Nineteen Eighty-four is a novel by the English author George Orwell published in 1949 as a warning against totalitarianism. Orwell’s dystopia had a strong impact on fictional culture, and this result achieved by very few books . Concepts such as newspeak, Big Brother (the all-powerful State), the Thought Police, and Room 101 (the novel’s torture chamber in the “Ministry of Love”) made a powerful change in the English vocabulary.
The story is set in 1984, in a chilling dystopian reality and the world is dominated by 3 totalitarian states: Oceania (composed of the Americas, the British Isles called "Airstrip One" in the novel, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, and Southern Africa below the River Congo), East-Asia (China and Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.), Eurasia.
The main character is Winston Smith, a humble man who works in London (which is now located in Oceania). He is an ordinary guy whose job is to rewrite history in order to bring it in line with political thinking. The atmosphere is really sinister: every single person is brainwashed into obedience, worshipping "The Big Brother". The Brotherhood is a secret organization whose purpose is to defeat the current government. Smith is not sure whether this group exists or not, but he eventually decides to rebel against Big Brother. He has a forbidden affair with a girl who works with him in the Ministry of Truth (which is, of course, something strictly forbidden by the rules because it can cause deviant thought) and they join The Brotherhood together. They are soon found out and punished in Room 101, the torture chamber inside the Ministry of Love. They both are tortured, brainwashed and then forced into cheating on their partners. The torture is meant to completely destroy their humanity and dignity. The novel sadly ends with an indifferent Smith, who feels "happy" and satisfied worshipping The Big Brother.
The most amazing aspect of this novel is how relevant it is, even after a long time since it was first published. Winston is the hero of this story because, even if he lost, he rebelled and tried his best against the government. He represents the values of civilization, and his defeat is still relevant because it is the symbol of how the oppressing power of all-powerful States can make you more vulnerable.