Summary

Part I

At the beginning of Nineteen Eighty-Four, we are introduced to Winston Smith as he is heading home from work. Winston lives in London (a city within the superstate of Oceania) in an unpleasant apartment complex. Both his apartment and the whole city are under constant surveillance by the government, who use devices called telescreens to watch and listen to everyone while also transmitting constant propaganda. We also learn that society is regulated by something known as the Thought Police.

London is dominated by four enormous buildings that house the four ministries that control society - the Ministry of Truth (where Winston works), the Ministry of Peace, the Ministry of Love and the Ministry of Plenty. The entire city is covered with posters of Big Brother, the mysterious leader of the Party which rules the entire state.

Taking advantage of a corner hidden from the telescreen, Winston begins a secret diary as an act of protest against the Party’s rule. As he writes, he recalls an incident from earlier in the day.

While the workers in Winston’s department were preparing for something called the Two Minutes Hate, Winston observed a dark-haired girl whom Winston regards with contempt and suspicion, as well as a member of the Inner Party named O’Brien, whom Winston feels mysteriously drawn to.

During the Two Minutes Hate, a video of the traitor Emmanuel Goldstein is played, carefully designed to incite people’s anger. Despite being caught up in the anger, Winston does not truly believe in this propaganda. Afterwards, he exchanges a sceptical look with O’Brien, which leads him to believe ...

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