Special Commissioned Entry on George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four
See also Animal Farm Criticism and George Orwell Criticism.
The following chronology offers an overview of the key events as they occur in Nineteen Eighty-Four:
1944/1945: Winston Smith is born.
1950s: The Revolution takes place in Oceania. War between Oceania and other powers culminates in the dropping of atomic bombs, mainly upon continental Europe and North America. At least one falls upon Colchester in eastern England. After this, the superpowers wage a permanent “phony” war to prevent total destruction and to maintain power in their respective territories.
1955/1956: Winston's mother and baby sister disappear.
1958: Julia is born.
Mid-1960s: Widespread purges remove most of Oceania's original revolutionary leaders, including Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford.
1970: Big Brother is established as the sole leader of Oceania.
1973: Winston and Katharine are married but soon separate.
1973: Winston accidentally receives evidence of a “true” event, concerning the purges of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford, but destroys it out of fear.
1977: O'Brien first speaks to Winston: “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.”
1980: Oceania ends its declared war with Eastasia and begins “war” against Eurasia.
1981: Winston picks up a prostitute and, despite his revulsion, has sex with her. The episode is so traumatic that he unsuccessfully tries to purge it by recording it in his diary three years later.
April 4, 1984: Winston begins his diary.
April 1984: Winston and Julia begin their sexual relationship.
May 1984: Winston and Julia's relationship haltingly proceeds because of the difficulty of meeting.
June 1984: Winston rents the room above Mr. Charrington's shop, where he and Julia meet more frequently
Summer 1984: O'Brien makes contact with Winston and then meets Winston and Julia to discuss the revolution of “The Brotherhood.” He arranges for Winston to receive Emmanuel Goldstein's manifesto.
Summer 1984: Hate Week is held. On the sixth day, it is suddenly announced that Oceania is at war with Eastasia rather than Eurasia.
Summer 1984: With Julia in the room above Mr. Charrington's shop, Winston reads the Goldstein manifesto. Minutes later, he and Julia are arrested and taken to the Ministry of Love for torture, “confession,” and re-education.