Boekverslag : George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-four / 1984
De taal ervan is Engels en het aantal woorden bedraagt 1487 woorden.

Title: Nineteen Eighty-Four

Author: George Orwell

Publisher: Wolters-Noordhoff BV, Groningen

Jaar mijn uitgave: 1998

Jaar 1e uitgave: 1949

Pages: 303

It is the year 1984 and Winston Smith, a citizen of London, works at the Ministry of Truth. The Party, the Party of Big Brother, rules Oceania. He is a fictive person who’s face is on millions of posters, wich are everywhere and wich seem to be constantly watching you. Winston works at the Records Dept., where he has to change newspapers and other paperwork, so they can be used as evidence for what the Party says: he alters the past. Inside himself he hates this idiotic system of deception. One day he buys a book and a pen and start keeping a diary, wich is strictly forbidden, because it’s thought-crime. The Thought Police has been founded to prevent other Party Members from committing crimes. They do this using telescreens, tv’s wich also transmit from the recipient. Winston hides himself to write the diary in the only ‘safe’ spot from the tv, his bedroom. At work, Winston meets a girl named Julia, of wich he first thought that she was a member of the Thought Police. Later he discovers she is also a rebel against the Party. They’re meetings happen in a place where there are no telescreens, in the proletarian area, in a room above the shop where he bought his diary. One day, when they wake up in the little room, a picture falls from the wall and they discover there was a telescreen behind it. Thought Police agent rush in and beat them up (they’ve heard all their conversations of hate against BB). Julia and Winston are arrested separately and brought to different places. Winston gets tortured in an awful way, to be reintegrated in society as a follower of BB (that’s what they do with almost all prisoners). He resists with all his physical and mental power, but at the end his body screams for mercy and his brain is entirely messed up, so he gives up.

He betrays Julia, and that was the ultimate betrayal of her and himself and he is immediately released. He founds out that he loves Big Brother, there is NO escape.

De verandering van Winston

Winston: He is at first a person with hate against Big Brother, but he is far too afraid to express any of these feelings, because he lives in a totalitarian state. He starts his little rebellion by committing thought-crime: he buys an agenda in wich he writes down sketchy notes that express in a vague way his feelings of hate against BB. When he meets Julia, his personality undergoes a mutation, he gains a lot of courage. This because he admires Julia, for her mental strength, her courage, her corruption (against the Party rules), her practical cunning.

He is very happy after het met her, because he finds out, to his great relief, that he is not the only ‘human being’ left in Oceania with real feelings, a memory, and an individual character.

That was his greatest fear, because he knew that if it was so, there was no way out for him. In the end tho, even if there are two of them, the don’t manage to accomplish any resistance of any kind against the Party, except their love for each other.

I didn’t find a second character wich changed even a bit, so therefor I described only Winston.

Opdracht gekozen: Verander het einde

I write from the moment in wich O’Brien puts the mask with the rats around his face:

“No, you can’t”,Winston shouted, “people only surrender to you because they THINK they will die, but it is not so, I’m sure. You kill them mentally, by facing them with they’re most inner fear, so that they confess and betray anything and everybody to avoid this, what they think is death. But only afterwards you kill them physically. It is not the right time to physically kill me yet, you know that, I know that.” O’Brien went crazy, he shouted, he cursed Winston. He couldn’t believe he did not succeed in brainwashing Winston, to put him in the ‘herd’ of BB.

Suddenly, Winston felt that he was falling far away, far from the rats, far from the Ministry of Love, far from Oceania. It was like a beautiful dream: he had a vision of himself walking through the streets of London, with a smile on in face like he never had on his face, even not when he was a baby, marching hand in hand with Julia. O God, he was so happy that he didn’t also betray her. Thru the crowd they went, cheered and acclaimed by it. Everybody threw beautiful bouquet’s of flowers to ‘em, cried they’re endless devote and debt to them. He couldn’t believe it, they had saved the world and defeated BB and it’s Party. Freedom was no slavery anymore.

An acute pain brought him back into reality: he found himself at home in his apartment screaming out all the pain physical and mental pain inflicted to him by O’Brien. It was a horrible sight: he was holding his head between his arm and was making schizophrenic movements in all directions, like if he was insane, and crying out his pain and sorrow. Between the countless tears that rolled down his cheeks there were also lot’s of tears of joy. An indescribable feeling of happiness took a hold on him: he had resisted with all his strength in his body and soul to the will imposed by the iron fist by wich BB ruled Oceania, he was the only human being left capable enough to do that. He was proud of himself and happy for everybody. He cried during two hours without a single ‘pause’.

All his mental strength had instantly returned in him, but was more than double than on it’s best moment. He felt that now he was capable of sharing all the knowledge he had about the real things that were happening in the society. For example the prisons, why the society created by the Party was absolutely wrong and what the results of this totalitarianism according to him are. He couldn’t care less if they’d shot him: at least he would have died knowing he had done any possible thing to bring back the real sense of being human into the people and that he had kept, and gained honor as a human being, wich were two main objectives for him.

He ran off to the Ministry of Love, stole a megaphone from the Anti-Sex League used for their processions and again ran off to Victory Square, the most crowded place in London and climbed on top of a statue of BB. All the people with their expressionless faces seemed for once to have some interest in life and, seeing what Winston was doing, they gathered around the statue. “People, listen to me!”, he yelled thru the megaphone, “you’re lives are made out of fear, with no emotions whatsoever, all you’re told are lies...” and he went on squeezing all his emotions and vocal power thru the megaphone, all his experience, his pain and sorrow in this life. Many people where interested in the speech, but as soon as Winston started blaming the BB and it’s Party for the misery of this life, many people ran away, remembering to be watched by the giant telescreens on the Square wich could mean their vaporization.

Once again fear overwhelmed courage, and the whole crowd ran off, mostly also because lot’s of Thought agents arrived and pushed them away. It was the greatest chaos ever. After they were all at the borders off the square they halted and looked at the scene.

An incredible silence came down on the Square. Even the agents did not dare to move for a while. Suddenly one of them ran towards the huge statue and pointed the gun towards Winston: “Traitor!”, he shouted. He shot precisely and hit Winston right into the heart: he fell a long long way down.

During the fall thou Winston hart already failed to continue, not because of the bullet, but of the sorrow inside him. People only talked about it the day afterwards, but then seemed to have forgotten it, like the rest of all events. The individual had lost.

I choose for such an ending because I couldn’t bare how the book really ended: he should have achieved something, even only a ‘personal’ victory.

I know the book is written as aim to criticize the totallitarism and therefor the end is ‘justified’, but as it is also a roman, it should end a little different, with Winston that has a possibility to do ‘it’. Of course as a ‘political thriller’ (as it is described at the back of the book) the bad must in this case win.
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