1984 was written in 1949 to warn readers about what could happen if totalitarian leaders like Hitler or Stalin, were allowed to take control of the world. He set the book in England to show that people like that could take control anywhere, even in seemingly advanced and democratic societies. In the book, the main character Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth, where historical records are modified to fit the needs of the Party. Everywhere he goes the Party watches and listens to everything he says and does. Winston had doubts about the party and was troubled by how they were changing history. He decided to illegally purchase a diary to write all of his dangerous thoughts in. In Oceania having negative thoughts about the Party was considered a crime.
As a matter of fact, “thoughtcrime” as they called it, was the worst crime to commit. Winston is intrigued by a man named O’Brien, who he believes to be a part of The Brotherhood. The brotherhood is an underground society whose goal is to bring down the Party. Winston’s co-worker named Julia confesses to loving him, even though she wears a red bandana that symbolizes devotion to chastity. They have to keep their affair a secret because in Oceania the Party has to approve couples, and sex is only allowed for the purpose of creating children that will grow up to serve the party.
One day Winston receives a letter from O’Brien saying that he wants to meet. O’Brien lures Winston and Julia into a trap to make them commit a crime against the Party, to which they are arrested and torn apart from each other. Winston is brought to the very feared Ministry of Love where he is brainwashed and endlessly tortured until he is faced with his greatest fear. He pleas for the torture to stop and for them to torture Julia instead.
He has been completely broken down and has surrendered to the Party. He is freed but no longer loves her.