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Lesson 1

Nineteen eighty-four  by George Orwell written in 1948

The story

Britain is governed by a totalitarian dictatorship and its leader is BIG BROTHER. Nobody can see him, but Big Brother can watch every street and building of Britain from big posters. Everyone is constantly observed by video cameras and microphones. There is no privacy, and children are encouraged to denounce their families.

Society is divided between members of the Party. The party is divided between Outer Party, the majority of members and the powerful Inner Party, whose members are unknown.
The party controls and manipulates people’s minds through the Ministry of Truth.
The Ministry of Truth has two functions: it rewrites history by rewriting books and newspapers, adapting them to the political needs of the moment, so it will be impossible to think and react against the Party.

The main character of the novel is Winston Smith, a writer who works for the Ministry of Truth and who can’t share the fanaticism of the other members of the Party. One day he starts to keep a diary, but this decision changes his life. Now he tries to understand what is really happening in the world apart from what the Party says.
He meets Julia, a young girl, with whom he starts a relation that is illegal: they make love- sex is forbidden between members of the Party because it is a natural instinct  and he collects old furnitures  this too is forbidden because it shows an appreciation of the past.

When their relationship is discovered both Winston and Julia are subjected to “rehabilitation treatment”, a programme of mental and physical torture. At the end of the treatment they are destroyed in body and soul; Winston is an automaton, with no will or emotion of his own. He can only stare dumbly at Big Brother and adore him with all his being.

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