The novel takes place in London, which is the power base of the Party in Oceania. The Party is very corrupt and is in control of absolutely everything. The mysterious leader of the Party is Big Brother. The Party is oppressing the people, and even some thoughts are illegal to have. Individuality and freedom is nonexistent. Advanced technology makes freedom impossible. The main character, Winston Smith, does not like the Party and he secretly harbors very rebellious thoughts about it. He buys a diary to write his "criminal" ideas about the Party and how things should be down. This is the worst crime someone in the Party can commit. While working at his post in the Ministry of Truth, Winston becomes connected to O'Brien, a higher ranking Party member. Winston believes that O'Brien is a member of the Brotherhood that intends to destroy the Party. He also meets a girl named Julia and they have an illegal affair. Love is not allowed in the Party. The only people free of this are the proles, who are not closely watched by the Party. O'Brien pretends to be in the Brotherhood, and gives Winston and Julia a copy of Emmanuel Goldstein's book. This book shows a different way of life, and Winston longs to help make it exist. Unfortunately, O'Brien is a member of the thought police, and he just set them up. Both he and Julia are brainwashed. Winston betrays Julia to avoid torture; his will is gone, and he no longer feels love for Julia. He is released and loves the Party and Big Brother. He accepts the way things are and no longer has any real thoughts.
1. Why is it wrong for a government to use technology to spy on it's citizens? Are there times when it is acceptable?
2. If you were in Winston's position and about to be tortured, would you betray the person you loved?
3. 1984 is a political novel that aims to show readers the dangers that totalitarianism presents. What are some of these dangers, and is it important today to know them?