Choosing the most important events of 1984 clearly involves the interpretation the reader; however, in selecting these the reader can look for events that have significant consequences. From this perspective, then, here are 5 events that can be considered to be the most important:
1. Winston Smith, who works for the Ministry of Truth, clandestinely purchases a diary. This in itself is forbidden, but then Winston writes the rebellious words, "Down with Big Brother"--a thought crime--and hides from the telescreen.
2. Winston begins an affair with Julia, an act that is also rebellious as promiscuity is forbidden by the government. After some time, they fall in love which each other.
3. Winston and Julia consider joining the Brotherhood, a subversive organization run by Emmanuel Goldstein (public enemy #1) who has as his main purpose the overthrow of Big Brother. They meet each other for lovemaking and conversation at a room above the store where Winston has purchased his diary, the store of Mr. Charrington. Shortly afterwards, at work O'Brien approaches Winston and asks him if he would like to join the Brotherhood, offering him Goldstein's book that contains strategies on how to destroy Big Brother.
4. Winston and Julia are arrested for their subversive activities. While they have been lovemaking and talking Mr. Charrington, a member of the Thought Police has been listening and watching. Both are separately tortured. Winston is taken to Room 101 where he is broken when his greatest fear, that of being gnawed by rats, is made real. After his terror, O'Brien works on Winston until he becomes brainwashed, agreeing, for example, that two plus two is five.
5. Winston and Julia are released. Winston, devoid of his emotions, now waits for the bullet that will kill him. He spends his evenings at the same cafe where he drinks himself into oblivion. Ironically, he meets Julia one day and they reveal that they have betrayed each other's love. But, Winston does not care; he watches the telescreen at the cafe and cries because now "the struggle is finished....He loved Big Brother."