Could humans survive living with government officials watching them through their television sets? Would sanity prevail if things like honesty and trust didn't exist? Could the world as we know it subsist living in fear? These questions haunt readers of George Orwell's "1984- from the beginning to the end of the novel. At least Orwell hopes that readers will leave 1984 accepting the possibility enough to question government and tread cautiously into the future. Orwell intends to portray Oceania just realistically enough to convince contemporary readers that such a society has, in fact, existed and could exist again if people forget the lessons taught by history, or fail to guard against tyrannical, totalitarian governments. From the moment readers meet Winston Smith, and hear the tone at which Orwell wrote, they know this isn't a book for people who need a happy ending. These two themes " despotism and doom "tie together the plot and messages in 1984.
Orwell's stated purpose dictates the major theme. He wants to warn people what can happen when governments are given too much power. He wants to show us how such governments can develop, and what methods they use to keep the people they are governing in their power. This said, he sets his story in war-torn London. Thirty to forty bombs rain down on the city per week and everywhere Winston turns reminders of the war, such as the Two Minutes Hate and billboards plastered with Party slogans, color his existence. Deprivation, another bi-product of war, hangs in the air as heavily as the horrible grime and stench created by the city's overcrowded tenements. The Party in Orwell's novel is all-powerful because it's run by a group whose major purpose is to gain and keep power. Their methods are harsh and efficient. They crush anybody who tries to commit an independent act (this includes keeping a diary or having an affair).