stamps, books, films, proclaim the three slogans of the Party: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery and Ignorance is Strength. Police Patrol helicopters dart among the roofs of the buildings, allowing police to snoop in people's windows. As frightening as the Police Patrols are, the government agents most feared by the people are the Thought Police. The telescreens not only transmit government propaganda, they also transmit back to the Thought Police both sounds and pictures from inside the homes of people. People live by rigid schedules dictated by the Thought Police. Loud alarms are transmitted from the telescreens to announce when people should be doing the tasks that were specified by the Party, such as their daily exercises. The book follows the life of Winston Smith, the reluctant hero and his private battle against the party. He works in one of the four Ministries that control the population, the Ministry of Truth - which deals with propaganda and lies. The Ministry of Peace - which deals with war, The Ministry of Plenty which deals with rationing, and the Ministry of Love - which deals with Law, Justice and Punishment. Winston begins to realise that things are not right, and that live was better when he was a child, before the party came to power. He wants to make a stand against it, he knows any physical rebellion would be crushed so he begins to rebel privately by writing a diary, he meets a young woman called Julia they fall in love and carry on a dangerous affair that

could get them both killed as the party wish to abolish all love and emotion except to Big Brother. They hire a room in one of the poorer districts of the city where the lower class workers are kept, the working class or 'proles' are not under surveillance of the party as they are considered too stupid to be able to revolt. Thinking that they are safe, Winston and Julia carry on their relationship, they meet a man called O'Brian, a member of the higher ranks of the party, who introduces them to a secret organisation that is working to bring down the government. They are given a special book that outlines the world they really live in and exposes the evils of the party. During one of their meetings in the room they are betrayed by the shop owner and are captured and taken away to the 'Ministry of Love' where the thought police deal out justice and execute criminals. Winston and Julia are separated and Winston is put under torture, in a plot twist we find out that O'Brian, who they trusted was really an agent of the thought police. O'Brian tortures Winston and gets him to confess everything - all his ideas and beliefs, he says that Winston must be cured of 'improper thought' and so the tourture continues. In the end Winston thinks he is free, he has been beaten starved, beaten and humiliated. He thinks he has survived the torture because he has not betrayed his love for Julia but, O'Brian knows this and sends him to the dreaded Room 101. Winston asks O'Brian whats in Room 101, 'everyone knows whats in room 101' he replys. Room 101 is different for everbody because in it you are subjected to your worse fear, Winstons fear is rats. Obrian ties Winston in a chair and allows hungry rats to nearly crawl over his face Winston cannot stand it and finally gives in, and betrays Julia. After room 101 winston is a shell of his former self, all his ideas and rebelliousness has been crushed out of him, he is now the complete and utter slave of the party. The author, Eric Arthur Blair wrote under the assumed-name George Orwell, he was born into an upper middle class family and forced to attend Eton College. It was here that he developed his socialist political stance. After college he lived life for two years as a travelling vagrant, it was in these years that he wrote his first book 'Down and out in Paris and London' this study into the working class poor of major cities reinforced his belife in socialism even more. In 1936 he moved to Spain and joined the revolutionary army of the Spanish Communist Party and fought for them in the civil war that had just broken out. When Stalin-backed half of the party turned on Orwell's part of the party he saw that horrors of a totalitarian state such as Stalins. From then on he hated Stalinist-Communism and any other form of Totalitarianism. He began making notes for what would one day become the book 1984.

In the Book, Orwell relys heavily on parts of real life history such as the 'Junior Spies' which is similar to the Hitler Youth and the 5 years plans which are very similar to the plans arranged by the communists. Two film versions have been made of the book, one in 1956 and the other (completely by coincidence) in the actual year 1984. 1984 is an insight into a terrible possible-future, it is complex in its ideas but its wording is very pain and simple to understand. George Orwell wrote it not only to warn the politicians and rulers of the time but also for the people. It appeals to me because it is very thought provoking. As we have been reminded so often in the media, Britain has the most security cameras in the world, this means that in a single day the average city worker is recorded on no less than 23 different CCTV cameras. This is the most obvious way we are being spied upon but there are others, every time you use a credit card or club card your information is being sent to major companies who monitor our shopping habits and lifestyles. One of the greatest dangers of these is that they could be turned against us and used by someone to constantly observe our every action and move. Much like the world of Big Brother and the Thought Police.