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1984 By George Orwell (Quote/Analysis Table)

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Quote
Technique/Literary
Devices
Explanation
Analysis
Notes
“…the world looked cold”
“though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue,
there seemed to be no colour in anything”
Descriptive imagery
Connotations
Creates a depressing atmosphere
No matter what happens, life is always bleak and a
despair due to the totalitarian government
“cold, harsh,” words of darkness and despair
• Within an oppressed society, civilians are
subjugated to harsh treatment, inextricably
conveyed through the dystopic overtones
of the novel (Part One Chapter One).
• Emphasises the motif of ‘urban decay’,
therefore Orwell constructs Oceania as a
continent in which harsh conditions
prevail.
It evokes a negative tone, reflecting the cultural
anxieties surrounding the imposition of harmful
circumstances by the ‘outsider’
“The black-moustachio’d face gazed down from every
commanding corner”
Allusion to Stalin and
Hitler (moustache)
“overfulfilment of the Ninth Three Year Plan”
Allusion to Stalin’s 5
year plans
Orwell conveys the despotism of totalitarian
regimes, similar to the ones occurring in Soviet
Russia
“a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered Imagery
for an instant like a bluebottle”
simile
Bluebottles are ugly threatening looking flies
“Your worst enemy, he reflects, was your own nervous
system. At any moment, the tension inside you was
liable to translate itself into some visible symptom”
Point: Sense of individuality & humanity
diminishes in the wake of contextual atrocities
• Appeals to the responder as the tone
becomes confronting and engaging on a
personal level.
• The individual struggles internally, where
the fear of abnormality, effectively,
incapacitates them.
Complements the motif of surveillance within the
novel as the unrestrained use of telescreens,
reduces a sense of privacy
Change
In
Narrative
Perspective
Page 1 of 134
“All one knew was that every quarter, astronomical
numbers of boots could be produced, whilst half the
population of Oceania went barefoot”
Irony
Satire
•
•
•
•
Allows him to criticise the flaws of such
barbaric regimes and it accentuates the
deceptive nature of Ingsoc.
Clearly, civilians and records are
manipulated to help the party meets its
own ends.
This contributes to the overall sense of
disorientation within the novel, whereby
the psychological strain highlights the
insidious corruption of the mind.
The dichotomies within novel are
indicative of Orwell’s concern of the rise
of authoritarian governments, based on the
implications of WW2 with Stalinism and
Nazism in particular.
“there was…no way of knowing whether you were
being watched at any given moment”
Symbolism of loss of
privacy
This conveys the control and lack of individuality
in society
“…every sound you made was overheard…every
moment scrutinized”
Imagery
Satirical
Allusion to totalitarian
regimes
Imagery of control and repression
The change to second person creates a more
confronting tone, as shows Orwell values freedom
and individuality
Repetition and anaphoraof “every”
“BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”
“WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”
Capitalisation
Ironic
Axioms
The capitalisation highlights the confronting and
demeaning nature of these slogans
It is ironic as they have the complete opposite
meaning
These are axioms
“At this moment the entire group of people broke into a
deep, slow, rhythmical chant of 'B-B!...B-B!'-over and over again, very slowly…”
Satire
Repetition
Diction/Connotation
Repetition of “over and over” symbolises the lack
of individuality as the “entire group of people”
chants “BB” This symbolises the loss of
individuality and robotic nature of these people
'You're a traitor!' yelled the boy. 'You're a
thoughtcriminal!
You're a Eurasian spy! I'll shoot you”
Dialogue
Tone of rage
Anaphora (you’re)
Repetition of You’re (anaphora) creates a
confronting atmosphere and shows the extent to
which children are affected by these totalitarian
regime
Page 2 of 134
“’Why can’t we go and see the hanging?”
Satire
Kid wants to see the death of a criminal live.
“Even from the coin the eyes pursued you. On coins, on
stamps, on the covers of books…everywhere”
Anaphora of “on”
Repetition
This conveys the extent to which people are
oppressed and controlled
“then the lie passed into history and became truth. Who
controls the past…controls the future: who controls the
present controls the past”
Satire
Irony
Parallelism (through
anaphora of “who” and
repetition of “past,
present)
Demonstrates the control of the government
The manipulation of information is also conveyed
Emphasises the deceptive nature of Ingsoc as they
fabricate material to align with party ideals. Has a
threatening ambience in a contemporary society as
well-falsification of evidence to strengthen a
‘perceived’ political hegemony in the world.
“This process of continuous alteration was applied not
only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals,
pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks,
cartoons, photographs”
Aphorism
Satire
Asyndeton
The list creates a fast-paced effect, the reader
understands the corrupt system
“even the date of the year had become uncertain”
Satire
Tone
Due to the Party’s control and rectification of all
media in Oceania, there is no real certainty in any
records. Finally, Oceanians are forced to question
even their memories.
“You did not have friends
nowadays, you had comrades”
Aphorism (truth)
Second person
In this society, no one has friends➔loss of
humanity
“We're destroying words—scores of them, hundreds of
them, every day.
We're cutting the language down to the bone.”
Descriptive imagery
Aposiopesis
The 11th Edition Newspeak Dictionary limits
thoughtcrime
Aposiopesis: Syme is too overcome by passion,
and was not able to speak for that moment
“It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander
when you were in any public place or within range of a
telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away…
There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime”
Irony
Satire
The Party’s surveillance tactics and technology are
so advanced that even the smallest twitch can
betray a rebellious spirit.
Conveys dangers of technology
“Another bomb fell on a piece of
waste ground which was used as a playground and
several dozen children were blown to pieces.”
Descriptive imagery
Disturbing cruel imagery of death of children,
conveying dangers of totalitarianism
“'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words”
“'Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to
narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make
thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will
be no words in which to express it”
Page 3 of 134
“In the end the Party would announce that two and two
made five, and you would have to believe it”
“A nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in
perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and
shouting the same slogans, perpetually working,
fighting, triumphing, persecuting-three hundred million
people all with the same face”
Aphorism
Descriptive imagery
“In principle a Party member had no spare time, and
was never alone except in bed”
Aphorism
Paints a picture of the undesired situation, where
totalitarianism does take control.
Orwell warns responders against this
In concert with having no private time is the
Party’s view that individualism and eccentricity run
contrary to the Party’s purposes
“The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance
with the principles of doublethink, this aim is
simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the
directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the
products of the machine without raising the general
standard of living.”
“Doublethink means the power of holding two
contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and
accepting both of them”
War is a necessary tool for Oceania because it
keeps the standard of living in check, such that the
inequalities essential to a totalitarian state remain
in place.
War keeps people away from a rebellion
•
Motif
•
•
“A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye
of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone
he can never be sure that he is alone.”
Tone of despair
Oppression
Indicative of the structurally perverse
society within Oceania
Lives are permeated with contradictions,
that the deceit is accepted as the complete
truth
Extends the notion of deception &
manipulation
Dangers of Totalitarianism
Loss of individuality
Party slogan “Who controls the past controls the
future”
“since the Party is in full control of all records
and in equally full control of the minds of its members,
it follows that the past is whatever the Party
chooses to make it."
“"Who controls the past controls the future: who
controls the present controls the past," repeated Winston
obediently”
Dialogue
Anaphora of “on”
Political slogan
Winston is slowly breaking down
"In memory. Very well, then. We, the Party, control all
records, and we control all memories. Then we control
the past, do we not?"
Dialogue
Tone of enthusiasm
O’Brien explains the Party’s logic
Page 4 of 134
“The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought
is all we care about. We do not merely destroy our
enemies, we change them. Do you understand what I
mean by that?"
“There was nothing left in them except sorrow for what
they had done, and love of Big Brother. It was touching
to see how they loved him. They begged to be shot
quickly, so that they could die while their minds were
still clean."
Dialogue
The Party ultimately vaporizes captured rebels, but
not before converting and reindoctrinating them,
through means of torture.
Demonstrates the total
absolute control of the
Party
"We control matter because we control the mind.
Reality is inside the skull…"
Dialogue O’Brien
Aphorism
It is the harsh truth
"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We
are not interested in the good of others; we are
interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long
life or happiness: only power, pure power.”
O’Brien Dialogue
Tone of enthusiasm
The Party is only interested in power for more
power and absolute control
“A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of
trampling and being trampled upon”
Dialogue
Tone of despair
Aphorism
Amplification
O’Brien deeply describes what the world is like,
and the extent to which humanity has fallen and
individuality is broken to nothingness
Imagery
Orwell is describing the dangers of totalitarianism
• Conveys Orwell’s pessimistic conjectures
about the future
• Supported by contextual issues (historical
and textual)
• Idea that totalitarian regimes are
destructive for the individuals due to its
overpowering strengths
Exemplifies his concerns about the abuse of power
“In our world there will be no emotions except fear,
rage, triumph, and self-abasement”
Allusion to totalitarian regimes where privacy is
severely restricted
“No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any
longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no
friends”
“There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the
Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big
Brother."
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot
stamping on a human face – for ever."
Page 5 of 134
“The
German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very
close to us in their methods”
Allusion to Communist
and Nazis (which were
Orwell’s influences)
Orwell likens his fictional setting to the Nazis and
the Communist of his time period
“Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not
establish a dictatorship to safeguard a revolution, one
makes the revolution in order to establish the
dictatorship”
Dialogue
That power and control is the definitive
aim of Ingsoc-disregards humanity and
morals, relinquish the power
This augments the oppression and restriction
within the state
“The object of persecution is
persecution. The object of torture is torture. The
object of power is power.”
Dialogue
“…such a society could not long remain stable”
Allusion
Voice
Orwell’s own political input is intertwined
throughout the novel
Denounces the Communist ideology-it cannot
work, the hierarchal free market system would
dominate-exemplified in Metropolis with the
obvious contrasts between the affluent &
working class
“Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was
safer, though, as he well knew, even a back can be
revealing.”
Symbolism
Telescreens - telescreens are a visible symbol as
well as the direct means of the Party’s constant
monitoring of its subjects. They also symbolise the
tendency of totalitarian governments to abuse
technology.
“BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”
Symbolism
Big Brother - the ultimate figure of Oceania, is
everywhere. A moustached man who is always
watching. This symbol strikes both loyalty and fear
in the people. They worship this icon, but are
continually kept afraid of his power.
Symbolism
Glass Paperweight & St. Clementine’s Church These items are symbols of the past that, because
of the Party’s control, no longer have any basis in
"reality." When the Thought Police come to lead
Winston and Julia away, the glass paperweight is
shattered on the ground and symbolise Winston’s
shattered chances at recovering the past.
•
•
Page 6 of 134
Symbolism
“Here comes the chopper to chop off your head!” (part of
the song about the churches of old London.)
Symbolism
"Freedom is Slavery," "War is Peace," "Ignorance is
Strength "
Oxymoron or Paradox
"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls
the present controls the past,"
Oxymoron
“Winston woke up with the word 'Shakespeare' on his
lips”
Allusion
‘I think I exist,’ he said wearily. 'I am conscious of my
own identity…’ (to O’Brien in the MoL)
Allusion
Red armed prole woman - Winston sees this
woman as a symbol of freedom. Party members
never sing, but hearing her song through the
window of his rented room fills Winston – and soon,
Julia – with hope for the future. What is this hope?
That the proles will become cognizant of their plight
and rebel against the Party. Winston and Julia also
acknowledge the Prole woman as a symbol of
reproductive virility, and thereby, hope for the
future. They see her as "beautiful" because of her
wideness, largeness, and toughness
An oxymoron is use of contradictory terms to
present a statement that generally contains an
element of truth (Paradox also means a phrase that
contradicts itself - these slogans could also be
considered juxtaposition). The three mottos
represent oxymorons as all contain what appear to
be opposing terms, yet the meaning behind them is
true for the world state. Keeping the country at
constant war does lead to peace among the people
of Oceania. Ignorance is Strength is also true in
that an uneducated, easily manipulated populace is
easy for the government to use for its own power.
Literature Allusions - Orwell refers to Shakespeare,
Chaucer and even, indirectly, Descartes (“‘I think I
exist,’ he said wearily. 'I am conscious of my own
identity…’” - indirect reference to Descartes’ “I
think, therefore I am”). These allusions to infamous
literary figures may be a message about the
importance of language and literature in shaping
society (think about how Newspeak aims to restrict
language) and also the complexities of human
predicaments.
Page 7 of 134
“..the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy
black moustache and ruggedly handsome features.”
Allusion
Historical Allusions - 1984 creates links to history
through the use of allusion. The posters of Big
Brother strikingly resemble Adolf Hitler (some think
perhaps Joseph Stalin). The supposed leader of
the underground movement is Goldstein. The
obviously Jewish name of Emmanuel Goldstein and
the name of a man responsible for the death of
millions of Jewish heritage set up the conflict by
relating it to a key turning point in the history of the
world.
Simile: “In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down
between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a
bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight.”
Simile/Imagery or
figurative language
This simile, which compares the Thought Police to
bluebottle jellyfish, describes how Oceanians are
used to living in fear under a constant state of
surveillance, and so they learn to self-regulate.
“The place where there is no darkness”
Foreshadowing
This phrase first comes to Winston in a dream,
when he imagines that this is where O’Brien wants
to meet him. Heavy foreshadowing here, because
he does indeed get here eventually – at the Ministry
of Love, where the lights never go out. This
symbolises Winston’s ultimate, doomed fate. It’s
also more of Oceania’s ironic use of language. The
place of NO darkness is metaphorically the darkest
and gloomiest location.
“Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres
in your skull” — “He loved Big Brother”
Foreshadowing
The idea of Thought Police is disturbing and
Winston believes that he can only truly be himself
inside his mind. In fact, this quote foreshadows the
mind control that takes place in the Ministry of Love
and ultimately leads to Winston’s subjugation and
loyalty to the Party.
“Uncalled, a memory floated into his mind. He saw a
candle-lit room…His mother was sitting opposite him
and also laughing.”
Flashback
Appearing only in his dreams and memories,
Winston’s mother represents better, pre-Party days
when life was safe and not quite so oppressive. As
the novel progresses, however, we also come to
see that she represents Winston’s intense sense of
guilt. If Winston didn’t actually kill his parents, then
Winston’s mother is the epitome of a pleasant past
coloured by the lies and manipulation of the Party.
Winston also has flashbacks of the countryside
when he visits the opening with Julia, representing
a natural and peaceful part of his past.
Page 8 of 134
“The past was dead, the future was unimaginable. What
certainty had he that a single human creature now living
was on his side?”
Rhetoric
The first-person, limited omniscient narration invites
the reader to follow Winston’s thoughts, as does his
use of rhetorical questions. What he questions, we
also consider philosophically, both in relation to our
own context and the character’s situation.
“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make
four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past
is unchangeable?”
Rhetoric
The continual reference to O’Brien’s method of
mind control is demonstrated through ‘two plus two
equals five’ - only when Winston truly believes this
has the Party succeeded in controlling his mind. At
first Winston questions it, yet even he can’t rebel
against their totalitarian torture methods.
“If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of
this or that event, IT NEVER HAPPENED— that, surely,
was more terrifying than mere torture and death?”
Personification
Big Brother is a personification of the Party and its
control over the citizens of Oceania and the past.
Urban Decay:
“bombed sites where plaster dust swirled in the air”
Motif
Motif: Urban Decay -proves a pervasive motif in
1984. The London that Winston Smith calls home is
a dilapidated, rundown city in which buildings are
crumbling, conveniences such as elevators never
work, and necessities such as electricity and
plumbing are extremely unreliable. Though Orwell
never discusses the theme openly, it is clear that
the shoddy disintegration of London, just like the
widespread hunger and poverty of its inhabitants, is
due to the Party’s mismanagement and
incompetence.
Visual Imagery: reoccurring motif of ‘eyes’,
Motif/Visual Imagery
Big Brothers overseeing eyes, O’Brien’s gaze that
Winston mistakes for a comrades, Winston goes to
meet up with Julia and realises that he doesn’t even
know her eye colour, the telescreens as ‘electronic
eyes’
"A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a
desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a
sledgehammer, seemed to flow through the whole
group of people like an electric current, turning one
even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming
lunatic." Part 1, Chapter 1, pg. 16
Page 9 of 134
"The past was dead, the future was unimaginable."
Part 1, Chapter 2, pg. 28
"With its grace and carelessness it seemed to
annihilate a whole culture, a whole system of
thought, as though Big Brother and the Party and
the Thought Police could all be swept into
nothingness by a single splendid movement of the
arm." Part 1, Chapter 3, pg. 33
"Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own
nervous system. At any moment the tension inside
you was liable to translate itself into some visible
symptom." Part 1, Chapter 6, pg. 64
"Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a
slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an
enema." Part 1, Chapter 6, pg. 69
"If there is hope, wrote Winston, it lies in the
proles." Part 1, Chapter 7, pg. 72
"Until they become conscious they will never rebel,
and until after they have rebelled they cannot
become conscious." Part 1, Chapter 7, pg. 74
"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two
make four. If that is granted, all else follows." Part
1, Chapter 7, pg. 84
"It seemed to him that he knew exactly what it felt
like to sit in a room like this, in an armchair beside
an open fire with your feet in the fender and a
kettle on the hob: utterly alone, utterly secure, with
nobody watching you, no voice pursuing you, no
sound except the singing of the kettle and the
friendly ticking of the clock." Part 1, Chapter 8, pg.
100
Page 10 of 134
"Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St
Clement's, You owe me three farthings, say the
bells of St Martin's." Part 1, Chapter 8, pg. 103
"At the sight of the words I love you the desire to
stay alive had welled up in him, and the taking of
minor risks suddenly seemed stupid." Part 2,
Chapter 1, pg. 110-11
"Not merely the love of one person, but the animal
instinct, the simple undifferentiated desire: that
was the force that would tear the Party to pieces."
Part 2, Chapter 2, pg. 127
"She did not understand that there was no such
thing as happiness, that the only victory lay in the
far future, long after you were dead, that from the
moment of declaring war on the Party it was better
to think of yourself as a corpse. 'We are the dead,'
he said." Part 2, Chapter 3, pg. 137
"The smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth, the
feeling of her skin seemed to have got inside him,
or into the air all around him. She had become a
physical necessity." Part 2, Chapter 4, pg. 140
"So long as they were actually in this room, they
both felt, no harm could come to them." Part 2,
Chapter 5, pg. 152
"He had the sensation of stepping into the
dampness of a grave, and it was not much better
because he had always known that the grave was
there and waiting for him." Part 2, Chapter 6, pg.
160
Page 11 of 134
"It's the one thing they can't do. They can make
you say anything - anything - but they can't make
you believe it. They can't get inside you." Part 2,
Chapter 7, pg. 167
"The old feeling, that at bottom it did not matter
whether O'Brien was a friend or an enemy, had
come back. O'Brien was a person who could be
talked to... O'Brien had tortured him to the edge of
lunacy, and in a little while, it was certain, he would
send him to his death. It made no difference." Part
3, Chapter 2, pg.255-6
"There was nothing left in them except sorrow for
what they had done, and love of Big Brother. It was
touching to see how they loved him. They begged
to be shot quickly, so that they could die while their
minds were still clean." Part 3, Chapter 2, pg. 259
"We control matter because we control the mind.
Reality is inside the skull." Part 3, Chapter 3, pg.
268
"'Do you remember writing in your diary,' he said,
'that it did not matter whether I was a friend or an
enemy, since I was at least a person who
understood you and could be talked to? You were
right. I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to
me. It resembles my own mind except that you
happen to be insane.'" Part 3, Chapter 2, pg. 271
"Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't
care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her
to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!" Part 3,
Chapter 5, pg. 289
Page 12 of 134
"There were things, your own acts, from which you
could not recover. Something was killed in your
breast; burnt out, cauterised out." Part 3, Chapter
6, pg. 293
"But it was all right, everything was all right, the
struggle was finished. He had won the victory over
himself. He loved Big Brother." Part 3, Chapter 6,
pg. 300
Book 1 Chapter 1
It was a bright cold day in April and the
clocks were striking thirteen.’ (p. 3)
Adjective
Juxtaposition
Imagery
Allusion
- Adjective ‘cold’ and ‘unlucky’ number
‘thirteen
sets ominous tone
- Juxtaposes with traditional
old chiming clocks and 24-hour clock
technology to show a sharp discontinuity
with the past
‘Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his
breast in an effort to escape the vile wind,
slipped quickly through the glass doors of
Victory Mansion, though not quickly enough
to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering
along with him.’ (p. 3)
Allusion
Olfactory and visual
imagery
Symbolism
- Winston’s name alludes to Winston
Churchill → referring to how the fate of
London lies with Winston (except Winston
Smith is unsuccessful)
- Words ‘vile’ and ‘gritty’ suggest
hardship
- ‘Victory’ symbolises Allied Resistance
to Nazi Germany → inspiring symbol has
been hijacked to serve totalitarian
government
‘It depicted simply an enormous face, more
than a metre wide: the face of a man of about
forty-five, with a heavy black moustache and
ruggedly handsome features.’ (p. 3)
Allusion
- Image of Big Brother mirrors image of
Stalin
- Daunting reminder that ‘he’ is always
watching
Page 13 of 134
‘It was part of the economy drive in
preparation for Hate Week.’ (p. 3)
- Capital letters emphasise importance of
this event
- Term ‘Hate Week’ shows that language
can be manipulated by context
Capitalisation
Neologism
‘The flat was seven flights up, and Winston,
who was thirty and had a varicose ulcer above
his right ankle...’ (p. 3)
- Perception of hero: Winston doesn’t fit
the typical hero mould
- Sign of manipulation and constant
reminder that citizens are being watched
to dispel thoughts of revolting against The
Party
- Ubiquitous maxim to reinforce the notion
of total surveillance
- Gives an image of overwhelming figure
- Telescreen is compared to means of
communication to keep information on a
constant flow
‘On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the
poster with the enormous face gazed from the
wall.’ (p. 3)
‘BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU’ (p. 3)
Capitalisation Motif
‘The instrument (the telescreen, it was called)
could be dimmed, but there was no way of
Neologism
shutting it off completely.’ (p. 4)
‘Outside, even through the shut window-pane,
the world looked cold. Down in the street little
eddies of wind were whirling durst and torn
paper into spirals, and though the sun was
Visual imagery
shining and the sky a harsh blue, there
seemed to be no colour in anything, except
the posters that were plastered
everywhere.’ (p. 4)
‘BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU’ (p. 4)
Motif
‘INGSOC’ ( p. 4)
Neologism
- Image of a dystopian world
- No colour in this new world as it has
been stripped away by Big Brother
- Commands subservience, as reflected in
the imagery thus far
‘Newspeak’ is a contraction of English
and Socialism → official Party ideology
- State can control thoughts
- Lack of laws means that citizens can be
punished without knowing what they
did wrong
- Punishment → taken away
and disappear/ vapourisation
- Context: Stalin’s Purge and
gulag
Page 14 of 134
‘In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down
between the roofs, hovered for an instant like
Simile
a bluebottle, and darted way again with a
curving flight.’ (p. 4)
‘The patrols did not matter, however. Only the
Thought Police mattered.’ (p. 4)
Conceptual
neologism Allusion
‘... the over-fulfilment of the Ninth Three-Year
Plan.’ (p. 5)
Allusion
‘The telescreen received and transmitted
simultaneously.’ (p. 5)
Neologism
- Reflects how technology is used for
citizen surveillance
- Audience knows the meaning of
‘thought’ and ‘police’
- No one knows who they are though
- Alludes to the NKVD, who arrested
people for ‘anti-soviet’ remarks
- Alludes to Soviet Union’s ‘Five Year
Plans’
- These plans centre around producing
massive volumes of iron and coal
- Dual purpose of TV and telephone for
spying purposes
- Highlights the Thought Police’s powers
of surveillance
- It’s impossible to know if they’re spying
on you so you assume they’re watching all
the time
- Citizens are forced into obedience and
caution due to the combined knowledge of
harsh punishment
‘Any sound that Winston made, above the
level of a very low whisper, would be picked
up by it, moreover, so long as he remained
within the field of vision which the metal
plaque commanded, he could be seen as well
as heard.’ (p. 5)
You had to live- did live, from habit that
became instinct- in the assumption that every
sound you made was overheard, and, except
in darkness, every movement scrutinised.’ ( p.
5)
- Emphasises how surveillance has taken
over society
Page 15 of 134
‘Were there always these vistas of rotting
nineteenth-century houses, their sides shored
up with baulks of timber, their windows
patched with cardboard and their roofs with
corrugated iron, their crazy garden walls
sagging in all directions?’... But it was no use,
he could not remember: nothing remained of
his childhood...’ (p. 5)
- Winston ponders over London’s
desolate and war torn condition and
questions whether it was always this way
- No unaltered record exists since he
cannot remember personally → history is
manipulated to manipulate society and the
citizens’ minds to ensure to rebelling
- Big Brother isn’t just absolute
governmental power but in control of
ideas
- Big Brother controls the present and
molds the past by altering written record
to justify his future course
- Language is used to restrict the breadth
of human expression, and hence
exchange of ideas
- Language has become so limited they
lack in perspective and language to
differentiate concepts
- Asterisk interrupts connection
established between audience and
Winston
- Newspeak seeks to make it impossible
to express and turn thinking into
revolutionary thoughts
- Making your own choices and
developing your own thoughts is a political
action
- Foreshadows how language will become
increasingly oppressive
- However, the Appendix is written in
Standard English, meaning that free
speech will ultimately prevail, allowing
language to become free again
Rhetorical question
Listing
Visual imagery
Juxtaposition
‘The Ministry of Truth- Minitrue, in Newspeak*
[Newspeak was the official language of
Oceania. For an account of its structure and
etymology see Appendix]’ (p. 6)
* ’Newspeak was the official language of
Neologism
Oceania and had been devised to meet the
ideological needs of Ingsoc... The purpose of Foreshadow
Newspeak was not only to provide a medium
of expression for the world-view and mental
habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to
make all other modes of thought
impossible.’ (p. 343)
Page 16 of 134
‘WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS
STRENGTH’ (p. 6)
‘The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself
with news, entertainment, education and the
fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, which
concerned itself with war. The Ministry of
Love, which maintained law and order. And the
Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for
economic affairs. Their names, in Newspeak:
Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv and Miniplenty.’ (p.
6)
‘... then only by penetrating through a maze of
barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors and
hidden machine-gun nets. Even the streets
leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by
gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed
with jointed truncheons.’ (p. 7)
‘The thing that he was about to do was to
open a diary. This was not illegal (nothing was
illegal, since there were no longer any laws),
but if defected it was reasonably certain that it
would be punished by death, or at least by
twenty-five years in a forced-labour camp.’ (p.
9)
‘April 4th, 1984’ (p. 9)
Oxymoron
Doublethink
- Follows the paradox ‘less is more’
- Follows the technique of ‘doublethink’
where contradictions are used so citizens
don’t notice the contradiction
- The paradoxical nature of these
statements is to make language
untrustworthy and have unsettling effect
on audience
- Weakening independence and strength
of individuals; minds and forcing them to
live in a constant state of propagandainduced fear allows the Party to force its
subjects to accept the the decrees
Oxymoron
- The four ministries are paradoxically
named
- Refers back to their technique of
‘doublethink’
Oxymoron Listing
Visual imagery Irony
- Ironic since the Ministry of Love has
nothing to do with love but is associated
with violence
- The fact that there are no laws makes it
frightening because citizens won’t ever
know if they are breaking the law
- No laws mean citizens can’t use
anything to rebel against the government
- Punishment alludes to Stalin’s Purge
and Gulags
- April 4th refers to the liberation of
Hungary from Nazi occupation and
liberation of Ohrdruf (Nazi death camp)
Allusion
Allusion
Page 17 of 134
- Despite the title of the novel being 1984,
the ambiguity of this sentence indicates
that the dystopic future could happen at
any point of time
- The purpose of Newspeak has been
fulfilled
- This shows how language is used to
manipulate society and allows the
government to maintain their power
- Displays the thin line between
entertainment and propaganda- the
Ministry of Truth is responsible for
producing both
- The first time the audience hear
Winston’s voice
- Reveals how the norms and values of
Oceania centres around the massacre of
civilians
- Winston is uneasy by the massacre,
allowing him to reveal an element of
humanity
- The fact that violence is part of
entertainment shows the significant role
the Ministry of Truth in shaping their values
- The word ‘wonderful’ reflects how
violence and war films is deemed as
entertainment
‘To begin with he did not know with any
certainty that this w as 1984.’ (p. 9)
‘It was curious that he seemed not merely over
to have lost the power of expressing himself,
but even to have forgotten what it was that he
had originally intended to say.’ (p. 10)
‘April 4th 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war
films.’ (p. 10)
Syntax
‘One very good one of a ship full of refugees
being bombed somewhere in the
Mediterranean. Audience much amused by
shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim
away with a helicopter after him, first you saw
him wallowing along in the water like a
porpoise, then you saw him turned pink and
he sank as suddenly as though the holes had
let in the water...’ (p. 11)
Syntax
Simile
Visual imagery
Adjectives Repetition
‘... then there was a wonderful shot of a child’s
arm going up up up right up into the air...’ ( p.
11)
‘... there was a lot of applause from the party
seats but a woman down in the prole part of
the house suddenly started kicking up a fuss
and shouting they didn’t oughter of showed it
not in front of kids they didn’t it aint right not in Repetition
front of kids it aint until the police turned her
turned her out i dont suppose anything
happened to her nobody cares what the proles
say typical proke reaction they never-’ (p. 11)
- Term ‘proles’ alludes to the proletariat
workers, with Orwell portraying them as
heroes in socialist ideology but are now
oppressed
- The proles are the only one with moral
imagination but even dissenters are limited
Page 18 of 134
- The notion of how novels can be
produced by a machine is reflected in this
phrase
- The adjective ‘mechanical’ when
describing a novel is generally associated
with predictable plotting and uninspired
vernacular writing style
- The term ‘mechanical’ is used differently
in this context since these novels are used
for manipulation
- Foreshadows the girl’s later sexual
activity
- Red is often linked with sin and desire,
especially in the Bible where Mary
Magdalene or Scarlet woman
- Junior Anti-Sex League most likely
alludes to the Young Pioneers within the
Soviet Union where both groups feature a
red sash
- Comparable to Leon Trotsky
(considering the Jewish name)
- Like Trotsky, Goldstein was a former
high-ranking party member turned into an
enemy of the state when power passed to
his rival, Stalin
- Backslider: A term used for people who
have fallen away from the Church, in
particular
- This applies to the fanatical culture
established in ‘1984’ displayed in the Two
Minutes Hate
- In the Soviet Union, ‘backsliding’ is
comparable to wrecking- the crime of
sabotage
- Goldstein’s sabotage amounts to
challenging the state’s authority
- Theological language implies Goldstein
occupies the place of Satan
‘... she had some mechanical job on one of the
Metaphor
novel-writing machines.’ (p. 12)
‘A narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the Junior
Anti-Sex League, was wound several times
round the waist of her overalls, just tightly
enough to bring out the shapeliness of her
hips.’ (p. 12)
Irony Foreshadowing
Allusion Biblical
allusion
‘As usual, the face of Emmanuel
Goldstein...’ (p. 14)
Allusion
‘Goldstein was the renegade and
backslider...’ (p. 14)
Allusion
‘He was the primal traitor, the earliest defiler of
Biblical allusion
the Party’s purity.’ (p. 14)
Page 19 of 134
‘It resembled the face of a sheep, and the
voice, too, had a sheeplike quality.’ (p. 15)
- Ironic because sheep are known to
follow a leader, whereas Goldstein did the
opposite
- Ironic because Winston reads
Goldstein’s Manifesto, believing that
Goldstein exists
- Foreshadows that Goldstein was
created to manipulate society- false
propaganda
Irony Simile
‘...- an attack so exaggerated and perverse
that a child should have been able to see
through it, and yet just plausible enough to fill
Irony Foreshadowing
with an alarmed feeling that other people, less
level-headed than oneself, might be taken in
by it.’ (p. 15)
He was abusing Big Brother, he was
denouncing the dictatorship of the Party, he
was demanding the immediate conclusion of
Irony
peace with Eurasia, freedom of assembly,
freedom of thought, he was crying hysterically
that the revolution had been betrayed-’ (p. 15)
- Ironic that Goldstein is presenting
agreeable propositions but people of
Oceania violently reject his speech, having
been essentially hypnotised via
propaganda by The Party
- Alludes to the ‘show trials’ of the Soviet
Union where various crimes were blamed
on sabotage
- Corresponds with Soviet crime of
‘wrecking’- attacks against the state
- The arrested ‘spies and saboteurs’ are
likely not guilty of any crime related to
Goldstein- Orwell is subtly challenging the
idea
- Totalitarian propaganda makes its target
into something less than fully human
- Comparison to pigs are often offensive
to certain religious groups who don’t eat
pork
- Jews are usually among this group
- Almost alludes to the assassination of
Walther Rathenau: ‘Death for Walther
Rathenau: he is a goddamn Jewish sow.’
- Reflects the total degradation of the
English language accomplished by the
Party
‘A day never passed when spies and
saboteurs acting under his directions were not Allusion
unmasked by the Thought Police.’ (p. 16)
‘Her mouth was opening and shutting like that
Simile
of a landed fish.’ (p. 17)
‘Swine! Swine! Swine!’ (p. 17)
Repetition Allusion
‘... she picked up a heavy Newspeak
dictionary and flung it at the screen.’ (p. 17)
Symbolism
Page 20 of 134
• - Suggests the paralysis of thought
created by the destruction of language
as people are only capable of primal
gesticulation and emotions around the
destruction they created after evolting
‘It struck Goldstein’s nose and bounced off:
the voice continued inexorably.’ ( p. 17)
‘A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness,
a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in
with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow
Listing Simile
through the whole group of people like an
Anaphora
electric current, turning one even against one’s
will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.’ (p. 17)
‘He would flog her to death with a rubber
truncheon. He would tie her naked to a stake
and shoot her full of arrows like Saint
Sebastian. He would ravish her and cut her
throat at the moment of climax... He hated her
because she was young and pretty and
Simile Anaphora
sexless, because he wanted to go to bed with
her and would never do so, because round her
sweet supple waist, which seemed to ask you
to encircle it with your arm, there was only the
odious scarlet sash, aggressive symbol of
chastity.’ (p. 18)
‘All that they did was to keep alive in him the
belief, or hope, that others besides himself
were the enemies of the Party. Perhaps the
rumours of vast underground conspiracies
were true after all- perhaps the Brotherhood
really existed!’ (p. 20)
‘DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH
BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH
BIG BROTHER’ ( p. 21)
- This notion of mobs and crowds
targeting their hate became dominant in
the 20th century (e.g. Russian Revolution)
- Winston’s resentment and fantasies of
violence are wrapped up with his sexual
desire
- Possibly, his sexual fantasy is
intertwined with the social fantasy of
power
- Orwell may be critiquing how the desire
to harm is a subset of the overarching
desire that state produces in its citizens to
harm and humiliate the vulnerable
- Emphasises the extensive manipulation
of the Party as they use rumours like
underground conspiracies to either
provoke hatred or to stimulate a false
sense of hope
- Even though Winston holds a dissenting
opinion towards the Party, his method of
thought is still programmed by the stateobsessive and fanatic as reflected in his
reflection during Two Minutes Hate
Repetition
‘And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract,
undirected emotion which could be switched
from one object to another like the flame of a
blowlamp.’ (p. 17)
- These energies against the Party can be
redirected to anything other than a
revolution
Page 21 of 134
- Thought is meant to be internalised,
albeit the source of power in Oceania lies
within policing thought
- This is because Newspeak allows
people to prevent themselves from
expressing their ideas
- The idea behind paring back the English
language would eventually be impossible
to make negative speech
- If something was bad, the word would
be ‘doubleplusungood’- the word contains
positive- sounding modifiers, making it
misleading
- Method of execution, not commonly
recorded in Soviet Union
‘He had committed- would still have
committed, even if he had never set pen to
paper- the essential crime that contained all
others in itself.’ (p. 22)
‘theyll shoot me i dont care theyll shoot me in
the back of the neck’ (p. 22)
Allusion Syntax
Repetition
Book 1 Chapter 2
‘Victory Mansions were old flats built in 1930
or thereabouts, and were falling to pieces.’ (p.
25)
Allusion
‘“You’re a thought-criminal! You’re a Eurasian
spy! I’ll shoot you, I’ll vaporise you, I’ll send
you to the salt mines!”’ (p. 27)
Allusion Anaphora
Testaments from Russia where housing
quality was poor → shows the flaws of
Communism as it struggles to provide
necessities.
Allusion to the Hitler Youth. Emphasises
how the future of the State depends on
the new generation as they are easily
indoctrinated with ideologies.
Alludes to the Hitler Youth. These children
are considered ‘perfect’ by the State since
they prioritised their love for the State, not
their nuclear family.
‘What was worst of all was that by means of
such organisations as the Spies they were
Allusion
systematically turned into ungovernable little
savages...’ (p. 29)
‘Seven years it must be- he had dreamed that
he was walking through a pitch-dark room.
Symbolism
And someone sitting to one side of him had
Foreshadowing
said as he passed: “We shall meet in the place
where is no darkness.”’ (p. 29)
Religious
‘The sacred principles of Ingsoc.’ (p. 31)
connotations
Light symbolising hope is inverted as it’s
used for torture in Room 101.
Reflects the extensiveness of the
manipulation of thought.
Ingsoc is now the new religion to maintain
absolute power.
Page 22 of 134
‘And what way of knowing that the dominion
Rhetorical question
of the Party would not endure for ever?’ (p. 31)
Reflects the sense of despair. Even though
there is a sense of hope in p. 29 with light,
symbolism becomes inverted.
‘Thoughtcrime does not entail death:
thoughtcrime IS death.’ (p. 33)
Capitalisation
Capitalising equates thought and death.
Juxtaposition
The Parsons’ children relate more to the
state than the parents but Chapter 3
states with when family was valued.
‘The landscape that he was looking at recurred
so often in his dreams that he was never fully
Juxtaposition
certain whether or not he had seen it in the
real world.’ (p. 36)
Winston values the notion of the old,
natural place and the memory of private
love.
Book 1 Chapter 3
‘Winston was dreaming of his mother.’ (p. 34)
‘To use logic against logic, to repudiate
morality while laying claim to it...’ (p. 41)
Prevailing thinking is logic but the
development has overcome the restriction
of being stupid.
Paradox
‘In the Party histories, of course, Big Brother
figured as the leader and guardian of the
Revolution since its very earliest days.’ (p. 41)
Manipulating history = manipulating
society
Book 1 Chapter 4
Emphasises how there is power in
language since ideas can be developed
from language.
Since Newspeak reduces as much words
as possible, it limits metaphorical
language = limiting ideas
Alludes to Stalin’s Great Purge with any
dissent against communist Russia.
Also alludes to the ‘show trials,’ where
political offenders were promised that their
sentence was reduced if they confess
crime.
1984 takes this concept to a different
scale where control is asserted by
vaporisation.
‘times 3.12.83 reporting bb day order
doubleplusungood refs unpersons rewrite
fullwise upsub antefiling.’ (p. 51)
‘That was to be expected, since it was unusual
for political offenders to be put on trial or even Allusion
publicly denounced.’ (p. 52)
‘... the thing had simply happened because
purges and vaporisations were a necessary
part of the mechanics of government.’ (p. 53)
Page 23 of 134
‘Big Brother added a few remarks on the purity
and single-mindedness of Comrade Ogilvy’s
Biblical allusion
life.’ (p. 55)
Comrade Ogilvy is described as Christlike.
Book 1 Chapter 5
‘You did not have friends nowadays, you had
comrades...’ (p. 56)
Comrade’ being a universal term for all
members of society → alludes to Stalinist
Russia
Allusion
In your heart you’d prefer to stick to Oldspeak
with all its vagueness and its useless shades
Paradox
of meaning.’ (p. 60)
‘The proles are not human beings... By 2050earlier, probably- all real knowledge of
Irony
Oldspeak will have disappeared.’ (p. 61)
‘Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron- they’ll
exist only in Newspeak versions...’ ( p. 61)
Allusion
‘... it was a noise uttered in unconsciousness,
like the quaking of a duck.’ (p. 63)
Simile
Language is valued but Syme likes the
destruction of Oldspeak
Comrade is an egalitarian term but it’s not
the case with the proles.
The works will be contradictory. Sense of
individuality will be removed.
Fear of intellectual control: No means of
challenging since concepts will be
demolished.
Loss of humanity because of how society
has removed individual thoughts.
Propaganda has become absolute since
you can’t challenge propaganda → leads
to indoctrination
Rationing was important in WW2, but
post-WW2 still had rationing. The
expectation was to indulge after WW2.
This is an extrapolation of historical
context.
‘We have glorious news for you. We have won
the battle for production!’ (p. 67)
‘And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been
announced that the ration was to be reduced
Allusion
to twenty Grammys a week. Was it possible
Rhetorical questions
that they could swallow that, after only twentyfour hours?’ (p. 67)
‘Had it always been like this? Had food always
Rhetorical question
tasted like this?’ (p. 68)
‘Nearly everyone was ugly, and would still
have been ugly even if dressed otherwise than
in the uniform blue overalls.’ (p. 69)
Shows the unorthodoxy of Winston.
Page 24 of 134
A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety,
a habit of muttering to yourself... was a
punishable offense. There was even a word for
it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.’ (p.
71)
Control inner and outer expression.
Book 1 Chapter 6
Alludes to Hitler’s Law for the
Encouragement of Marriage, where
couples reproduce for the sake of the
state.
Sex is a display of individuality and
pleasure and can threaten the Party since
all forms of love must go to Big Brother
and no one else.
Sexual intersource is now classified as
something awful to discourage people
from doing so.
Nuclear devotion is broken down (e.g.
Parsons). The Party preferred artificial
insemination. Concept of libido was
discovered, where scientists found energy
could be released elsewhere instead of
sex → Two Minute Hate
Shows the impact of the Junior Anti-Sex
League as Katherine is confused about the
act.
‘The only recognized purpose of marriage was
to beget children for the service of the
Allusion
Party.’ (p. 75)
‘Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a
slightly disgusting minor operation, like having Metaphor
an enema.’ (p. 75)
‘All children were to be begotten by artificial
insemination
(a rtsem, it was called in Newspeak) and
brought up in public institutions.’ (p. 76)
Juxtaposition
‘To embrace her was like embracing a jointed
wooden image.’ (p. 77)
Simile
‘She would lie there with shut eyes, neither
resisting nor co-operating but s ubmitting .’ (p. Italicised
77)
‘So the performance continued to happen,
once a week quite regularly whenever it was
Verb
not impossible.’ (p. 77)
Emphasises the act of submission to the
Party, not Winston.
There’s no importance with sex since it’s
described as a ‘performance.’
Book 1 Chapter 7
Page 25 of 134
Promiscuity went unpunished; divorce was
permitted. For that matter, even religious
worship would have been permitted if the
paroles had shown any sign of needing or
wanting it. They were beneath suspicion. As
the Party slogan put it: “Proles and animals are
free.” (p. 83)
‘It was a dark, dirty miserable place where
hardly anybody had enough to eat and where
hundreds of thousands of poor people had no
boots on their feet and not even a roof to
sleep under.’ (p. 83)
‘How could you tell how much of it was
lies?’ (p. 84)
‘The ideal set up by the Party was something
huge, terrible, no glittering- a world of steel
and concrete, of monstrous machines and
terrifying weapons- a nation of warriors and
fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all
thinking the same thoughts and shouting the
same slogans, perpetually working, fighting,
triumphing, persecuting- three hundred million
people all with the same face.’ (p. 85)
‘Day and night the telescreens bruised your
ears with statistics proving that people today
had more food, more clothes, better houses,
better recreations- that they lived longer,
worked shorter hours, were bigger, healthier,
stronger, happier, more intelligent, better
educated, than the people of fifty years
ago.’ (p. 85)
Was the Party’s hold upon the past less
strong, he wondered, because a piece of
evidence which existed no longer had once
existed?’ (p. 90)
‘Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus
two make four. If that is granted, all else
follows.’ (p. 93)
The proles are manipulated in thinking that
they can escape the system but in reality,
the Party was allowed them to live in
indulgence to ensure they don’t rebel.
Irony
Reflects that Communism hasn’t brought
significant change to society.
Rhetorical question
Emphasises how effective the Inner Party
is in ensuring the past was altered.
Allusion Listing
Lists a number of features of the new
Communist society (collectivism)- alluding
to Soviet Russia.
Listing
Emphasises how propaganda is used to
influence the masses- and they’re very
effective.
Rhetorical question
Questioning reflects the ambiguity of the
past since the Party ensured that the past
was altered.
Foreshadowing
This thought is what allows Winston to
maintain individuality in thought. However,
he doesn’t maintain this in Room 101.
Page 26 of 134
Book 1 Chapter 8
‘When he got up to it he saw that it was a
human hand severed at the wrist... He kicked
the thing into the gutter.’ (p. 97)
The older generation had mostly been wiped
out in the great purges of the Fifties and
Sixties, and the few who survived had long
ago been terrified into complete intellectual
surrender.’ (p. 100)
‘The thing was doubly attractive because of its
apparent uselessness, though he could guess
that it must once have been intended as a
paperweight.’ (p. 109)
‘“I never had one of those things. Too
expensive. And I never seemed to feel the
need of it, somehow.”’ (p. 111)
‘The hunting-down and destruction of books
had been done with the same thoroughness in
the prole quarters as everywhere else.’ (p. 111)
Irony
Even though Winston preaches about
love, he is dehumanised- this is something
he denies.
Allusion
Alludes to the Stalin’s Great Purge.
‘Intellectual surrender’ emphasises the
importance of individuality of thought.
Motif Symbolism
Coral paperweight represents the
preserved past Winston desires.
Irony Foreshadowing
Even though there is no telescreen,
Winston can never get away from
surveillance.
Allusion
Alludes to the book-burning in Nazi
Germany to prevent any unorthodox ideas.
Book 2 Chapter 1
‘And even now, though his intellect told him
that the message probably meant death- still,
that was not what he believed, and the
unreasonable hope persisted.’ (p. 123)
Betrayal of Big Brother is an act of
individuality. Winston does this by
communicating with a ‘comrade’ and
maintaining intellectual thoughts.
Word ‘unformed’ indicates that citizens of
this day barely physically write. Writing on
paper is regarded as lower than typing
which can easily be monitored.
Declaration of death upon them both
because love is forbidden.
Religion is exterminated to sure all forms
of loyalty is directed to Big Brother.
‘On it was written, in a large unformed
handwriting.’ (p. 124)
‘I love you.’ (p. 124)
Simple sentence
‘... and got a sort of pale-pleasure from
identifying St Martin’s Church.’ (p. 130)
Book 2 Chapter 2
Page 27 of 134
Indicative of constant surveillance, even if
this world has abandoned nature, feelings
of guilt or remorse will prevail due to the
influence of the Party.
Juxtaposition of ‘sweetness’ and
‘daunted.’ He doesn't find comfort in the
natural world as it is something that
“daunted” him which contradicts his
thoughts on the Golden Country suggests
oppression.
Dehumanises himself to that of a ‘creature’
there is an ambiguity in the Winston that
defies the Party.
The Party has conditioned his entire being
to be accustomed to the city -- life is
detached from nature.
‘To look around was to show guilt.’ (p. 136)
‘The sweetness of air and the greenness of
leaves haunted him.’ (p. 136)
Juxtaposition
‘... a creature of indoors, with the sooty dust of
Imagery
London in the pores of his skin.’ (p. 137)
Book 2 Chapter 3
Only because I prefer a positive to a negative.
In this game we’re playing, we can’t win.
Some kinds of failure are better than other
kinds, that’s all.’ (p. 155)
Irony
Outcome of ‘rebellion’ is predetermined.
He vacillates and believes he can change
society when reading Goldstein’s
Manifesto but he changes from
pessimistic to hopeful.
Julia is still hopeful, though → naive?
Book 2 Chapter 4
‘The old-fashioned clock with the twelve-hour
face was ticking away on the mantelpiece.’ (p. Symbolism
158)
Coral inside paperweight (alive, preserved
from past) not practical but filled with
beauty.
- Provides a gleam of hope, ultimately
smashed (wants to use Winston’s
intelligence to their advantage)
Their first love-making had been simply an act
of will. But after the second time it was
different. The smell of her hair, the taste of her
mouth, the feeling of her skin seemed to have
got inside him.’ (p. 161)
Importance of emotionality: Winston
experiences emotional attachment (love)
towards Julia, rather than practicality
(positive, hopeful).
Page 28 of 134
‘As he sat waiting on the edge of the bed he
thought again of the cellars of the Ministry of
Love. ‘ (p. 161)
Importance of emotionality: Winston is
fatalistic but it's part of human nature to
find hope.
Role of religion: Nursery rhyme is a link to
religion and churches (world before Big
Brother became idolised).
- Nostalgia is emphasised since the old
world is lost
Romantic in the idealistic, metaphorical
sense as he believes the room is a
microcosm (just like the glass protects the
coral).
‘“You owe me three farthings,” says the bells
of St Martin’s, “When will you pay me?”say the
bells of Old Bailey-’ (p. 168)
‘The paperweight was the room he was in, and
the coral was Julia’s life and his own, fixed in
Symbolism
sort of eternity at the heart of the crystal.’ (p.
169)
Book 2 Chapter 5
‘A new poster had suddenly appeared all over
London. It had no caption, and represented
simply the monstrous figure of a Eurasian
soldier...’ (p. 172)
‘Dirty or clean, the room was paradise.’ (p.
Juxtaposition
173)
Context: Propaganda posters are adapted
to provoke racial racial fear.
- 1984: Global approach and uses foreign
force to strike fear.
Despite global control, the room was their
own world.
Emotions of comfort become idealistic for
them. Party wants to let this continue to let
them re-experience individuality to have
more impact when they’re brought back to
reality.
Connotes to meaningful connection with
humans is now extinct.
Now that they had a secure hiding-place,
almost a home, it did not even seem a
Symbolism
hardship that they could meet infrequently and
for a couple of hours at a time.’ (p. 173)
‘The room was a world, a pocket of the past
Metaphor
where extinct animals could walk.’ (p. 173)
‘He led a ghostlike existence between the tiny,
dark shop and an even tinier back
Irony
kitchen...’ (p. 173)
Mr Charrington is part of the Party and
helps them set up feeling of hope.
Sanctuary’: They’re led to believe that
they’re optimistic. Reality is that they can
be like the paperweight and eventually be
shattered.
Notion of humanity/ emotionality: Natural
to daydream about their relationship
(either getting married or continue their
love in the next life).
‘Getting there was difficult and dangerous, but
Irony
the room itself was sanctuary.’ (p. 174)
‘Or Katherine would due, and by subtle
manoeuvrings Winston and Julia would
succeed in getting married.’ (p. 175)
Page 29 of 134
‘In reality there was no escape.’
Juxtaposition
(p. 175)
‘“You’re a rebel from the waist downwards,”he
told her. She thought this brilliantly witty and
Juxtaposition
flung her arms round him in delight.’ (p. 179)
Thought is the only way to escape from
the Party, but there is the Thought Police.
Julia has no thought about changing the
world, whereas Winston desires to.
Book 2 Chapter 6
Importance of language: Describes the
process of revolution (starts with
intelligence to action).
Ministry of Love is about torture. Winston
has idealistic thoughts on rebellion and
martyrdom (foreshadowing).
‘He moved from thoughts to words, and now
from words to actions.’ (p. 184)
‘The last step was something that would
happen in the Ministry of Love.’ (p. 184)
Irony
‘He had the sensation of stepping into the
dampness of a grave, and it was not much
better because he had always known that the
grave was there and waiting for him.’ (p. 184)
Visual imagery
Bleak tone since he knows that he’s going
to be caught. Winston believes O’brien is
an act of hope.
Book 2 Chapter 7
‘It had all occurred inside the glass
paperweight, but the surface of the glass was
the dome of the sky, and inside the dome
everything was flooded with clear soft light in
which one could see into interminable
distances.’ (p. 185)
Motif
‘Very occasionally she would take Winston in
her arms and press him against her for a long
time without saying anything.’ (p. 187)
Juxtaposition
Dream of Winston being inside
paperweight incorporates gesture of his
Jewish mother.
- Love and sacrifice is something he tries
to create within his dreams (ideal world
with hope)
Act of love from his mother (in the past) is
contrasted with love towards Big Brother.
- Communist ideology of the state is more
important than collective individual
His greediness resulting in him losing his
family- he still feels emotion in the world of
1984. His guilt drives him to be
responsible and emotionally impacted him
to the point of rebellion.
He stopped, but he did not come back. His
mother’s anxious eyes were fixed on his
face.’ (p. 189)
‘He told Julia the story of his mother’s
disappearance... “I expect you were a beastly
little swine in those days.”’ (p. 190)
Page 30 of 134
‘If you loved someone, you loved him, and
when you had nothing else to give, you still
gave him love.’ (p. 190)
‘The terrible thing that the Party had done was
to persuade you that mere impulses, mere
feelings, were of no account...’ (p. 190)
‘And yet to the people of only two generations
ago, this would not have seemed allimportant, because they were not attempting
to alter history.’ (p. 191)
Importance of emotionality: Moral values
are lost (Winston’s mother had moral
values).
Importance of emotionality: Winston is
idealising the people of the past and
connects them with the proles (nostalgic
quality).
Importance of emotionality: Loss of
individual is what totalitarianism
represents- a world with no choices.
- Controlling influence on individuality
- Taking communism to an extreme
through extrapolation
Individuality/humanity: ‘Primitive’ has
negative connotations but is the core of
humanity (emotions).
- Winston develops real sensitivity
- Emotions/ability to share feelings for
another is the core of humanity
Metropolis: ‘Heart’ is needed in society →
also the core of Christianity.
- Emotion is needed for individuality
- Need to love oneself and not external
force
Winston loses all his values as he betrays
Julia.
- He highly believes in emotion
- The Party is forcing you to hate other
people and then hate yourself
Individuality/emotionality: You can
overthrow the Party at micro level if you
maintain love for one another.
- Love can overpower the state
‘What mattered were individual relationships,
and a completely helpless gesture, an
embrace, a tear, a word spoken to a dying
man, could have value in itself.’ (p. 191)
They had held on to the primitive emotions...
“The proles are human beings... We are not
human.”’ (p. 191)
‘“We may be together for another six monthsa year- there’s no knowing... When once they
get hold of us there will be nothing, literally
Foreshadowing
nothing, that either of us can do for the other.”’
(p. 192)
‘“They can’t get inside you. If you can feel that
staying human is worth while, even when it
can’t have any result whatever, you’ve beaten
them.”’ (p. 192)
Page 31 of 134
‘But if the object was not to stay alive but to
stay human, what difference did it ultimately
make? They could not alter your feelings.’ (p.
193)
Rhetorical question
... but the inner heart, whose working were
mysterious even to yourself, remained
impregnable.’ (p. 193)
Irony
Only feelings matter.
- Party centers around emotional control
- Ultimate betrayal of love is betraying the
people you love
- Hope is suggested here
Eventually, the Party is able to emotionally
manipulate/control Winston.
- Lack of hope comes from Winston/Julia
incapable of showing that love is a human
quality and an act of rebellion
Book 2 Chapter 8
‘He began asking his questions in a low,
expressionless voice, as though this were a
routine, a sort of catechism, most of whose
answers were known to him already.’ (p. 199)
‘Catechism’: Answers to the core doctrine
(religious term). Irony: Religious term
applied to political.social movement.
- Catechetical model for question and
answer
Winston states commitment to other
people for humanity but the Party is able
to undermine this as Winston is
committing to destroy others.
- The Party can trick him for that
Individuality/humanity: Losing insight is a
result of being so fixated on rebellion.
Irony: Trying to escape a treacherous
world by going down the path of treachery.
‘Persiflage’: Meaning that death is
common/desensitised.
- Winston realises lack of moral concern
and questions if it’s justifiable to sacrifice
morals
Human morals/values: Winston finds the
importance of values in the past.
- These values concern sacrifice/
commitment to others
Metaphor Irony
‘“You are prepared to give your lives?” “Yes.”...
“To commit acts of sabotage which may cause
Repetition Irony
the death of hundreds of innocent people?”
“Yes.”’ (p. 199)
‘When he spoke of murder, suicide, amputated
limbs and altered faces, it was with a faint air Listing
of persiflage.’ (p. 202)
‘“To the past,” said Winston. “The past is more
important,” agreed O’brien gravely.’ (p. 204)
Page 32 of 134
Role of religion: Goldstein’s book is the
counter to the Bible.
- The book is supposed to be filled with
the truth but is manufactured by the state
‘It is important to change one’s hiding place
frequently. Meanwhile I shall send you a copy
of the book’ (p. 205)
Book 2 Chapter 9
Importance of language: Deliberately uses
‘gelatinous’ to go against Newspeak.
- Shows the importance of language
Importance of language: Complex
intellectual words that expand thinking
(conceptual/abstract).
- Newspeak wants to prevent this
Oligarchical: Hierarchical level
Collectivism: People sharing in some way
(singular level of existence)
‘Winston was gelatinous with fatigue.’ (p. 208)
‘The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical
Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein.’ (p. 213)
Oxymoron
‘... war hysteria is continuous and universal in
all countries, and such acts as raping, looting,
Listing
the slaughter of children... are looked upon as
normal...’ (p. 215)
Reinforces the loss of religious values and
contributes to the violent nature of society
→ desensitises society
Control: Can’t make people too
comfortable or you can’t control them
(extreme economic view on the purpose of
wars).
Forms of mass manipulation.
Context: Lebensraum policy by Hitler and
promote expansion but encourage
sacrifices so he can manipulate the
masses.
Control: Gives proles necessities such as
porn makes them believe they have
control- these magazines are distributed
by the Party.
Role of religion: Winning war/expansion is
used as a religious values.
‘In principle the war effort is always so
planned as to eat up any surplus that might
exist after meeting the bare needs of the
population.’ (p. 220)
‘The social atmosphere is that of a besieged
city, where the possession of a lump of
horseflesh makes the difference between
wealth and poverty.’ (p. 221)
‘All members of the Inner Party believe in this
coming conquest as an article of faith.’ (p. 222)
Page 33 of 134
Capitalisation: Self-denial- the only vessel
is for the state.
No individuality/ personal identity since
everything is for the state.
Role of religion: Equivalent to religion/God
is Big Brother. This notion is followed by
other states (not exactly Big Brother) but
‘semi-divine.’
- Continuous warfare deprives people from
wanting war and stimulate economy
Context: Ideological conflict between
democracy and communism (Cold War).
Social class: Orwell creates distinct social
class- middle class makes the hierarchy
complicated.
2% are the Inner Party, extensive middle
class (maintains status from lower class).
‘In Oceania the prevailing philosophy is called
Ingsoc, in Eurasia it is called Neo-Bolshevism,
Capitalisation
and in Eastasia it is called by a Chinese name
usually translated as Death-worship..’ (p. 226)
They have been subdivided in many ways,
they have borne countless different names,
and their relative numbers, as well as their
attitude towards one another, have varied from
age to age.’ (p. 231)
It had been preached by kings and aristocrats
and by the priests, lawyers and the like who
were parasitical upon them, and it had
Religious allusion
generally been softened by promises of
compensation in an imaginary word beyond
the grave.’
‘Even if it was still necessary for human beings
to do different social or economic levels.’ (p.
234)
‘Imprisonment without trial, the use of war
prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture
to extract confessions, the use of hostages
Listing
and the deportation of whole populations...’ (p.
234)
Using their faith to exploit adherents- ‘ it’s
terribly hard for a rich man to to get into
the kingdomofheaven.’ (Mat19:23)
Oppression: Ingsoc went extreme with
previous, historical examples of
communism.
Emphasises the flaws of communism.
‘The invention of print, however, made it easier
to manipulate public opinion, and the film and
the radio carried the process further.’ (p. 235)
Role of technology: Mass media were the
only means. Manipulating the masses
means that people can’t counter if there’s
only one source of opinion.
‘But the new High group, unlike all its
forerunners, did not act upon instinct but knew
what was needed to safeguard its position.’ (p.
236)
Oppression: They have collective
ownership, with the Party owning
everything.
Page 34 of 134
‘Factories, mines, land, houses, transporteverything had been taken away from
them...’ (p.236)
Emphasising lack of private property in
Oceania. Socialism wants economic
equality → Goldstein thinking results in
economic inequality.
Listing Irony
‘Every success, every achievement, every
victory, every scientific discovery, all
knowledge... all virtue, are held to issue
Listing Anaphora
directly from his leadership and inspiration.’ (p.
238)
‘Hir friendship, his relaxations, his behaviour
towards his wife and children, the expression
of his face when he is alone, the words he
Listing Anaphora
mutters in sleep, even the characteristic
movements of his body, are all jealously
scrutinised.’ ( p. 240)
‘On the contrary, orthodoxy in the full sense
demands a control over one’s own mental
Metaphor
processes as complete as that of a
contortionist over his body.’ (p. 242)
Emphasises the importance of Big Brother
as a marketing brand for the Inner Party.
Loss of Christian values: Big Brother is
similar to God.
Reinforces how the state watches society
(any indicator within thought-process).
- Mind control techniques in WW2, where
controlling inner person = total control
Ensuring control over thoughts/mind
control. Omnipotence and infallibility is the
core.
Totalitarianism: Goldstein explains power
organisation. Power is power’s own end
(gaining power for power). Absolute power
corrupts absolutely.
Inner Party = God
‘As we have seen, the mystique of the Party,
and above all of the Inner Party, depends upon
double-think.’ (p. 247)
Book 2 Chapter 10
Page 35 of 134
Emotion isn’t something the Party
promotes. The song is sung by the prolesalthough Winston finds it nonsense but is
what he values (love). Proles still have
emotional capacity (no desire to
overthrow).
Church is a threat to stability.
Northern British, working class dialectWinston is still embedded in this culture.
Absolute power: Religion undermines the
state’s power since it’s another form of
influence- no alternative in 1984 .
Context: Soviet Russia outlawed religion to
maintain absolute power.
Winston suggests paroles have godlike
features. Winston’s hope is that proles
have quality to destroy the Inner Party (not
fully indoctrinated)- can’t be controlled
because 2% is Inner Party, 13% Outer
Party and 87% Proles.
Importance of thought: Maintaining beliefs
can help bring down the Party.
‘It was only an ‘opeless fancy, It passed like an
Ipril dye, But a look an’ a word an’ the dreams
Irony Dialect
they stirred They ‘ave stolen my ‘eart
awye!’ (p. 249)
‘The mystical reverence that he felt for her was
somehow mixed up with the aspect of the
pale, cloudless sky, stretching away behind
Religious terminology
the chimney pots into interminable
distances.’ (p. 251)
‘Where there is equality there can be
sanity.’ (p. 253)
‘... they would stay alive against all the odds,
like birds, passing on from body to body the
Simile
vitality which the Party did not share and could
not kill.’ (p. 252)
‘’We are the dead,’ he said. ‘We are the dead,’
echoed Julia dutifully. ‘You are the dead,’ said
an iron voice behind them.’ (p. 252)
Repetition
‘’We are the dead,’ he said. ‘We’re not dead
yet,’ said Julia prosaically.’ (p. 156)
‘’You are the dead,’ repeated the iron
voice.’ (p. 253)
‘’And by the way, while we are on the subject,
“Here comes a candle to light you to bed, here
Motif
comes a chopper to chop off your head!”’ (p.
254)
Proles can breed without control of the
Inner Party.
Julia realises they have been spied on.
Absolute power: Optimism from Goldstein
is destroyed by an iron voice.
Bells of St Clements’ song brought hope
(from ‘candle’) but then there is despair
(chopper to chop off your head).
Page 36 of 134
‘The fragment of coral, a tiny crinkle of pink
Symbolism Motif
like a sugar rosebud from a cake, rolled across
Simile
the mat.’ (p. 254)
Coral represents hope/potential for a
different world. Small coral = small piece
of hope but this is shattered.
Book 3 Chapter 1
Winston believes he can maintain his
thoughts but all will collapse.
He wants to kill Julia but thinks he feels
love (he knows love but doesn’t feel love).
He is enculturated (to a degree) → hasn’t
felt love and only views their relationship
as an act of rebellion, not love.
The essence of love is denial of self/
elevation of the other.
Light is supposed to be hope but is used
for torture.
Context: WW2/Soviet Russia, where sleep
deprivation is used as a torture device.
Reinforces that Room 101 is the worst
thing anyone could experience (as
suggested by lack of emotion)
Individuality/Perception of a hero:
Winston’s statement shows he’s not
capable of feelings.
‘He felt no love for her, and he hardly even
Irony
wondered what was happening to her.’ (p. 263)
‘In this place, he knew instinctively, the lights
would never be turned out. It was the place
with no darkness.’ (p. 263)
Symbolism
‘’Room 101,’ said the officer. (p. 272)
Repetition
‘He thought: ‘If I could save Julia by doubling
my own pain, would I do it? Yes, I would.’ ’ ( p.
273)
Book 3 Chapter 2
‘He was rolling down a might corridor, a
kilometer wide, full of glorious, golden light,
roaring with laughter and shouting out
confessions at the top of his voice.’ (p. 279)
‘’Don’t worry, WInston... I shall save you, I
shall make you perfect.’’ (p.280)
Individuality: Winston finds comfort from
his youth/memories.
Positive language
Irony
O’brien takes away individuality/thought
and makes him a perfect adherent/
Page 37 of 134
‘You preferred to be a lunatic, a minority of
one. Only the disciplined mind can see reality,
Winston.’ (p. 285)
Irony Euphemism
‘Will you understand, Winston, that no one
whom we bring to this place very leaves our
hands uncured?’ (p. 190)
Euphemism
Sanity= thinking for self (rationalising) and
challenging the state.
In 1984, insanity is thinking and controlled
by the state since it’s the definition set by
the Inner Party.
‘Discipline’: Euphemism for torture and
forced control.
Absolute control/individuality: Insane
means to forgo individual thinking process
and accept everything.
Existentialism: Whatever the Party holds to
be truth is the truth since everyone
determines reality with own
consciousness. Altering consciousness=
altering reality.
Context: Psychoanalysis/ existentialism.
Establishing connection between past
experiences and inability to connect with
social norms. Orwell extrapolates a
situation when individuals go against
social norm and will go against the Party→
force them into social norm or vaporise.
‘Uncured’: Controlled and need to return
to sanity.
Perverse view of individual relationship
with state.
Role of religion: There is no religion to
avoid any doubt towards power (faith can
have weaknesses).
Ideology has stopped possibility to
doub→ what to make Winston a convert,
not a martyr. Context: Inquisition, where
those who are accused to not be an
adherent of a religion are killed or attempt
to purify society by killing those who go
against the state.
Show Trials in Soviet Russia but
martyrdom is a flaw.
Page 38 of 134
‘We bring him over to our side, not in
appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We
Repetition
make him one of ourselves before we kill
him.’ (p. 292)
‘Our command is “Thou art”.’
(p. 292)
Importance of thought: Controlling the
spiritual aspect of self.
Importance of language: Uses positive
words to control.
Total power: O’brien is the perfect
adherent for the state.
Illustrates how a vacuum is created so Big
Brother fills that vacuum and individuals
will love Big Brother.
Context: Electroconvulsive therapy was
used to remove thoughts and control
impulses.
Orwell showing how the state can control
someone who isn’t ideologically strong.
‘His voice had grown almost dreamy.’ (p. 293)
‘We shall squeeze you empty, and then we
shall fill you with ourselves.’ (p. 293)
Metaphor
‘She betrayed you, Winston. Immediatelyunreservedly.’ (p. 296)
Adverbs
Book 3 Chapter 3
‘The proletarians will never revolt, not in a
thousand years or a million. They cannot.’ (p.
300)
‘What can you do, thought Winston, against
the lunatic who is more intelligent than
yourself, who gives your arguments a fair
hearing and then simply persists in his
lunacy?’ (p. 301)
Juxtaposition
Initially, Winston believed that if there is
hope it lies in the proles.
Irony
O’brien believed in his ideology (as a pure
convert) but is not insane.
Absolute power: Seeking power for power.
1984: Not interested in the good of power.
Emphasising the importance of power to
the state.
Context: Reasons for failure was because
Germany wanted colonial expansion with
Lebensraum, not absolute power.
Religion is replaced with the Inner Party
and power is the main value.
Existentialism/importance of thought:
Being able to control thought is used to
manipulate→ nothing is as important as
thinking/consciousness and results in
collective consciousness.
‘We are not interested in the good of others;
we re interested solely in power. Not wealth or
Repetition Listing
luxury or long life or happiness: only power,
pure power.’ (p. 302)
We are the priests of power.’ (p. 303)
Religious connotation
Metaphor
‘Nothing exists except through human
consciousness.’ (p. 304)
Page 39 of 134
Nature of humanity: O’brien thinks the
world should be more merciless and be
devoid of human emotions to ensure total
power.
Absolute power: Higher ability of power re
shapes thinking to state’s choosing.
Emotionality: Compassion no longer exists
(removing relationship between families).
Love is directed to Big Brother. Context:
Nazi Regime encouraged children to
report their parents if they detect anti-state
discussion.
‘A world of fear and treachery and torment, a
world of trampling and being trampled upon, a
Anaphora
world which will grow not less but more
merciless as it refines itself.’ (p. 306)
‘We have to cut the links between child and
parent, and between man and man, and
between man and woman.’ (p. 306)
‘If you want a picture of the future, imagine a
boot stamping on a human face- for ever.’ (p.
307)
A world of victory after victory, triumph after
triumph after triumph: an endless pressing,
pressing, pressing upon the nerve of power.’
‘You are under the impression that hatred is
more exhausting than love. Why should it be?
And if it were, what difference would that
make?’ (p. 309)
‘We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You
are imaging that there is something called
human nature which will be outraged by what
we do and will turn against us.’ (p. 309)
‘’Do you believe in God, Winston?’ ‘No.’ ‘Then
what is it, this principle that will defeat us.’ ‘I
don’t know. The spirit of Man.’ (p. 309)
‘Do you understand that you are alone? ’ (p.
309)
Anaphora
Metaphor
Relentless pain in need in society.
Society→ selflessness
Repetition
Power is always desired (eternal
exhibition)
Power= selfishness
Rhetorical question
Crush love out of existence and refine it
for love for Big Brother and everything else
is hatred.
Emotionality: Humanity is controlled
(absolute power), Shape of humanity is
created and cannot rebel.
Emphasises how you are ostracised for
having human emotions.
Emotionality: Winston is clinging onto love
(selflessness, sacrifice) to use against the
Party.
Italics
‘No; that is perfectly true. You have not
betrayed Julia.’ (p. 313)
‘But don't give up hope. Everyone is cured
sooner or later. In the end we shall shoot
you.’ (p. 314)
Emotionality/nature of humanity: Winston
hopes to die (not associated with survival).
Page 40 of 134
Book 3 Chapter 4
‘The so-called laws of Nature were nonsense.
Anaphora
The law of gravity was nonsense.’ (p. 319)
‘... by such a statement as ‘two and two make
five’ were beyond his intellectual grasp.’ (p.
Paradox
320)
‘He could feel the short springy turf under his
feet and the gentle sunshine on his face.’ (p.
Tactile imagery
321)
‘... in the mind he had surrendered, but he had
hoped to keep the inner heart inviolate.’ (p.
232)
‘What was the most horrible, sickening thing
of all? He thought of Big Brother.’ (p. 323)
‘You must love Big brother. It is not enough to
obey him: you must love him.’ (p. 324)
Rationality is overthrown and controlled.
Part of control power is to be stupid
(personal logic) and intelligence is what
the Party tells you to think.
Rare image of nature. Romantic
description→ natural appreciation on
individual
Emotionality/humanity: Winston insists he
still has a heart.
Importance of thought: Display of
individuality by challenging the state.
Emotionality: Winston tries to resist but
controlling people’s emotions= absolute
control.
Want to turn Big Brother into a positive
association.
Repetition
Book 3 Chapter 5
‘Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me!
Julia!’ ( p. 329)
Repetition
Fragmented
sentences
Exclamation marks
Emphasises how the state has won since
Winston loses his love for Julia→ leaves a
vacuum for Big Brother.
Symbolism
Association with white=good and always
checkmates/forces control.
Associated with Big Brother.
Book 3 Chapter 6
‘In no chess problem since the beginning of the world
has black ever won. Did it not symbolise the eternal,
unvarying triumph of Good over Evil?’ (p. 333)
‘2+2=5... Something killed in your breast: burnt out,
cauterised out.’ (p. 334)
Total control: Once you accept out of rationality,
they have to make you defeat yourself→ can’t
force you into submission until you conquer
yourself.
Importance of thought: Indoctrination is complete
and Winston finally believes 2+2=5.
Page 41 of 134
‘You think there’s no other way of saving yourself, and
you're quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it
to happen to the other person. You don’t give a damn
what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.’ (p.
336)
Repetition
Crushes hope of sacrifice since the state has won.
Selflessness/humanity: It’s part of humanity to be
selfish.
And after that, you don’t feel the same towards the other
person any longer.’ (p. 337)
Emotionality: Crush the concern for others, then
love is completely destroyed.
‘Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you
sold me-’ (p. 338)
Lyrics
Reflects Julia and Winston’s betrayal of each other/
loss of love.
‘And then suddenly the life would go out of them and
they would sit round the table looking at one another
with extinct eyes, like ghosts fading at cock-crow.’ (p.
339)
Metaphor
Submission= he’s dead on the inside.
No life→ no existence in the world.
‘Soon he was wildly excited and shouting with laughter
as the tiddlywinks climbed hopefully upo the ladders
and then came slithering down the snakes again, almost
back to the starting point.’ (p. 340)
Symbolism
Chess game is a metaphor for control.
Snakes and ladders: variation of success and failure
was a game of joy in childhood.
‘... his soul was white as snow.’
(p. 342)
Religion metaphor
His soul was cleansed and isn’t capable of going
against the state.
‘O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, selfwilled exile from the loving breast!’ ( p. 342)
Exclamation
Like a prayer, Winston glorifies Big Brother as he
experiences Romantic, genuine emotions.
Total control: His rationality is destroyed.
“The black-moustachio’d face gazed down
from every commanding corner... BIG
BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”
Historical Allusion
Historical allusions to Stalin, portrays leaders as
infallible, superhuman fürhers.
“There was of course no way of knowing whether you
were being watched”
Orwell instils his values in his protagonist Winston.
By making him the internal focaliser, Orwell
prompts us to empathise with Winston’s anxieties.
Through this limited narrative perspective, the
audience senses the anxiety that the omnipresence
of Big Brother and the Thought Police create.
Page 42 of 134
“a desire to kill...seemed to flow through the
whole group like an electric current, turning
one even against one’s will”
Metaphor
This metaphor depicts a bleak dystopia devoid of
freedom and individuality where control is
maintained through ritual and enforced
homogeneity
“For how could you establish even the most
obvious fact when there existed no record
outside your own money”
Winston’s personal rhetoric demonstrates the
absolute power of knowledge. - It is through this
extreme hyperbole that Orwell warns of the
dangers of a society that monopolises the media.
explains how ignorance makes the masses more
susceptible to control
“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of
words.”
Syme’s excited tone in this paradoxical statement
serves as a shock to the audience and highlights the
government’s absolute power.
“Expressionless Mongolian face and
enormous boots, a submachine gun pointed
from his hip.”
Propaganda poster
Cumulation creating frightening visual
imagery – reflects similar Nazi Germany
propaganda, used to propagate
xenophobia across Germany
“The great orgasm was quivering to its climax”
Metaphor
referring to the hate building up to a crescendo –
sexual imagery displays the party’s ability to take
over human emotion.
“The object of persecution is persecution.
The object of torture is torture. The object of
power is power”
anaphoric sentences
Orwell discloses the true motives of current
authoritarian leaders and prospects the extent of
how far totalitarianism can go.
“Slavery is freedom”
Paradox/Absurdity
Paradox and absurdity in O’Brien’s speech is so
extreme, provoking Orwell’s audience to resist this
kind of power.
“His pen had slid voluptuously over the
smooth paper”
Extended sexual
metaphor
passions that could compete with one’s loyalty to
The Part were acts of rebellion.
“DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER DOWN WITH BIG
BROTHER”
Repetition and
capitalisation
“theyll shoot me i dont care”
Lack of punctuation
Emphasises his mindless hysteria as he
privately protests the party
Page 43 of 134
“to a time when thought is free... men are
different from one another... truth exists...
From the age of uniformity... solitude...
doublethink – greetings!”
Use of the form a letter directed to future or past directs his message to his audience
“Their embrace had been a battle... It was a blow struck
against the Party. It was a political act.”
Extended sexual
metaphor
Their vibrant and fulfilling affair is a political
attack
“You are only a rebel from the waist downwards”
double entendre
Julia’s motive for rebellion and how she rebels
differs to Winston in that she isn’t conscious of
why she must rebel and she rebels by being
duplicitous.
“The paperweight was the room he was in, and the coral
was Julia's life and his own”
The paperweight is symbolic for Winston and
Julia’s affair, as it is an object that has not been
changed by the party
“Someone had picked up the glass paperweight from the
table and smashed it to pieces”
symbolises the deterioration of their hopes of
rebellion and their love for each other.
“ ‘throw sulphuric acid in a child’s face – are you
prepared to do that?’ ‘Yes’ ”
Emotive visual imagery
provocative, emotive visual imagery – confronts
the audience on the hypocrisy and senselessness of
rebellion
“I wrote it”
irony as O’Brien is vigilant believer of the inner
party’s regimes yet he wrote the heresy of these
values.
“you consider yourself superior to us, with our lies and
our cruelty?... He heard himself promising to lie, to
steal..to throw vitriol in a child’s face”
cumulation – the party facilitates and harnesses
how they rebel, then use their act of rebellion as a
means to exert more power over them.
“He loved Big Brother”
this nihilistic denouement highlights the futility of
rebellion
“It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander
when you were in any public place or within range of a
telescreen.”
Personification
personifies the omniscient presence of the
telescreen to provide the enduring image of an
autocratic regime that dehumanises the individuals
for self-benefit and maintenance of power.
“Big Brother is watching you”
Page 44 of 134
“There was of course no way of knowing whether you
were being watched”
The audience feels the omnipresence of Big
Brother and the Thought Police - Orwell
establishes this through the use of second person
narration and the use of Winston as the internal
focaliser, directing the audience to empathise with
Winston’s paranoia and anxieties. (thus
communicating Orwell’s fears and anxieties)
“the Hate Song...was being endlessly plugged on the
telescreens...to the tramp of marching feet”
auditory, military imagery and hyperbole of the
ongoing indoctrination through the media
expresses Orwell’s perspective of the media being
nothing more than a propaganda machine.
“Never again will you be capable of ordinary human
feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again
will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of
living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity.
You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and
then we shall fill you with ourselves.” - Book 3, Chapter
2
“Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are
creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic
Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear
and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and
being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less
but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our
world will be progress toward more pain.” - Book 3,
Chapter 3
“There was of course no way of knowing whether you
were being watched at any given moment. How often,
or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on
any individual wire was guesswork. It was even
conceivable that they watched everybody all the time.
But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever
they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit
that became instinct—in the assumption that every
sound you made was overheard, and, except in
darkness, every movement scrutinized.” - Book 1,
Chapter 1
Page 45 of 134
“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to
narrow the range of thought?... Has it ever occurred to
you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest,
not a single human being will be alive who could
understand such a conversation as we are having
now?... The whole climate of thought will be different.
In fact, there will be no thought, as we understand it
now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to
think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” - Book 1,
Chapter 5
“The sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion.
Desire was thoughtcrime.”
Winston views sex as an essentially politically
rebellious act.
“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and
until after they have rebelled they cannot become
conscious.”
Paradox
Anaphora
At reaching a metaphysical paradox, Winston has
arrived at a conclusion he does not wish to believe:
the proles will never gain the consciousness
required for them to effectively rebel
Subhuman proles cannot understand their
oppression until they revolt, however cannot revolt
until they understand their oppression. Inextricably
conveys Winston’s despair and damaged
conjectures, which ultimately influences his own
rebellious tendencies. Effects of class struggle are
depicted in the novel and Lang’s film-perspective
on rebellion
“At the sight of the words I love you the desire to stay
alive had welled up in him”
Tone of excitement
There is hope for Winston and the responder
“Anything that hinted at corruption always filled him
with a wild hope. Who knew, perhaps the Party was
rotten under the surface”
Sense of hope
Stream of consciousness
Winston figures that there is a sense of hope, there
may be other corrupt Party members just like him
“"I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don't want any virtue
to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the
bones."
Dialogue
Atmosphere of
excitement
Winston is interested in the act of rebellion
“So long as they were actually in this room, they both
felt, no harm could come to them”
Sense of security
The only privacy they have is in that room
“The proles had stayed human. They had not become
hardened inside”
Sense of Hope
Winston realises that the Proles are the only
humans left
Page 46 of 134
"Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn’t
matter, only feelings matter. If they could make me stop
loving you – that would be the real betrayal."
“She thought is over. "They can’t do that," she said
finally. "It’s the one thing they can’t do. They can make
you say anything – anything – but they can’t make you
believe it. They can’t get inside you."
Aposiopesis
Irony because the
government actually does
get inside them and
makes them stop loving
each other
Sense of hope is created, they will always stay
human and remain conscious
“We are enemies of the Party. We disbelieve in the
principles of Ingsoc. We are thought-criminals”
Dialogue
Bravery
Anaphora of “we”
Winston and Julia profess their devotion and
loyalty to the ultimate force of rebellion – the
Brotherhood.
The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism
by Emmanuel Goldstein
Mise-en-abyme
Mise-en-abyme or ‘story-within-a-story’ is a
textual feature of both Metropolis and 1984. In
Metropolis, Lang uses the ‘Tower of Babel’ story,
whilst in 1984, Orwell uses ‘The Theory and
Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism’.
“We shall crush you down to the point from which
there is no coming back.”
O’Brien Dialogue
Tone of anger and demand makes the responder
feel weak and hopeless
“ever again will you be capable of love, or
friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or
courage, or integrity. You will be hollow”
Repetition of “or”
Repetition of “or” creates a sense of angst and
worry as these are the values Winston will loose
"Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't care
what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the
bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!"
Tone of fright
Dialogue of Winston
Winston finally gives in
Winston betrays his loyalty
Highlights how torture and abuse of power
manipulates individuals
His love for Julia diminishes
Violent overtones-emphasises the extent of
indoctrination
Potentiality of succumbing to these regimes
“…tinny music trickled from the telescreens.”
“The cloves and saccharine…disgusting…the smell of
gin which dwelt with him night and day.”
“…a vile, biting day in March when the earth was like
iron.”
Sensory imagery
The dashes indicate Julia’s thought process as she
is overcome by passion, and this allows for the
reader to appreciate the complexity of her
statement
The hellish world of Oceania is an onslaught to the
senses.
Winston’s suffers in mute acceptance.
Bleak and depraved existence of Winston is
depicted for the reader.
Horror of dystopian world as depicted in the
opening.
Page 47 of 134
“Almost unconsciously he traced with his finger in the
dust…2+2=5”
(“…freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two
makes four.” P. 93)
(“They can’t get inside you, p. 192”)
“But they could get inside you.”
(“If they could make me stop loving you – that would
be the real betrayal.”)
“Under the spreading chestnut tree / I sold you and you
sold me”
Symbolism/ motif of
doublethink
Big Brother has triumphed over rebellion.
Winston has succumbed to doublethink.
Contrast /
Characterisation
We are witness to the total destruction of Winston,
from an individual thinker, lover and rebel to
pathetic, lonely, member of the outer party.
Absolute subjugation of the individual is conveyed
in pessimism of final chapter.
Loss in identity is evident through the contrast in
Winston’s attitudes by the end of the novel.
Underlines the satirical tone of the novel as irony is
skilfully employed.
The strong and resilient mindset of Winston is
juxtaposed with the ending. Furthermore, his tone
is elevated when describing Big Brother,
highlighting Winston’s submission to party ideals
as a result of being tortured.
Contrast effectively highlights how barbaric
governments corrupt the minds of civilians in order
to maintain power and control.
Scene mirrors Winston’s
visit to café in Part I (Ch.
VII)
(“Down with Big Brother” Ch. 1)
“He loved Big Brother”
symbolism (chestnut tree
symbolises chastity,
honesty and justice – all
values lost under Big
Brother)
“He looked up at the colossus that bestrode the world!”
“O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn selfwilled exile from the loving breast!
Mock heroism
Elevating Big Brother to a huge status, one that he
doesn’t deserve.
Irony – emphatic
(Oldspeak) tone of
Winston directed at Big
Brother.
We hear Orwell’s deeply satirical voice throughout
the final chapter.
LitCharts
Page 48 of 134
“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete
truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to
hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out,
knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both
of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality
while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was
impossible and that the Party was the guardian of
democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to
forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the
moment when it was needed, and then promptly to
forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process
to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety:
consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once
again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you
had just performed. Even to understand the word
"doublethink" involved the use of doublethink.” Pg. 35
(Book 1, Chapter 3)
Theme: Reality Control
Page 49 of 134
Winston describes the concept of "doublethink," a
style of consciousness that the Party demands all
citizens adopt. Doublethink involves believing two
contradictory things at the same time. One major
example of doublethink comes in the form of the
slogans of the ministries: "War is Peace,"
"Freedom is Slavery," and "Ignorance is Strength."
Winston's job at the Ministry of Truth also involves
doublethink; he must delete any evidence that
contradicts the Party's new version of the truth,
while at the same time erasing his own awareness
that he has changed anything. The "ultimate
subtlety" that Winston mentions refers to the fact
that, while experiencing doublethink, people must
also not be aware of the fact that they are
experiencing it.
Doublethink highlights the extent of the Party's
control over the population. If doublethink is
successful, there is no need for indoctrination,
laws, or even punishment; people will simply
believe whatever the Party tells them, even if this
doesn't make sense, because they have given up the
ability to logically interrogate whether things are
true or just. This is part of the Party's larger tactic
of reality control, a method of oppressing the
population through altering the way people see and
interpret the world around them.
The concept of doublethink was inspired by real
tactics used in totalitarian regimes such as Nazism
and Stalinism. In Nazi concentration camps, for
example, signs over the entrances read "Arbeit
macht frei," meaning "Work sets you free." In
reality, of course, prisoners in the camps were
either worked to death or gassed.
“The process of continuous alteration was applied not
only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals,
pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks,
cartoons, photographs—to every kind of literature or
documentation which might conceivably hold any
political or ideological significance. Day by day and
almost minute by minute the past was brought up to
date. In this way every predication made by the Party
could be shown by documentary evidence to have been
correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of
opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment,
ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as
often as was necessary. In no case would it have been
possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any
falsification had taken place.” Pg. 39 (Book 1, Chapter
3)
Theme: Reality Control/Totalitarianism and
Communism
Page 50 of 134
Here Winston describes the tasks he performs at his
job at the Ministry of Truth: "rectifying" cultural
and historical records so that they don't contradict
the Party's current version of truth, which is
constantly changing. This role is particularly
thankless for a number of reasons. Firstly, because
all of the work is done in secret, Winston will
never receive any acknowledgment or credit for
what he does. Indeed, doing his job well means
making it impossible to prove that any falsification
has taken place." Furthermore, he is constantly
undoing his own work; every time he changes a
record, he knows that perhaps only hours later he
will have to change it again.
Finally, because the Party's version of the truth is
constantly changing and will continue to do so into
the foreseeable future, there is a nightmarish sense
of monotony to Winston's work, which will never
be complete, but will simply go on and on, its only
purpose to strengthen the Party's control over
reality. Indeed, this sense of monotony
characterises life in the world of 1984. Orwell
shows that existence under a totalitarian regime is
endlessly dull and repetitive, as the Party erases all
differentiation between people and their
experiences.
“It was as though some huge force were pressing down
upon you—something that penetrated inside your skull,
battering against your brain, frightening you out of your
beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of
your senses. In the end the Party would announce that
two and two made five, and you would have to believe
it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim
sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it.
Not merely the validity of experience, but the very
existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their
philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.
And what was terrifying was not that they would kill
you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right.
For, after all, how do we know that two and two make
four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the
past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external
world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is
controllable—what then?” Pg. 80 (Book 1, Chapter 7)
Theme: Reality Control/Totalitarianism and
Communism
“In the old days, he thought, a man looked at a girl's
body and saw that it was desirable, and that was the end
of the story. But you could not have pure love or pure
lust nowadays. No emotion was pure, because
everything was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their
embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a
blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.” Pg.
126 (Book 2, Chapter 2)
Theme: The Individual vs The Collective/Sex, Love
& Loyalty
Symbol: Big Brother
Page 51 of 134
Winston has been staring at a picture of Big
Brother on the cover of a children's book,
reflecting on the way that the Party controls his
thoughts. He describes the pressure to conform to
Party ideology at the expense of his own logic as a
kind of physical force, so powerful that it could
lead him to believe that 2+2=5. Indeed, this
statement accurately foreshadows the moment
when O'Brien eventually does convince Winston
through torture that 2+2=5 at the end of the novel.
In this passage, Orwell conveys the idea that reality
control is even more horrifying than death. Perhaps
because he has little to live for, Winston does not
fear death; however, his words suggest that the
ability to reason is the most important thing in life,
and without that, he might as well be dead. With
this in mind, Winston's eventual fate at the end of
the novel is even more tragic than if he had been
killed. At the same time, this passage shows that
Winston knows such a fate is "inevitable."
Winston and Julia have just had sex, and Winston
reflects on his feelings of desire for Julia and how
these are inflected with the fear and hatred he
constantly feels as a result of living under the
Party. Because the Party controls citizens' actions
and even emotions, simply the private act of
expressing love and desire is subversive. However,
although Winston is able to overcome the sadistic,
violent urges he at first feels toward Julia, the Party
still plays a role in their romantic encounter;
indeed, what in a free society would be an ordinary
private act becomes a major political gesture with
very serious ramifications.
There was a direct, intimate connection between
chastity and political orthodoxy. For how could the fear,
the hatred, and the lunatic credulity which the Party
needed in its members be kept at the right pitch, except
by bottling down some powerful instinct and using it as
a driving force? The sex impulse was dangerous to the
Party, and the Party had turned it to account.
Pg. 133 (Book 2, Chapter 3)
Theme: Totalitarianism and Communism/The
Individual vs The Collective/Sex, Love & Loyalty
Julia has explained to Winston how the Party
utilizes sexual repression as a way of creating and
harnessing frustrated energy that can then be
directed toward the Party's own political ends.
Winston agrees, and muses that if left uncontrolled,
sexuality would be a direct threat to the Party.
Once again, Orwell shows that characters in the
world of 1984are not able to understand their own
thoughts and feelings except in relation to the
Party: every act, thought, and emotion is instantly
categorized as either orthodox or subversive. This
passage is also significant because of its wider
implications beyond the issue of totalitarianism.
Although the sexual repression depicted in1984 is
extreme, Orwell's point about the ways in which
sexual repression can be used to create political
obedience is not necessarily limited to totalitarian
regimes.
He turned over towards the light and lay gazing into the
glass paperweight. The inexhaustibly interesting thing
was not the fragment of coral but the interior of the
glass itself. There was such a depth of it, and yet it was
almost as transparent as air. It was as though the surface
of the glass had been the arch of the sky, enclosing a
tiny world with its atmosphere complete. He had the
feeling that he could get inside it, and that in fact he was
inside it, along with the mahogany bed and the gateleg
table and the clock and the steel engraving and the
paperweight itself. The paperweight was the room he
was in, and the coral was Julia's life and his own, fixed
in a sort of eternity at the heart of the crystal. Pg. 147
(Book 2, Chapter 4)
Theme: The Individual vs The Collective/Sex, Love
& Loyalty
Winston and Julia have secretly met in the room
above Mr. Charrington's junk shop, enjoying the
forbidden pleasures of black market food,
spontaneous singing, and time together away from
the surveillance of the Party. At the end of this
scene, Winston stares at the antique glass
paperweight he has bought, marveling at its beauty
and complexity. Under the Party, all production has
become purely functional, and thus craftsmanship
no longer exists and beautiful objects are (literally)
relics of the past.
Winston's fascination with the paperweight is
moving, and the level of detail in this description
betrays the way in which citizens living in free
societies might end up taking such small
manifestations of beauty and skill for granted.
Winston's desire to be inside the paperweight
highlights the strength of his longing for privacy
and for an internal life beyond the reach of the
Party. The phrase "in fact he was inside it" also
reflects Orwell's repeated challenging of the binary
between external reality and our internal
perspective.
Symbol: The Glass Paperweight
Page 52 of 134
The terrible thing that the Party had done was to
persuade you that mere impulses, mere feelings, were of
no account, while at the same time robbing you of all
power over the material world. When once you were in
the grip of the Party, what you felt or did not feel, what
you did or refrained from doing, made literally no
difference. Whatever happened you vanished, and
neither you nor your actions were ever heard of again.
Pg. 164 (Book 2, Chapter 7)
Theme: Reality Control/Totalitarianism and
Communism/The Individual vs The Collective/Sex,
Love & Loyalty
Winston has told Julia that he has spent his entire
life feeling guilty for his mother's death, an
emotional revelation that was only made possible
through the time he and Julia have spent alone in
the rented room. Having made this confession,
Winston feels resentful of the way that the Party
has made his emotions insignificant, while also
robbing him of any structural power within the
Party itself. The statement "what you did or
refrained from doing, made no difference.
Whatever happened you vanished" emphasizes the
fact that individual identity is completely dissolved
in the world of1984. It is impossible to have any
individual autonomy, as the only possible modes of
behavior––obedience or rebellion––both ultimately
result in being subsumed back into the Party.
The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with
the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously
recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of
the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine
without raising the general standard of living. Pg. 188
(Book 2, Chapter 9)
Theme: Totalitarianism and Communism/Class
Struggle
O'Brien has given Winston a copy of Emmanuel
Goldstein's (banned) book, The Theory and
Practice of Oligarchal Collectivism, which Winston
reads once he is in private in the rented room. In
Chapter 3, "War Is Peace," Goldstein describes
how the perpetual state of war is achieved and why.
Although the war is partly a territorial conflict over
colonized regions containing resources and people
used as slave labor, the main reason for war is to
use up goods in order to prevent a rise in the
standard of living. The population is kept in
poverty, as it is thought that the accumulation of
resources would lead to better education and
political resistance. The logic of war also gives a
veneer of purpose to the Party's control of the
population and to policies such as rationing;
however, this purpose is undermined by the fact
that the war is designed to be perpetual. Once
again, 1984depicts a world in which time no longer
unfolds with any kind of direction or purpose, but
is rather directionless and monotonous.
Page 53 of 134
The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole
surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all
the possibility of independent thought. There are
therefore two great problems which the Party is
concerned to solve. One is how to discover, against his
will, what another human being is thinking, and the
other is how to kill several hundred million people in a
few seconds without giving warning beforehand. Pg.
193 (Book 2, Chapter 9)
Theme: Totalitarianism and Communism/The
Individual vs The Collective
Page 54 of 134
Here Emmanuel Goldstein details the two obstacles
preventing the Party from achieving its aim of
global domination. This passage implies that once
these two problems are solved, there will be
nothing to stop the Party from seizing and
maintaining power over the entire world. The two
problems are 1) the ability to know what a person
is thinking and 2) the ability to kill hundreds of
millions of people without warning.
In the main narrative, each of the problems is
presented as being partially solved. The constant
surveillance of the telescreen means that any
subversive behavior, however minor, can be
detected by the Party. There are also several points
when it is shown to be possible to tell when
someone is thinking unpatriotic thoughts just by
looking at their face. Meanwhile, remember
that1984 is set in a post-nuclear world; nuclear
weapons can kill hundreds of thousands of people
at a time, although in the novel the three states
have signed a nuclear truce. The fact that the Party
has already begun to overcome these obstacles
ominously suggests that it will soon be able to
achieve its aim of total world domination.
“The heirs of the French, English, and American
revolutions had partly believed in their own phrases
about the rights of man, freedom of speech, equality
before the law, and the like, and have even allowed their
conduct to be influenced by them to some extent. But
by the fourth decade of the twentieth century all the
main currents of political thought were authoritarian.
The earthly paradise had been discredited at exactly the
moment when it became realizable. Every new political
theory, by whatever name it called itself, led back to
hierarchy and regimentation. And in the general
hardening of outlook that set in round about 1930,
practices which had been long abandoned, in some
cases for hundreds of years-- imprisonment without
trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public
executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of
hostages, and the deportation of whole populations--not
only became common again, but were tolerated and
even defended by people who considered themselves
enlightened and progressive.” Pg. 204-205 (Book 2,
Chapter 9)
Theme: Totalitarianism and Communism/Class
Struggle/Class Struggle
Page 55 of 134
Here Orwell gives an interpretation of the actual
history of the world up until the 1940s through the
voice of the imagined revolutionary Emmanuel
Goldstein. This narrative presents a somewhat
cynical view of the French, English, and American
revolutions, suggesting that the leaders of these
events only partly believed in the egalitarian
political ideals on which they were supposedly
based. The passage features an even bleaker view
of the 1930s and '40s, suggesting that although
political theories such as communism, socialism,
and fascism may have seemed ideologically
different, they all ultimately led to abuse of power
and crimes against humanity.
Although this passage is part of Emmanuel
Goldstein's book-within-the-book, there is a strong
sense of Orwell's voice coming through here. The
pessimistic outlook reflects the climate in which
1984 was written. In 1948, the events of the first
and second World Wars and the continued power of
totalitarian regimes (such as Franco's fascist
government in Spain and Stalinism in the USSR)
made it difficult to trust that political theories
would lead to positive outcomes, or that leaders
would not end up corrupted by power. Both in this
passage and throughout the book, Orwell suggests
that political theories themselves are somewhat
meaningless, because they seem to inevitably lead
to authoritarianism and oppression. Although the
Party in 1984claims to be pursuing its aims in the
name of equality, peace, love, and freedom, in
reality of course the opposite is true.
“Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as
though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous
thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies,
of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding
the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc,
and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought
which is capable of leading in a heretical direction.
Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.” Pg.
212 (Book 2, Chapter 9)
Theme: The Individual vs The Collective/Reality
Control
Page 56 of 134
At this point in the book Emmanuel Goldstein
describes crimestop, a newspeak word describing a
form of orthodox consciousness where subversive
thoughts are stopped before they even come into
existence. To the party,crimesetop represents the
ideal state of mind for all citizens. It is not enough
to have subversive thoughts occur but then to
dismiss them, as this still involves the use of
reason, which might then be used to criticize the
party. What the Party requires in order to have
ultimate control is for people to become so stupid
that they lose the ability to imagine criticism or
alternatives to Party ideology in the first place.
Here Orwell shows that the suppression of
politically subversive or "unpatriotic" thoughts
inevitably equates to the suppression of thought in
general, and that the ultimate result of this
suppression would be a completely numb and
idiotic population. This passage shows why Syme
was vaporized even though he was completely
obedient to the party; despite his orthodoxy, Syme's
intelligence meant the Party viewed him as
dangerously far from the ideal of crimestop, and
thus felt that he represented a threat.
“The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the
Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with
torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These
contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result
from ordinary hypocrisy; they are deliberate exercises in
doublethink. For it is only by reconciling contradictions
that power can be retained indefinitely. In no other way
could the ancient cycle be broken. If human equality is
to be for ever averted—if the High, as we have called
them, are to keep their places permanently—then the
prevailing mental condition must be controlled
insanity.” Pg. 216 (Book 2, Chapter 9)
Theme: Totalitarianism and Communism/Class
Struggle/Reality Control
Page 57 of 134
In this passage Emmanuel Goldstein makes an
important distinction between doublethink and
lying or hypocrisy. Recall that doublethink is not
saying one thing and believing another, but rather
holding that two contradictory things are true at
once. Again, the important thing to note here is that
logic is a threat to the Party's power, and thus
doublethink is necessary because it is a way of
perceiving the world that is by definition
illogical––it is completely incompatible with logic
and thus, in Goldstein's words, can be considered a
form of "controlled insanity."
It is also important to note Goldstein's statement
that the aim of the Party is for "human equality... to
be for ever averted." Of course this in itself
represents doublethink, as the Party simultaneously
tells citizens that the regime's purpose is to ensure
equality. This reflects the hypocrisy of Stalinism,
where communist ideals of a fair, egalitarian
society were distorted in such a way that preserved
the high status and rewards of government officials
while huge sections of the population were starved,
imprisoned, or worked to death.
“If there was hope, it lay in the proles! Without having
read to the end of the book, he knew that that must be
Goldstein's final message. The future belonged to the
proles. And could he be sure that when their time came
the world they constructed would not be just as alien to
him, Winston Smith, as the world of the Party? Yes,
because at the least it would be a world of sanity. Where
there is equality there can be sanity. Sooner or later it
would happen, strength would change into
consciousness. The proles were immortal; you could not
doubt it when you looked at that valiant figure in the
yard. In the end their awakening would come. And until
that happened, though it might be a thousand years, they
would stay alive against all the odds, like birds, passing
on from body to body the vitality which the Party did
not share and could not kill.” Pg. 220 (Book 2, Chapter
10)
Theme: Class Struggle
Symbol: The Red-Armed Prole Woman
Page 58 of 134
Winston and Julia have admitted they are doomed,
and meanwhile have been watching the red-armed
prole woman singing; it is in this moment that
Winston realizes that in contrast to himself, Julia,
and other members of the Outer Party, the proles
still have enough energy and freedom to overthrow
the regime. He considers that the proles might not
realize this for a long time––perhaps even a
thousand years––and that even when it does
eventually happen, it would create a world that he
might not personally feel comfortable in. However,
he decides it would be worth it because there
would at last be true equality and "sanity"––a
world where freedom of thought and common
sense were allowed to exist.
This passage stands in contrast to the rest of the
novel, which stresses the inevitability of the Party's
total power over the population. Winston's belief
that hope "lay in the proles" reflects Karl Marx's
theory that revolution would be achieved through a
temporary "dictatorship of the proletariat,"
meaning a period of time when working-class
wage laborers took control of political power,
overthrowing the bourgeoisie. In 1984 it is
debatable whether Orwell endorses or dismisses
this view; while he does depict the
"proles" (proletariat) as possessing energy and
freedom, the narrative ends on a decidedly
hopeless note, with no sign of a coming revolution.
Note also the rather elitist way in which Orwell
describes the proles. In this passage his statement
that they are "like birds" suggests that he considers
them closer to animals than humans.
". . . The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are
not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in
power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only
power, pure power. What pure power means you will
understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies
of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others,
even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and
hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists
came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the
courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended,
perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power
unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the
corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free
and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever
seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is
not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship
in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in
order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is
persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of
power is power." Pg. 263 (Book 3, Chapter 3)
Theme: Totalitarianism and Communism
Winston, who has succumbed to torture in the
Ministry of Love and is doing everything he can to
get O'Brien to ease the pain, has told O'Brien that
he believes the Party seeks absolute power because
this is ultimately the best for the majority of the
population. However, O'Brien's gives a surprising
response to this; he explains to Winston that the
Party seeks power for no other reason than to have
it. This shift in ideology shows that, now that
Winston has been tortured into accepting
doublethink, brainwashing and lies are no longer
necessary.
Note O'Brien's distinction between this aspect of
Party ideology and the legacies of Nazism and
Stalinism. O'Brien suggests that these regimes fell
short of the ultimate form of totalitarianism
symbolized by the Party, because they maintained
that there was a reason for their authoritarian
power (such as increasing equality or efficiency, or
conquering other nations) other than the goal of
achieving power itself. The Party thus symbolizes
the logical conclusion of totalitarianism, where
leaders are not corrupted by power, but instead
justify everything through the aim of having power
over others.
“To die hating them, that was freedom.” Pg. 281 (Book
3, Chapter 4)
Theme: Totalitarianism and Communism/The
Individual vs The Collective
After months of torture, Winston has accepted the
Party's control over reality and over his own mind.
However, he still dreams of the past, of his mother,
and of Julia, and has awoken realizing that despite
the fact that he has accepted doublethink, he still
loves Julia and thus his emotions are still free from
the Party's control. He realizes that he wants to die
hating the Party and Big Brother, because even if
the Party controls every other aspect of his life, this
hatred will prove that he died a person with at least
a tiny modicum of dignity and agency.
This sentence tragically foreshadows the remainder
of the narrative, where Winston loses his emotional
freedom, including his love of Julia and hatred of
the Party. This is reflected in the final sentence of
the novel, which is "He loved Big Brother."
Symbol: Big Brother
Page 59 of 134
"They can't get inside you," she had said. But they could
get inside you. "What happens to you here is forever,"
O'Brien had said. That was a true word. There were
things, your own acts, from which you could never
recover. Something was killed in your breast; burnt out,
cauterized out. Pg. 290 (Book 3, Chapter 6)
Theme: Totalitarianism and Communism/The
Individual vs The Collective/Reality Control
Winston has been released from the Ministry of
Love, having successfully been tortured into
accepting and obeying the Party. He is now an
alcoholic and is drinking gin in the Chestnut Tree
Cafe, recalling a moment when Julia had told him
that no matter what the Party did, "they can't get
inside you." Of course, Winston's time being
tortured in the Ministry of Love disproves this fact,
something he now understands. The horror of
Room 101 lies in the fact that, when faced with
their greatest fear, a person will betray everything
that is meaningful to them, thereby losing their
sense of self. Winston knows he will never be able
to "recover" from the moment when he betrayed
Julia, and because of this will never have enough
agency to be able to resist the Party again.
"Sometimes," she said, "they threaten you with
something—something you can't stand up to, can't even
think about. And then you say, ‘Don't do it to me, do it
to somebody else, do it to so-and-so.' And perhaps you
might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and
that you just said it to make them stop and didn't really
mean it. But that isn't true. At the time when it happens
you do mean it. You think there's no other way of saving
yourself, and you're quite ready to save yourself that
way. You want it to happen to the other person. You
don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is
yourself." "All you care about is yourself," he echoed.
"And after that, you don't feel the same towards the
other person any longer." — "No," he said, "you don't
feel the same." Pg. 292 (Book 3, Chapter 6)
Theme: Totalitarianism and Communism/The
Individual vs The Collective/Reality Control/Sex,
Love & Loyalty
Winston has run into Julia, and they have both
confessed that they betrayed each other while
being tortured in Room 101. Julia admits that this
moment of betrayal represents a total loss of one's
sense of self, reflecting Winston's earlier thoughts
in the Chestnut Tree Cafe.
Even though this betrayal is induced by the worst
form of torture, it is not possible for either Julia or
Winston to forgive themselves. They are haunted
by the memory of their own selfishness in the face
of torture, a selfishness that then results in total
obedience to the Party. This highlights a paradox
within the consequences of torture; the moment
when "all you care about is yourself" becomes the
moment when you lose your sense of self forever.
Orwell thus implies that what gives people a sense
of personal identity is in fact the ability to care
about other things (such as people and principles)
more than themselves.
Page 60 of 134
He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had
taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden
beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless
misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from
the loving breast! Two gin- scented tears trickled down
the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was
all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the
victory over himself. He loved Big Brother. Pg. 298
(Book 3, Chapter 6)
Theme: Totalitarianism and Communism/The
Individual vs The Collective/Reality Control
Symbol: Big Brother
Page 61 of 134
In the final paragraph of the main narrative,
Winston is drunk from gin at the Chestnut Tree
Cafe and gazes lovingly at a picture of Big Brother.
He regrets all the time he spent struggling against
the Party, and feels relieved that he now accepts the
Party and loves Big Brother. The two exclamations
beginning with "O" use over-the-top poetic
language to convey Winston's drunkenness, and
this impression, along with his total surrender to
the Party, highlight the fact that he is not the same
person as he was at the beginning of the novel. His
ability to think and feel autonomously has totally
disappeared, and he is now simply a vehicle of
obedience to the Party.
The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a
medium of expression for the world-view and mental
habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all
other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that
when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and
Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought—that is, a
thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc—
should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought
is dependent on words. Pg. 299 (Appendix)
Theme: The Individual vs The Collective/Reality
Control
Symbol: Big Brother
Sparknotes
Page 62 of 134
In the appendix to the novel, Newspeak is
explained in detail, including the plan to replace
Oldspeak entirely with Newspeak by 2050. The
aim of this transition is crimestop, a concept
introduced in Emmanuel Goldstein's book, which
means preventing the possibility of subversive
thought. This passage shows that just the existence
of Oldspeak (the English language we know) is a
threat to the total dominance of the Party, as it is
possible to express an infinite variety of thoughts
and feelings in Oldspeak, most of which do not
confirm to Party ideology.
Given this information, if the novel were set in
2050 instead of 1984 almost none of the events that
take place in the narrative would be possible.
Winston's critical thoughts about the Party, his
writing in the diary, and Julia's note that says "I
love you" would not be able to be expressed in
Newspeak. However, the final phrase "at least so
far as thought is dependent on words" might
suggest a note of ambiguity about the possibility of
future resistance. Recall that, even after Winston
has been tortured into abandoning reason, he is still
able to love Julia through his dreams and to
maintain the feeling of hating Big Brother. While
subversive thought might cease to exist after the
adoption of Newspeak, perhaps subversive
emotions could survive because emotions are not
necessarily dependent on language.
``War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength’’
Motif
These words are the official slogans of the Party,
• ``War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance if
and are inscribed in massive letters on the white
strength’’ is a motif of double think.
pyramid of the Ministry of Truth, as Winston
•
observes in Book One, Chapter I. Because it is
introduced so early in the novel, this creed serves as
the reader’s first introduction to the idea of
doublethink. By weakening the independence and
strength of individuals’ minds and forcing them to
live in a constant state of propaganda-induced fear,
the Party is able to force its subjects to accept
anything it decrees, even if it is entirely illogical—
for instance, the Ministry of Peace is in charge of
waging war, the Ministry of Love is in charge of
political torture, and the Ministry of Truth is in
charge of doctoring history books to reflect the
Party’s ideology.
That the national slogan of Oceania is equally
contradictory is an important testament to the power
of the Party’s mass campaign of psychological
control. In theory, the Party is able to maintain that
“War Is Peace” because having a common enemy
keeps the people of Oceania united. “Freedom Is
Slavery” because, according to the Party, the man
who is independent is doomed to fail. By the same
token, “Slavery Is Freedom,” because the man
subjected to the collective will is free from danger
and want. “Ignorance Is Strength” because the
inability of the people to recognize these
contradictions cements the power of the
authoritarian regime.
Page 63 of 134
``Who controls the past controls the future. Who
controls the present controls the past.’’
Motif
This Party slogan appears twice in the novel, once
in Book One, Chapter III, when Winston is thinking
about the Party’s control of history and memory,
and once in Book Three, Chapter II, when Winston,
now a prisoner in the Ministry of Love, talks to
O’Brien about the nature of the past. The slogan is
an important example of the Party’s technique of
using false history to break down the psychological
independence of its subjects. Control of the past
ensures control of the future, because the past can
be treated essentially as a set of conditions that
justify or encourage future goals: if the past was
idyllic, then people will act to re-create it; if the past
was nightmarish, then people will act to prevent
such circumstances from recurring. The Party
creates a past that was a time of misery and slavery
from which it claims to have liberated the human
race, thus compelling people to work toward the
Party’s goals.
The Party has complete political power in the
present, enabling it to control the way in which its
subjects think about and interpret the past: every
history book reflects Party ideology, and individuals
are forbidden from keeping mementos of their own
pasts, such as photographs and documents. As a
result, the citizens of Oceania have a very short,
fuzzy memory, and are willing to believe anything
that the Party tells them. In the second appearance
of this quote, O’Brien tells Winston that the past has
no concrete existence and that it is real only in the
minds of human beings. O’Brien is essentially
arguing that because the Party’s version of the past
is what people believe, that past, though it has no
basis in real events, has become the truth.
Page 64 of 134
``In the end the Party would announce that two and two
made five, and you would have to believe it. It was
inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or
later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely
the validity of experience, but the very existence of
external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy.’’
``And when memory failed and written records were
falsified—when that happened, the claim of the Party to
have improved the conditions of human life had got to
be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again
could exist, any standard against which it could be
tested.’’
- Motif
- Theme
This quote occurs in Book One, Chapter VII, as
Winston looks at a children’s history book and
marvels at the Party’s control of the human mind.
These lines play into the theme of psychological
manipulation. In this case, Winston considers the
Party’s exploitation of its fearful subjects as a
means to suppress the intellectual notion of
objective reality. If the universe exists only in the
mind, and the Party controls the mind, then the
Party controls the universe. As Winston thinks,
“For, after all, how do we know that two and two
make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or
that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and
the external world exist only in the mind, and if the
mind itself is controllable—what then?” The
mathematical sentence 2 + 2 = 5 thus becomes a
motif linked to the theme of psychological
independence. Early in the novel, Winston writes
that “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus
two make four.” The motif comes full circle at the
end of the novel after the torture Winston suffers in
the Ministry of Love breaks his soul; he sits at the
Chestnut Tree Café and traces “2 + 2 = 5” in the
dust on his table.
This quote from Book One, Chapter VIII,
emphasizes how one’s understanding of the past
affects one’s attitude about the present. Winston has
just had a frustrating conversation with an old man
about life before the Revolution, and he realizes that
the Party has deliberately set out to weaken people’s
memories in order to render them unable to
challenge what the Party claims about the present. If
no one remembers life before the Revolution, then
no one can say that the Party has failed mankind by
forcing people to live in conditions of poverty, filth,
ignorance, and hunger. Rather, the Party uses
rewritten history books and falsified records to
prove its good deeds.
Page 65 of 134
``And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it
was only a trick and that you just said it to make them
stop and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the
time when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s
no other way of saving yourself and you’re quite ready
to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the
other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer.
All you care about is yourself.’’
Julia speaks these lines to Winston in Book Three,
Chapter VI, as they discuss what happened to them
in Room 101. She tells him that she wanted her
torture to be shifted to him, and he responds that he
felt exactly the same way. These acts of mutual
betrayal represent the Party’s final psychological
victory. Soon after their respective experiences in
Room 101, Winston and Julia are set free as they no
longer pose a threat to the Party. Here, Julia says
that despite her efforts to make herself feel better,
she knows that in order to save herself she really did
want the Party to torture Winston. In the end, the
Party proves to Winston and Julia that no moral
conviction or emotional loyalty is strong enough to
withstand torture. Physical pain and fear will always
cause people to betray their convictions if doing so
will end their suffering.
Winston comes to a similar conclusion during his
own stint at the Ministry of Love, bringing to its
culmination the novel’s theme of physical control:
control over the body ultimately grants the Party
control over the mind. As with most of the Party’s
techniques, there is an extremely ironic strain of
doublethink running underneath: self-love and selfpreservation, the underlying components of
individualism and independence, lead one to fear
pain and suffering, ultimately causing one to accept
the principles of anti-individualist collectivism that
allows the Party to thrive.
Shmoop
Theme: Language & Communication
The Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with
news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The
Ministry of Peace, which concerned itself with war. The
Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order. And
the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for
economic affairs. Their names, in Newspeak: Minitrue,
Minipax, Miniluv, and Miniplenty. (1.1.8)
Employing the concept of doublethink, the Party
gives ironic names to its branches as a way to
euphemize what they actually are.
Page 66 of 134
"It's a beautiful thing, the Destruction of words. Of
course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives,
but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as
well. It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the
antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a
word, which is simply the opposite of some other word?
A word contains its opposite in itself. Take ‘good,’ for
instance. If you have a word like ‘good,’ what need is
there for a word like ‘bad’? ‘Ungood’ will do just as
well – better, because it's an exact opposite, which the
other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of
‘good,’ what sense is there in having a whole string of
vague useless words like ‘excellent’ and ‘splendid’ and
all the rest of them? ‘Plusgood’ covers the meaning or
‘doubleplusgood’ if you want something stronger still.
Of course we use those forms already, but in the final
version of Newspeak there'll be nothing else. In the end
the whole notion of goodness and badness will be
covered by only six words – in reality, only one word.
Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston? It was B.B.'s
idea originally, of course," he added as an afterthought.
(1.5.23, Syme)
By curtailing frivolous and "fighting" words, the
Party seeks to narrow the range of thought
altogether, such that eventually, thoughtcrime will
be literally impossible.
"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to
narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make
thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be
no words in which to express it. Every concept that can
ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word,
with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary
meanings rubbed out and forgotten." (1.5.23, Syme)
By curtailing frivolous and "fighting" words, the
Party seeks to narrow the range of thought
altogether, such that eventually thoughtcrime will
be literally impossible. The same goes for disruptive
or subversive behavior.
Page 67 of 134
"By 2050, earlier, probably – all real knowledge of
Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of
the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer,
Shakespeare, Milton, Byron – they'll exist only in
Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something
different, but actually changed into something
contradictory of what they used to be. Even the
literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will
change. How could you have a slogan like ‘freedom is
slavery’ when the concept of freedom has been
abolished? The whole climate of thought will be
different. In fact there will be no thought, as we
understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking – not
needing to think. Orthodoxy is
unconsciousness." (1.5.30, Syme)
The Party, in controlling and manipulating
language, seeks to ultimately make thinking
innately pure – void of rebellious concepts.
Theme: Philosophical Viewpoints
The sacred principles of Ingsoc: Newspeak,
doublethink, the mutability of the past. He felt as
though he were wandering in the forests of the sea
bottom, lost in a monstrous world where he himself was
the monster. He was alone. The past was dead, the
future was unimaginable. What certainty had he that a
single human creature now living was on his side? And
what way of knowing that the dominion of the Party
would not endure forever? (1.2.34)
Trapped between the Party’s nonsense principles
and his own perception of reality, Winston
experiences a metaphysical crisis that ultimately
leads to his demise.
To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete
truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to
hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out,
knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both
of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality
while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was
impossible and that the Party was the guardian of
democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to
forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the
moment when it was needed, and then promptly to
forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process
to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety:
consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once
again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you
had just performed. Even to understand the word
"doublethink" involved the use of doublethink. (1.3.20)
The Party’s concept of doublethink is contrary to
reason, logic, and the workings of the brain. It takes
a great effort for Winston to engage in doublethink.
Page 68 of 134
Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and
until after they have rebelled they cannot become
conscious. (1.7.4)
• At reaching a metaphysical paradox, Winston has
arrived at a conclusion he does not wish to
believe: the proles will never gain the
consciousness required for them to effectively
rebel.
• For the proles, consciousness is as necessary for
rebellion as the latter is for consciousness. This
paradox is the proles’ futile plight.
It was as though some huge force were pressing down
upon you – something that penetrated inside your skull,
battering against your brain, frightening you out of your
beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of
your senses. In the end the Party would announce that
two and two made five, and you would have to believe
it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim
sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it.
Not merely the validity of experience, but the very
existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their
philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.
And what was terrifying was not that they would kill
you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right.
For, after all, how do we know that two and two make
four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the
past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external
world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is
controllable…what then? (1.7.27)
Deathly afraid of the Party’s proposition that there
exists no external reality independent of the mind,
Winston feels despair – not because of the doctrine
itself, but because he may be subject to the truth of
that doctrine.
Syme had vanished. A morning came, and he was
missing from work: a few thoughtless people
commented on his absence. On the next day nobody
mentioned him. On the third day Winston went into the
vestibule of the Records Department to look at the
notice-board. One of the notices carried a printed list of
the members of the Chess Committee, of whom Syme
had been one. It looked almost exactly as it had looked
before – nothing had been crossed out – but it was one
name shorter. It was enough. Syme had ceased to exist:
he had never existed. (2.5.1)
That Syme has vanished and ceased to exist on
paper (or anywhere else, for that matter) means that
for all historical purposes, he has never existed at
all.
Page 69 of 134
"Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday,
has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it's
in a few solid objects with no words attached to them,
like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost
literally nothing about the Revolution and the years
before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed
or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every
picture has been repainted, every statue and street and
building has been renamed, and every date has been
altered. And that process is continuing day-by-day and
minute-by-minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists
except an endless present in which the Party is always
right. I know, of course, that the past is falsified, but it
would never be possible for me to prove it, even when I
did the falsification myself. After the thing is done, no
evidence ever remains. The only evidence is inside my
own mind, and I don't know with any certainty that any
other human being shares my memories. Just in that one
instance, in my whole life, I did possess actual concrete
evidence after the event – years after it." (2.5.14,
Winston to Julia)
Winston feels confident that, despite the Party’s
control of information–and thus, the past–he alone
had possession of evidence to prove the Party’s
wrong. (At least in his memory.)
"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls
the present controls the past," repeated Winston
obediently.
"Who controls the present controls the past," said
O'Brien, nodding his head with slow approval. "Is it
your opinion, Winston, that the past has real existence?"
(3.2.39-40)
To O’Brien’s dismay, Winston continues to deny
that the mutability of the past leads to control of the
present. However, the prolonged torture has been
gnawing away at Winston’s belief in an
independent, external reality.
Page 70 of 134
O'Brien smiled faintly. "You are no metaphysician,
Winston," he said. "Until this moment you had never
considered what is meant by existence. I will put it
more precisely. Does the past exist concretely, in space?
Is there somewhere or other a place, a world of solid
objects, where the past is still happening?"
"No."
"Then where does the past exist, if at all?"
"In records. It is written down."
"In records. And- ?"
"In the mind. In human memories."
"In memory. Very well, then. We, the Party, control all
records, and we control all memories. Then we control
the past, do we not?"
"But how can you stop people remembering things?"
cried Winston again momentarily forgetting the dial. "It
is involuntary. It is outside oneself. How can you
control memory?
You have not controlled mine!" (3.2.42-49)
Facing extreme torture, Winston vehemently refuses
to give up the view that an independent external
reality exists, even in a world where the Party
controls all records. Winston’s fierce belief in the
immutability of memory is the last straw he holds
on to.
"You believe that reality is something objective,
external, existing in its own right. You also believe that
the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude
yourself into thinking that you see something, you
assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you.
But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external.
Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.
Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes,
and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the
Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the
Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to
see reality except by looking through the eyes of the
Party. That is the fact that you have got to relearn,
Winston. It needs an act of self- destruction, an effort of
the will. You must humble yourself before you can
become sane." (3.2.51, O’Brien)
In urging Winston to discard his rebellious views,
O’Brien imparts on him a Party-centric,
metaphysical view of reality: reality does not exist
except in the collective and immortal mind of the
Party.
Page 71 of 134
Did not the statement, "You do not exist", contain a
logical absurdity? But what use was it to say so? His
mind shriveled as he thought of the unanswerable, mad
arguments with which O'Brien would demolish him.
"I think I exist," he said wearily. "I am conscious of my
own identity. I was born and I shall die. I have arms and
legs. I occupy a particular point in space. No other solid
object can occupy the same point simultaneously. In that
sense, does Big Brother exist?" (3.2.40-41, Winston)
Winston continues to hold on to the concept of an
independent, external reality by referring to his
being conscious of his own existence.
"We control matter because we control the mind.
Reality is inside the skull…" (3.3.21, O’Brien)
Furthering Party doctrines, O’Brien attempts to
push his view of a mind-dependent reality on
Winston.
"Nonsense. The earth is as old as we are, no older. How
could it be older? Nothing exists except through human
consciousness."
Winston continues to resist the concept of a minddependent reality by referring to the existence of
creatures pre-dating man.
"But the rocks are full of the bones of extinct animals –
mammoths and mastodons and enormous reptiles which
lived here long before man was ever heard
of." (3.3.25-26, Winston, O’Brien)
Winston shrank back upon the bed. Whatever he said,
the swift answer crushed him like a bludgeon. And yet
he knew, he knew, that he was in the right. The belief
that nothing exists outside your own mind – surely there
must be some way of demonstrating that it was false?
Had it not been exposed long ago as a fallacy? There
was even a name for it, which he had forgotten. A faint
smile twitched the corners of O'Brien's mouth as he
looked down at him.
"I told you, Winston," he said, "that metaphysics is not
your strong point. The word you are trying to think of is
solipsism. But you are mistaken. This is not
solipsism." (3.3.31-32, O’Brien)
Winston continues to believe in an independently
existing reality, but O’Brien ridicules him and tells
him it is not so.
If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of
this or that event, it never happened – that, surely, was
more terrifying than mere torture and death? (1.3.17)
Winston takes metaphysics more seriously than he
does death.
Page 72 of 134
The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes
and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His
heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed
against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual
would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments
which he would not be able to understand, much less
answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong
and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had
got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that!
The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones
are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards
the earth's centre. With the feeling that he was speaking
to O'Brien, and also that he was setting forth an
important axiom […] (1.7.29-30)
Winston believes fiercely in the correctness of his
position on there being an external, mindindependent reality; however, he cannot help but
wonder whether the Party is right in asserting that
the contrary is true.
Theme: Power
Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling
dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the sun was
shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no
color in anything, except the posters that were plastered
everywhere. The black mustachioed face gazed down
from every commanding corner. There was one on the
house-front immediately opposite. BIG BROTHER IS
WATCHING YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes
looked deep into Winston's own. Down at street level
another poster, torn at one corner, flapped fitfully in the
wind, alternately covering and uncovering the single
word INGSOC. (1.1.4)
A totalitarian power seeks to exert influence over its
constituents by conveying the message that it is
omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.
Ubiquitously posting awe-inspiring posters is one
such means to this end.
Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was
safer, though, as he well knew, even a back can be
revealing. (1.1.6)
Fear runs so deep in Winston that he fancies that, by
turning his back on a telescreen, his rebellious spirit
may be sniffed out.
From where Winston stood it was just possible to read,
picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the
three slogans of the Party:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH (1.1.7)
Another method by which a totalitarian power seeks
to exert influence over its constituents is to place
reminders of its slogans and doctrines everywhere.
Page 73 of 134
The other person was a man named O'Brien, a member
of the Inner Party and holder of some post so important
and remote that Winston had only a dim idea of its
nature. A momentary hush passed over the group of
people round the chairs as they saw the black overalls of
an Inner Party member approaching. O'Brien was a
large, burly man with a thick neck and a coarse,
humorous, brutal face. In spite of his formidable
appearance he had a certain charm of manner. (1.1.24)
As is typical with all Party officials and operations,
mystery is the key, and O’Brien is the epitome of an
enigmatic authority figure.
The next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as of
some monstrous machine running without oil, burst
from the big telescreen at the end of the room. It was a
noise that set one's teeth on edge and bristled the hair at
the back of one's neck. The Hate had started. As usual,
the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the
People, had flashed on to the screen. (1.1.25-26)
The Party’s modus operandi in maintaining power is
to shift blame to a designated scapegoat, toward
which all of its constituents’ hatred and violence
may be directed. Their favorite scapegoat is up
today—Emmanuel Goldstein.
In its second minute the Hate rose to a frenzy. People
were leaping up and down in their places and shouting
at the tops of their voices in an effort to drown the
maddening bleating voice that came from the screen.
The little sandy-haired woman had turned bright pink,
and her mouth was opening and shutting like that of a
landed fish. Even O'Brien's heavy face was flushed. He
was sitting very straight in his chair, his powerful chest
swelling and quivering as though he were standing up to
the assault of a wave. The dark-haired girl behind
Winston had begun crying out "Swine! Swine! Swine!"
and suddenly she picked up a heavy Newspeak
dictionary and flung it at the screen. (1.1.29)
The Party’s go-to tactic for maintaining power is to
shift blame to a designated scapegoat, toward which
all of its constituents’ hatred and violence may be
directed. Here we have the citizens letting it all out
during the daily Two Minutes Hate—which is of
course organized and overseen by the Party.
People simply disappeared, always during the night.
Your name was removed from the registers, every
record of everything you had ever done was wiped out,
and your one-time existence was denied and then
forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized
was the usual word. (1.1.39)
The Party’s way of dealing with subversive people
is to make them disappear, and subsequently, to
remove them from history altogether.
Page 74 of 134
With those children, he thought, that wretched woman
must lead a life of terror. Another year, two years, and
they would be watching her night and day for symptoms
of unorthodoxy. Nearly all children nowadays were
horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of
such organizations as the Spies they were systematically
turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this
produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against
the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored
the Party and everything connected with it. (1.2.25)
The Party seeks to maintain power by severing
private loyalties, replacing them with loyalty to the
party. With children, the success of the Party’s plan
is furthered in that the children serve as extra
surveillance forces for the Party.
Bad news coming, thought Winston. And sure enough,
following on a gory description of the annihilation of a
Eurasian army, with stupendous figures of killed and
prisoners came the announcement that, as from next
week, the chocolate ration would be reduced from thirty
grams to twenty. (1.2.31)
By keeping supply down and demand up on luxury
goods, the Party is able to check and direct its
constituents’ desires and wants.
A handsome, tough-looking boy of nine had popped up
from behind the table and was menacing him with a toy
automatic pistol, while his small sister, about two years
younger, made the same gesture with a fragment of
wood. Both of them were dressed in the blue shorts,
grey shirts, and red neckerchiefs, which were the
uniform of the Spies. Winston raised his hands above
his head, but with an uneasy feeling, so vicious was the
boy's demeanor, that it was not altogether a game.
"You're a traitor!" yelled the boy. "You're a thoughtcriminal! You're a Eurasian spy! I'll shoot you, I'll
vaporize you, I'll send you to the salt mines!"
Suddenly they were both leaping round him, shouting
"Traitor!" and "Thought-criminal!" the little girl
imitating her brother in every movement. It was
somehow slightly frightening, like the gamboling of
tiger cubs which will soon grow up into man-eaters.
There was a sort of calculating ferocity in the boy's eye,
a quite evident desire to hit or kick Winston and a
consciousness of being very nearly big enough to do so.
(1.2.15-17)
The Party holds their power by using children as
extra surveillance forces for the Party. This younger
sister is learning how to spy by following her
brother's lead. We bet the Party was extra happy that
they didn't have to train her themselves.
Page 75 of 134
On the sixth day of Hate Week, after the processions,
the speeches, the shouting, the singing, the banners, the
posters, the films, the waxworks, the rolling of drums
and squealing of trumpets, the tramp of marching feet,
the grinding of the caterpillars of tanks, the roar of
massed planes, the booming of guns – after six days of
this, when the great orgasm was quivering to its climax
and the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up into
such delirium that if the crowd could have got their
hands on the 2,000 Eurasian war-criminals who were to
be publicly hanged on the last day of the proceedings,
they would unquestionably have torn them to pieces – at
just this moment it had been announced that Oceania
was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at
war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally. (2.9.3)
The Party’s modus operandi in maintaining power is
to shift blame to a designated scapegoat, toward
which all of its constituents’ hatred and violence
may be directed.
The problem is the same for all three super-states. It is
absolutely necessary to their structure that there should
be no contact with foreigners, except, to a limited
extent, with war prisoners and colored slaves. Even the
official ally of the moment is always regarded with the
darkest suspicion. War prisoners apart, the average
citizen of Oceania never sets eyes on a citizen of either
Eurasia or Eastasia, and he is forbidden the knowledge
of foreign languages. If he were allowed contact with
foreigners he would discover that they are creatures
similar to him and that most of what he has been told
about them is lies. The sealed world in which he lives
would be broken, and the fear, hatred, and selfrighteousness on which his morale depends might
evaporate. (2.9.32, Goldstein’s Manifesto)
The Party ensures undying loyalty to it by instilling
– and indeed, creating – fear, hatred, and
uncertainty against the world outside Oceania.
"We are not interested in those stupid crimes that you
have committed. The Party is not interested in the overt
act: the thought is all we care about. We do not merely
destroy our enemies, we change them. Do you
understand what I mean by that?" (3.2.99, O’Brien)
The Party ultimately vaporizes captured rebels, but
not before converting and re-indoctrinating them.
Page 76 of 134
"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We
are not interested in the good of others; we are
interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long
life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure
power means you will understand presently. We are
different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we
know what we are doing. All the others, even those who
resembled ourselves, were- cowards and hypocrites.
The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came
very close to us in their methods, but they never had the
courage to recognize their own motives. They
pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had
seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and
that just round the corner there lay a paradise where
human beings would be free and equal. We are not like
that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the
intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is
an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to
safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in
order to establish the dictatorship. The object of
persecution is persecution. The object of torture is
torture. The object of power is power. Now do you
begin to understand me?" (3.3.14, O’Brien)
The Party will not repeat historical mistakes;
indeed, rather than seeking power as a means to
something else, its quest for power is for power’s
own sake.
Page 77 of 134
"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are
creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic
Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear
and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being
trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but
more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world
will be progress towards more pain. The old
civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or
justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there
will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and selfabasement. Everything else we shall destroy everything.
Already we are breaking down the habits of thought,
which have survived from before the Revolution. We
have cut the links between child and parent, and
between man and man, and between man and woman.
No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any
longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no
friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at
birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will
be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality
like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the
orgasm. Our neurologists are mat work upon it now.
There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the
Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big
Brother." (3.3.34, O’Brien)
The world that the Party aspires to create is a world
unlike any that has existed before: fear and torment
shall replace love and happiness; destruction shall
trump advancement; loyalty to the party will be the
only acceptable loyalty; families and the sexual
instinct shall be eradicated.
"But always – do not forget this, Winston – always there
will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing
and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every
moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation
of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a
picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a
human face – for ever." (3.3.34, O’Brien)
The Party is chiefly concerned with attaining and
maintaining the type of power that depends on
triumph over resistance.
The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with
the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously
recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of
the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine
without raising the general standard of living. (2.9.25,
Goldstein’s Manifesto)
War is a necessary tool for Oceania because it keeps
the standard of living in check, such that the
inequalities essential to a totalitarian state remain in
place.
Page 78 of 134
The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily
of human lives, but of the products of human labor…
The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city, where
the possession of a lump of horseflesh makes the
difference between wealth and poverty. And at the same
time the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in
danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small
caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of
survival. (2.9.28, Goldstein’s Manifesto)
War is a necessary tool for the Party because it
keeps the people peaceful, such that rebellion is far
from their minds.
In Oceania at the present day, Science, in the old sense,
has almost ceased to exist. In Newspeak there is no
word for "Science." The empirical method of thought,
on which all the scientific achievements of the past were
founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles
of Ingsoc. And even technological progress only
happens when its products can in some way be used for
the diminution of human liberty. (2.9.30).
The Party employs science and technology to curtail
human freedom and privacy, and to control human
behavior.
In principle, membership of these three groups is not
hereditary. The child of Inner Party parents is in theory
not born into the Inner Party. Admission to either branch
of the Party is by examination, taken at the age of
sixteen. Nor is there any racial discrimination, or any
marked domination of one province by another. Jews,
Negroes, South Americans of pure Indian blood are to
be found in the highest ranks of the Party […] Its rulers
are not held together by blood-ties but by adherence to a
common doctrine […] The Party is not a class in the old
sense of the word. It does not aim at transmitting power
to its own children, as such; and if there were no other
way of keeping the ablest people at the top, it would be
perfectly prepared to recruit an entire new generation
from the ranks of the proletariat. In the crucial years, the
fact that the Party was not a hereditary body did a great
deal to neutralize opposition […] The essence of
oligarchic rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the
persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of
life, imposed by the dead upon the living. A ruling
group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its
successors. The Party is not concerned with
perpetuating its blood but with perpetuating itself.
(2.9.58, Goldstein’s Manifesto)
The Party’s view of loyalty is that for totalitarianism
to thrive, there must not be private loyalties at all.
Rather, insofar as Inner Party members are
concerned with the perpetuation of the Party’s rule,
the only allowable loyalty is the loyalty to power
itself.
Page 79 of 134
Theme: Warfare
"Attention! Your attention, please! A newsflash has this
moment arrived from the Malabar front. Our forces in
South India have won a glorious victory. I am
authorized to say that the action we are now reporting
may well bring the war within measurable distance of
its end. Here is the newsflash –"Bad news coming,
thought Winston. And sure enough, following on a gory
description of the annihilation of a Eurasian army, with
stupendous figures of killed and prisoners […]
(1.2.30-31)
The announcement of war in Oceania is so constant
that Winston can almost predict it.
Winston could not definitely remember a time when his
country had not been at war, but it was evident that
there had been a fairly long interval of peace during his
childhood, because one of his early memories was of an
air raid, which appeared to take everyone by surprise.
Perhaps it was the time when the atomic bomb had
fallen on Colchester. He did not remember the raid itself
[…]. (1.3.12)
No matter how hard he digs at his memory, Winston
is uncertain whether a time existed when Oceania
was not at war with someone.
Page 80 of 134
Since about that time, war had been literally continuous,
though strictly speaking it had not always been the same
war. For several months during his childhood there had
been confused street fighting in London itself, some of
which he remembered vividly. But to trace out the
history of the whole period, to say who was fighting
whom at any given moment, would have been utterly
impossible, since no written record, and no spoken
word, ever made mention of any other alignment than
the existing one. At this moment, for example, in 1984
(if it was 1984), Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in
alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance
was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any
time been grouped along different lines. Actually, as
Winston well knew, it was only four years since
Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance
with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive
knowledge, which he happened to possess because his
memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially
the change of partners had never happened. Oceania
was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always
been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment
always represented absolute evil, and it followed that
any past or future agreement with him was impossible.
(1.3.16)
For as long as Winston can recall, Oceania has been
in a constant state of war – with whom it was at war
is of neither importance nor consequence.
"What I mean to say, there is a war on," said Parsons.
(1.5.51, Parsons)
Parsons is merely stating the obvious that there is a
war going on in Oceania.
Suddenly the whole street was in commotion. There
were yells of warning from all sides. People were
shooting into the doorways like rabbits. A young
woman leapt out of a doorway a little ahead of Winston,
grabbed up a tiny child playing in a puddle, whipped
her apron round it, and leapt back again, all in one
movement. At the same instant a man in a concertinalike black suit, who had emerged from a side alley, ran
towards Winston, pointing excitedly to the sky.
"Steamer!" he yelled. "Look out, guv'nor! Bang
over’ead! Lay down quick!" "Steamer" was a nickname
which, for some reason, the proles applied to rocket
bombs. (1.8.7-9)
The wars Oceania endures often create fear and
destruction, though ultimately keep its constituents
in check.
Page 81 of 134
"That was before the war, of course."
"Which war was that?" said Winston.
"It's all wars," said the old man vaguely. (1.8.35-37, the
old prole Man)
Warfare is so constant in Oceania that one war
blends with another.
In one combination or another, these three super-states
are permanently at war, and have been so for the past
twenty-five years. War, however, is no longer the
desperate, annihilating struggle that it was in the early
decades of the twentieth century. It is a warfare of
limited aims between combatants who are unable to
destroy one another, have no material cause for fighting
and are not divided by any genuine ideological
difference. (2.9.22, Goldstein’s Manifesto)
Oceania is permanently at war with the other
superstates. Such war is not necessary – except in
the sense of keeping the warring states’ constituents
in check. Oceania uses war to control its
constituents.
The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with
the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously
recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of
the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine
without raising the general standard of living. (2.9.25,
Goldstein’s Manifesto)
War is a necessary tool for the Party because it
keeps the standard of living in check, maintaining
the inequalities essential to a totalitarian state.
The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily
of human lives, but of the products of human labor […].
The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city, where
the possession of a lump of horseflesh makes the
difference between wealth and poverty. And at the same
time the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in
danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small
caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of
survival. (2.9.28, Goldstein’s Manifesto)
War is a necessary tool for the Party because it
keeps the people peaceful, such that rebellion is far
from their minds.
Page 82 of 134
On the sixth day of Hate Week, after the processions,
the speeches, the shouting, the singing, the banners, the
posters, the films, the waxworks, the rolling of drums
and squealing of trumpets, the tramp of marching feet,
the grinding of the caterpillars of tanks, the roar of
massed planes, the booming of guns – after six days of
this, when the great orgasm was quivering to its climax
and the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up into
such delirium that if the crowd could have got their
hands on the 2,000 Eurasian war-criminals who were to
be publicly hanged on the last day of the proceedings,
they would unquestionably have torn them to pieces – at
just this moment it had been announced that Oceania
was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at
war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally. (2.9.3)
Winston again recognizes the switch! Now the Party
announces that Oceania is at war with Eastasia, and
not Eurasia after all.
Theme: Violence
The chinless man obeyed. His large pouchy cheeks were
quivering uncontrollably. The door clanged open. As the
young officer entered and stepped aside, there emerged
from behind him a short stumpy guard with enormous
arms and shoulders. He took his stand opposite the
chinless man, and then, at a signal from the officer, let
free a frightful blow, with all the weight of his body
behind it, full in the chinless man's mouth. The force of
it seemed almost to knock him clear of the floor. His
body was flung across the cell and fetched up against
the base of the lavatory seat. For a moment he lay as
though stunned, with dark blood oozing from his mouth
and nose. A very faint whimpering or squeaking, which
seemed unconscious, came out of him. Then he rolled
over and raised himself unsteadily on hands and knees.
Amid a stream of blood and saliva, the two halves of a
dental plate fell out of his mouth. (3.1.63)
The Party uses brutality against captured rebels in
order to control and reform them.
Page 83 of 134
"Do anything to me!" he yelled. "You've been starving
me for weeks. Finish it off and let me die. Shoot me.
Hang me. Sentence me to twenty-five years. Is there
somebody else you want me to give away? Just say who
it is and I’ll tell you anything you want. I don't care who
it is or what you do to them. I've got a wife and three
children. The biggest of them isn't six years old. You
can take the whole lot of them and cut their throats in
front of my eyes, and I'll stand by and watch it. But not
Room 101!" (3.1.71, the old tortured man at the
Ministry of Love)
The type of torture the Party employs is so intense
that the people subjected to it are ready to betray
anything and anyone in order to avoid it.
Page 84 of 134
With that first blow on the elbow the nightmare had
started. Later he was to realize that all that then
happened was merely a preliminary, a routine
interrogation to which nearly all prisoners were
subjected. There was a long range of crimes –
espionage, sabotage, and the like – to which everyone
had to confess as a matter of course. The confession was
a formality, though the torture was real. How many
times he had been beaten, how long the beatings had
continued, he could not remember. Always there were
five or six men in black uniforms at him simultaneously.
Sometimes it was fists, sometimes it was truncheons,
sometimes it was steel rods, and sometimes it was
boots. There were times when he rolled about the floor,
as shameless as an animal, writhing his body this way
and that in an endless, hopeless effort to dodge the
kicks, and simply inviting more and yet more kicks, in
his ribs, in his belly, on his elbows, on his shins, in his
groin, in his testicles, on the bone at the base of his
spine. There were times when it went on and on until
the cruel, wicked, unforgivable thing seemed to him not
that the guards continued to beat him but that he could
not force himself into losing consciousness. There were
times when his nerve so forsook him that he began
shouting for mercy even before the beating began, when
the mere sight of a fist drawn back for a blow was
enough to make him pour forth a confession of real and
imaginary crimes. There were other times when he
started out with the resolve of confessing nothing, when
every word had to be forced out of him between gasps
of pain, and there were times when he feebly tried to
compromise, when he said to himself: ‘I will confess,
but not yet. I must hold out till the pain becomes
unbearable. Three more kicks, two more kicks, and then
I will tell them what they want.' Sometimes he was
beaten till he could hardly stand, then flung like a sack
of potatoes on to the stone floor of a cell, left to
recuperate for a few hours, and then taken out and
beaten again. (3.2.3)
Prolonged torture can influence anyone to do
anything. Eventually, just the threat of torture is
sufficient to make Winston do anything.
Page 85 of 134
He did not remember any ending to his interrogation.
There was a period of blackness and then the cell, or
room, in which he now was had gradually materialized
round him. He was almost flat on his back, and unable
to move. His body was held down at every essential
point. Even the back of his head was gripped in some
manner. O'Brien was looking down at him gravely and
rather sadly. […] Under his hand there was a dial with a
lever on top and figures running round the face.[…]
Without any warning except a slight movement of
O'Brien's hand, a wave of pain flooded his body. It was
a frightening pain, because he could not see what was
happening, and he had the feeling that some mortal
injury was being done to him. He did not know whether
the thing was really happening, or whether the effect
was electrically produced; but his body was being
wrenched out of shape, the joints were being slowly
torn apart. Although the pain had brought the sweat out
on his forehead, the worst of all was the fear that his
backbone was about to snap. He set his teeth and
breathed hard through his nose, trying to keep silent as
long as possible.
"You are afraid," said O'Brien, watching his face, "that
in another moment something is going to break. Your
especial fear is that it will be your backbone. You have a
vivid mental picture of the vertebrae snapping apart and
the spinal fluid dripping out of them. That is what you
are thinking, is it not, Winston?" (3.2.12-16)
O’Brien directs the torture and interrogation of
Winston. Prolonged torture has the ability to
influence Winston to do anything. Eventually, the
threat of torture is sufficient to make him do
anything.
"What have you done with Julia?" said Winston.
O'Brien smiled again. "She betrayed you, Winston.
Immediately-unreservedly. I have seldom seen anyone
come over to us so promptly. You would hardly
recognize her if you saw her. All her rebelliousness, her
deceit, her folly, her dirty-mindedness – everything has
been burned out of her. It was a perfect conversion, a
textbook case." "You tortured her?" (3.2.32-34)
Upon O’Brien’s informing Winston of Julia’s ready
betrayal of him, Winston is certain that Julia was
subjected to torture, just as he was.
Page 86 of 134
He had stopped because he was frightened. A bowed,
Grey colored, skeleton-like thing was coming towards
him. Its actual appearance was frightening, and not
merely the fact that he knew it to be himself. He moved
closer to the glass. The creature's face seemed to be
protruded, because of its bent carriage. A forlorn,
jailbird's face with a knobby forehead running back into
a bald scalp, a crooked nose, and battered-looking
cheekbones above which his eyes were fierce and
watchful. The cheeks were seamed, the mouth had a
drawn-in look. Certainly it was his own face, but it
seemed to him that it had changed more than he had
changed inside […]. Here and there under the dirt there
were the red scars of wounds, and near the ankle the
varicose ulcer was an inflamed mass with flakes of skin
peeling off it. But the truly frightening thing was the
emaciation of his body. The barrel of the ribs was as
narrow as that of a skeleton: the legs had shrunk so that
the knees were thicker than the thighs […]. The
curvature of the spine was astonishing. The thin
shoulders were hunched forward so as to make a cavity
of the chest, the scraggy neck seemed to be bending
double under the weight of the skull. At a guess he
would have said that it was the body of a man of sixty,
suffering from some malignant disease. (3.3.66)
Not only did physical torture take its toll on
Winston’s body, but the sight of his own body has
taken a toll on him psychologically.
"You asked me once," said O'Brien, "what was in Room
101. I told you that you knew the answer already.
Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the
worst thing in the world." (3.5.4, O’Brien)
The Party does not merely employ physical torture
on the captured rebels and criminals, but
psychological torture as well.
Page 87 of 134
The cage was nearer; it was closing in. Winston heard a
succession of shrill cries which appeared to be
occurring in the air above his head. But he fought
furiously against his panic. To think, to think, even with
a split second left – to think was the only hope.
Suddenly the foul musty odor of the brutes struck his
nostrils. There was a violent convulsion of nausea inside
him, and he almost lost consciousness. Everything had
gone black. For an instant he was insane, a screaming
animal. Yet he came out of the blackness clutching an
idea. There was one and only one way to save himself.
He must interpose another human being, the body of
another human being, between himself and the rats.
(3.5.21)
The Party capitalizes on fear very proficiently, and
Winston finally breaks under the weight of
psychological fear.
"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls
the present controls the past," repeated Winston
obediently.
"Who controls the present controls the past," said
O'Brien, nodding his head with slow approval. "Is it
your opinion, Winston, that the past has real existence?"
(3.2.39-40)
To O’Brien’s dismay, Winston continues to deny
that the mutability of the past leads to control of the
present. However, the prolonged torture has been
gnawing away at Winston’s belief in an
independent, external reality.
"We are not interested in those stupid crimes that you
have committed. The Party is not interested in the overt
act: the thought is all we care about. We do not merely
destroy our enemies, we change them. Do you
understand what I mean by that?" (3.2.99, O’Brien)
The Party ultimately vaporizes captured rebels, but
not before converting and reindoctrinating them,
through means of torture.
"Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't care
what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the
bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!" (3.5.24)
Faced with his biggest fear, Winston finally betrays
his private loyalty to Julia.
Page 88 of 134
"I betrayed you," she said baldly.
"I betrayed you," he said.
She gave him another quick look of dislike.
"Sometimes," she said, "they threaten you with
something you can't stand up to, can't even think about.
And then you say, ‘Don't do it to me, do it to somebody
else, do it to So-and-so.’ And perhaps you might
pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you
just said it to make them stop and didn't really mean it.
But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do
mean it. You think there's no other way of saving
yourself, and you're quite ready to save yourself that
way. You want it to happen to the other person. You
don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is
yourself."
"All you care about is yourself," he echoed.
"And after that, you don't feel the same towards the
other person any longer."
"No," he said, "you don't feel the same." (3.6.16-22,
Winston and Julia)
For both Winston and Julia, torture is able to chew
through the deepest bonds of loyalty.
He obeyed the Party, but he still hated the Party. In the
old days he had hidden a heretical mind beneath an
appearance of conformity. Now he had retreated a step
further: in the mind he had surrendered, but he had
hoped to keep the inner heart inviolate. He knew that he
was in the wrong, but he preferred to be in the wrong.
(3.4.24)
Even after months of torture, Winston outwardly
obeys the Party, but inwardly does not resign his
rebellious spirit.
Theme: Technology & Modernisation
Inside the flat a fruity voice was reading out a list of
figures which had something to do with the production
of pig-iron. The voice came from an oblong metal
plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the
surface of the right-hand wall. Winston turned a switch
and the voice sank somewhat, though the words were
still distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it
was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of
shutting it off completely. (1.1.3)
Oceanians live in a constant state of being
monitored by the Party, through the use of
advanced, invasive technology.
Page 89 of 134
In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between
the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and
darted away again with a curving flight. It was the
police patrol, snooping into people's windows. (1.1.4)
Oceanians are used to living in a constant state of
surveillance – either through technology or police
patrol.
It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander
when you were in any public place or within range of a
telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A
nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of
muttering to yourself – anything that carried with it the
suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide.
In any case, to wear an improper expression on your
face (to look incredulous when a victory was
announced, for example) was itself a punishable
offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak:
facecrime, it was called. (1.5.65)
The Party’s surveillance tactics and technology are
so advanced that even the smallest twitch can betray
a rebellious spirit.
"That's a first-rate training they give them in the Spies
nowadays – better than in my day, even. What d'you
think's the latest thing they’ve served them out with?
Ear trumpets for listening through keyholes! My little
girl brought one home the other night – tried it out on
our sitting-room door, and reckoned she could hear
twice as much as with her ear to the hole." (1.5.67,
Parsons)
Its reach not limited to technology, the Party
employs children against their parents as another
way of to survey behavior.
He took his scribbling pad on his knee and pushed back
his chair so as to get as far away from the telescreen as
possible. To keep your face expressionless was not
difficult, and even your breathing could be controlled,
with an effort: but you could not control the beating of
your heart, and the telescreen was quite delicate enough
to pick it up. (1.7.22)
The Party’s chief monitoring device, the telescreen,
is so sensitive that it can detect the rapid beatings of
a person’s rebellious heart.
In general you could not assume that you were much
safer in the country than in London. There were no
telescreens, of course, but there was always the danger
of concealed microphones by which your voice might
be picked up and recognized; besides, it was not easy to
make a journey by yourself without attracting attention.
(2.2.2)
Its reach not limited to telescreens, the Party also
places hidden microphones throughout London to
monitor the interactions of its constituents.
Page 90 of 134
In Oceania at the present day, Science, in the old sense,
has almost ceased to exist. In Newspeak there is no
word for 'Science'. The empirical method of thought, on
which all the scientific achievements of the past were
founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles
of Ingsoc. And even technological progress only
happens when its products can in some way be used for
the diminution of human liberty. (2.9.30).
The Party employs science and technology to curtail
human freedom and privacy, and to control human
behavior.
Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen. It was
safer, though, as he well knew, even a back can be
revealing. (1.1.6)
Fear runs so deep in Winston that he fancies that by
turning his back on a telescreen, his rebellious spirit
may be sniffed out.
"‘Down with Big Brother!’ Yes, I said that! Said it over
and over again, it seems. Between you and me, old man,
I'm glad they got me before it went any further […]."
"Who denounced you?" said Winston.
"It was my little daughter," said Parsons with a sort of
doleful pride. "She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I
was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next
day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don't bear
her any grudge for it. In fact I'm proud of her. It shows I
brought her up in the right spirit, anyway." (3.1.48-50)
With children, the success of the Party’s plan
manifests further in that the children serve as extra
surveillance forces for the Party. Indeed, the child of
Party member Parsons is so overcome with love for
and indoctrination by the Party that she surveys and
turns in her own father in for thoughtcrime.
"You can turn it off!" he said.
"Yes," said O'Brien, "we can turn it off. We have that
privilege" (2.8.8-9, Winston and O’Brien)
Privacy away from the telescreens is a privilege
afforded only to Inner Party members.
"You are the dead," repeated the iron voice.
"It was behind the picture," breathed Julia.
"It was behind the picture," said the voice. "Remain
exactly where you are. Make no movement until you are
ordered."
It was starting, it was starting at last! They could do
nothing except stand gazing into one another's eyes […]
unthinkable to disobey the iron voice from the wall.
There was a snap as though a catch had been turned
back, and a crash of breaking glass. The picture had
fallen to the floor uncovering the telescreen behind it.
(2.10.21-24)
Winston and Julia come to a rude awakening when
it turns out that their rented room has a hidden
telescreen that has surveyed them for their entire
affair.
Theme: Manipulation
Page 91 of 134
And if all others accepted the lie which the Party
imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie
passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the
past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who
controls the present controls the past." And yet the past,
though of its nature alterable, never had been altered.
Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to
everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed
was an unending series of victories over your own
memory. "Reality control," they called it: in Newspeak,
"doublethink." (1.3.18)
Winston believes that as long as a person’s
perception (or memory) of the truth can be
externally verified, then even a lie can become
truth. Such is the Party’s method of control.
For how could you establish even the most obvious fact
when there existed no record outside your own
memory? He tried to remember in what year he had first
heard mention of Big Brother. He thought it must have
been at some time in the sixties, but it was impossible to
be certain. In the Party histories, of course, Big Brother
figured as the leader and guardian of the Revolution
since its very earliest days. His exploits had been
gradually pushed backwards in time until already they
extended into the fabulous world of the forties and the
thirties, when the capitalists in their strange cylindrical
hats still rode through the streets of London in great
gleaming motor-cars or horse carriages with glass sides.
There was no knowing how much of this legend was
true and how much invented. Winston could not even
remember at what date the Party itself had come into
existence. (1.3.22)
Without physical records outside of his own
memory, Winston experiences great trouble in
trying to remember the commencement of the
Party’s rule.
This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar
slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands
throughout the building, not only in every room but at
short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they
were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that
any document was due for destruction, or even when
one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an
automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory
hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled
away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces
which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the
building. (1.4.2)
The Party seeks to control the present by mandating
the destruction of all records of the past through
"memory holes."
Page 92 of 134
The messages he had received referred to articles or
news items which for one reason or another it was
thought necessary to alter, or, as the official phrase had
it, to rectify. For example, it appeared from The Times
of the seventeenth of March that Big Brother, in his
speech of the previous day, had predicted that the South
Indian front would remain quiet but that a Eurasian
offensive would shortly be launched in North Africa. As
it happened, the Eurasian Higher Command had
launched its offensive in South India and left North
Africa alone. It was therefore necessary to rewrite a
paragraph of Big Brother's speech, in such a way as to
make him predict the thing that had actually happened.
Or again, The Times of the nineteenth of December had
published the official forecasts of the output of various
classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of
1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth
Three-Year Plan. Today's issue contained a statement of
the actual output, from which it appeared that the
forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong.
Winston's job was to rectify the original figures by
making them agree with the later ones. As for the third
message, it referred to a very simple error which could
be set right in a couple of minutes. As short a time ago
as February, the Ministry of Plenty had issued a promise
(a "categorical pledge" were the official words) that
there would be no reduction of the chocolate ration
during 1984. Actually, as Winston was aware, the
chocolate ration was to be reduced from thirty grams to
twenty at the end of the present week. All that was
needed was to substitute for the original promise a
warning that it would probably be necessary to reduce
the ration at some time in April. (1.4.6)
Winston’s duties consist of editing and rewriting
history in the form of various media in order to
conform and reinforce the Party’s version of the
past and present. The Party refers to this task as the
"rectification" of records.
Page 93 of 134
As soon as all the corrections which happened to be
necessary in any particular number of The Times had
been assembled and collated, that number would be
reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected
copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of
continuous alteration was applied not only to
newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets,
posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons,
photographs – to every kind of literature or
documentation which might conceivably hold any
political or ideological significance. Day by day and
almost minute by minute the past was brought up to
date. In this way every prediction made by the Party
could be shown by documentary evidence to have been
correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of
opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment,
ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a
palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as
often as was necessary. In no case would it have been
possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any
falsification had taken place. (1.4.8)
Winston’s employment duties consist of editing and
rewriting history in the form of various media to
conform and reinforce the Party’s version of the
past and present. Once this "rectification" of records
takes place and the deed itself has generated no
records, the falsification begins to pass for truth.
A number of The Times which might, because of
changes in political alignment, or mistaken prophecies
uttered by Big Brother, have been rewritten a dozen
times still stood on the files bearing its original date,
and no other copy existed to contradict it. Books, also,
were recalled and rewritten again and again, and were
invariably reissued without any admission that any
alteration had been made. Even the written instructions
which Winston received, and which he invariably got
rid of as soon as he had dealt with them, never stated or
implied that an act of forgery was to be committed:
always the reference was to slips, errors, misprints, or
misquotations which it was necessary to put right in the
interests of accuracy. (1.4.8)
The rectification of records is an endless task, as
history has been written and rewritten dozens of
times.
Page 94 of 134
And the Records Department, after all, was itself only a
single branch of the Ministry of Truth, whose primary
job was not to reconstruct the past but to supply the
citizens of Oceania with newspapers, films, textbooks,
telescreen programs, plays, novels – with every
conceivable kind of information, instruction, or
entertainment, from a statue to a slogan, from a lyric
poem to a biological treatise, and from a child's
spelling-book to a Newspeak dictionary. And the
Ministry had not only to supply the multifarious needs
of the party, but also to repeat the whole operation at a
lower level for the benefit of the proletariat. There was a
whole chain of separate departments dealing with
proletarian literature, music, drama, and entertainment
generally. Here were produced rubbishy newspapers
containing almost nothing except sport, crime and
astrology, sensational five-cent novelettes, films oozing
with sex, and sentimental songs which were composed
entirely by mechanical means on a special kind of
kaleidoscope known as a versificator. There was even a
whole sub-section – Pornosec, it was called in
Newspeak – engaged in producing the lowest kind of
pornography, which was sent out in sealed packets and
which no Party member, other than those who worked
on it, was permitted to look at. (1.4.12)
The Party controls and constructs all sources of
information in Oceania, including the type of
news and media its citizens receive.
And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or
small. Everything faded away into a shadow-world in
which, finally, even the date of the year had become
uncertain. (1.4.9)
Due to the Party’s control and rectification of all
media in Oceania, there is no real certainty in any
records. Finally, Oceanians are forced to question
even their memories.
So tricky a piece of work would never be entrusted to a
single person: on the other hand, to turn it over to a
committee would be to admit openly that an act of
fabrication was taking place. Very likely as many as a
dozen people were now working away on rival versions
of what Big Brother had actually said. And presently
some master brain in the Inner Party would select this
version or that, would re-edit it and set in motion the
complex processes of cross-referencing that would be
required, and then the chosen lie would pass into the
permanent records and become truth. (1.4.19)
During Hate Week, Winston’s duties consist of
editing and rewriting history with respect to the
announcement of Oceania’s new enemy, Eastasia.
After he "rectifies" a particular record, it is then
passed on to a supervisor who chooses among
competing versions of rectification for the one
falsification that shall have the privilege of passing
as truth over the course of time.
Page 95 of 134
Comrade Ogilvy, who had never existed in the present,
now existed in the past, and when once the act of
forgery was forgotten, he would exist just as
authentically, and upon the same evidence, as
Charlemagne or Julius Caesar. (1.4.25)
The Party sometimes creates new identities of
persons who never existed in order to further its
ends. Once that act of creation has been forgotten,
such persons seemingly exist just as authentically as
real individuals.
Not a word of it could ever be proved or disproved. The
Party claimed, for example, that today 40 per cent of
adult proles were literate: before the Revolution, it was
said, the number had only been 15 per cent. The Party
claimed that the infant mortality rate was now only 160
per thousand, whereas before the Revolution it had been
300 – and so it went on. It was like a single equation
with two unknowns. It might very well be that literally
every word in the history books, even the things that
one accepted without question, was pure fantasy. For all
he knew there might never have been any such law as
the jus primae noctis, or any such creature as a
capitalist, or any such garment as a top hat. (1.7.10)
The Party’s control of information and records is so
extensive that it is impossible to prove or disprove
anything it claims.
Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the
erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth. Just once in
his life he had possessed – after the event: that was what
counted – concrete, unmistakable evidence of an act of
falsification. He had held it between his fingers for as
long as thirty seconds. (1.7.11)
Winston feels confident that, despite the Party’s
control of information, he alone had possession of
evidence to prove the Party’s wrong – at least in his
memory.
Very likely the confessions had been rewritten and
rewritten until the original facts and dates no longer had
the smallest significance. The past not only changed,
but changed continuously. What most afflicted him with
the sense of nightmare was that he had never clearly
understood why the huge imposture was undertaken.
The immediate advantages of falsifying the past were
obvious, but the ultimate motive was mysterious. He
took up his pen again and wrote:
I understand HOW: I do not understand WHY.
(1.7.24-25, Winston)
Winston does not understand the ultimate motive
behind the Party’s control and falsification of
records.
Page 96 of 134
Winston wondered vaguely to what century the church
belonged. It was always difficult to determine the age of
a London building. Anything large and impressive, if it
was reasonably new in appearance, was automatically
claimed as having been built since the Revolution,
while anything that was obviously of earlier date was
ascribed to some dim period called the Middle Ages.
The centuries of capitalism were held to have produced
nothing of any value. One could not learn history from
architecture any more than one could learn it from
books. Statues, inscriptions, memorial stones, the names
of streets – anything that might throw light upon the
past had been systematically altered. (1.8.85)
The Party’s control of information is not limited to
written sources alone, but extends even to matters
such as architecture.
[…] he was not troubled by the fact that every word he
murmured into the speakwrite, every stroke of his inkpencil, was a deliberate lie. He was as anxious as
anyone else in the Department that the forgery should
be perfect […] A mighty deed, which could never be
mentioned, had been achieved. It was now impossible
for any human being to prove by documentary evidence
that the war with Eurasia had ever happened. (2.9.8)
During Hate Week, Winston’s duties consist of
editing and rewriting history with respect to the
announcement of Oceania’s new enemy, Eastasia.
He is not troubled by his deliberate lying in
furtherance of the Party’s goals, but rather proud of
the horrendous deed in which he participates.
Actually he was not used to writing by hand. Apart from
very short notes, it was usual to dictate everything into
the speakwrite which was of course impossible for his
present purpose. (1.1.14)
Winston’s memory of the past is fuzzy because of
the Party’s control and elimination of records in the
past and present.
Theme: Repression
She was a bold-looking girl, of about twenty-seven,
with thick hair, a freckled face, and swift, athletic
movements. A narrow scarlet sash, emblem of the
Junior Anti-Sex League, was wound several times round
the waist of her overalls, just tightly enough to bring out
the shapeliness of her hips. Winston had disliked her
from the very first moment of seeing her. He knew the
reason. It was because of the atmosphere of hockeyfields and cold baths and community hikes and general
clean-mindedness which she managed to carry about
with her. He disliked nearly all women, and especially
the young and pretty ones. (1.1.23)
Julia, a member of the Junior Anti-Sex League, is
the epitome of the pretty and chaste young girls
Winston despises. It is clear that his hatred arises
only because he must repress his hopeless urges for
them.
Page 97 of 134
The girl with dark hair was coming towards them across
the field. With what seemed a single movement she tore
off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. Her
body was white and smooth, but it aroused no desire in
him, indeed he barely looked at it. What overwhelmed
him in that instant was admiration for the gesture with
which she had thrown her clothes aside. With its grace
and carelessness it seemed to annihilate a whole culture,
a whole system of thought, as though Big Brother and
the Party and the Thought Police could all be swept into
nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm.
That too was a gesture belonging to the ancient time.
(1.3.6)
Winston fantasizes about making love with Julia as
both an escape from the Party’s oppression and as
an act of active rebellion against Party rule.
The Physical Jerks would begin in three minutes. The
next moment he was doubled up by a violent coughing
fit which nearly always attacked him soon after waking
up. It emptied his lungs so completely that he could
only begin breathing again by lying on his back and
taking a series of deep gasps. His veins had swelled
with the effort of the cough, and the varicose ulcer had
started itching. (1.3.7)
The swelling of Winston’s varicose ulcer coincides
with his heightened feelings of sexual repression.
He seemed to breathe again the warm stuffy odor of the
basement kitchen, an odor compounded of bugs and
dirty clothes and villainous cheap scent, but
nevertheless alluring, because no woman of the Party
ever used scent, or could be imagined as doing so. Only
the proles used scent. In his mind the smell of it was
inextricably mixed up with fornication. (1.6.7)
Winston is so sexually repressed that he finds the
cheap scent of prostitutes alluring.
When he had gone with that woman it had been his first
lapse in two years or thereabouts. Consorting with
prostitutes was forbidden, of course, but it was one of
those rules that you could occasionally nerve yourself to
break. It was dangerous, but it was not a life-and-death
matter. To be caught with a prostitute might mean five
years in a forced-labor camp: not more, if you had
committed no other offence. (1.6.8)
Sexually repressed to the extreme, Winston employs
prostitutes to quell his urges.
Page 98 of 134
The aim of the Party was not merely to prevent men and
women from forming loyalties which it might not be
able to control. Its real, undeclared purpose was to
remove all pleasure from the sexual act. Not love so
much as eroticism was the enemy, inside marriage as
well as outside it. All marriages between Party members
had to be approved by a committee appointed for the
purpose, and – though the principle was never clearly
stated – permission was always refused if the couple
concerned gave the impression of being physically
attracted to one another. The only recognized purpose of
marriage was to beget children for the service of the
Party. Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a
slightly disgusting minor operation, like having an
enema. This again was never put into plain words, but
in an indirect way it was rubbed into every Party
member from childhood onwards. There were even
organizations such as the Junior, Anti-Sex League,
which advocated complete celibacy for both sexes. All
children were to be begotten by artificial insemination
(artsem, it was called in Newspeak) and brought up in
public institutions. This, Winston was aware, was not
meant altogether seriously, but somehow it fitted in with
the general ideology of the Party. The Party was trying
to kill the sex instinct, or, if it could not be killed, then
to distort it and dirty it. He did not know why this was
so, but it seemed natural that it should be so. And as far
as the women were concerned, the Party's efforts were
largely successful. (1.6.9)
The Party seeks not only to sever private loyalties in
encouraging chastity, but also to control its
constituents’ use of time by advocating the abolition
of sex entirely.
Page 99 of 134
As soon as he touched her she seemed to wince and
stiffen. To embrace her was like embracing a jointed
wooden image. And what was strange was that even
when she was clasping him against her he had the
feeling that she was simultaneously pushing him away
with all her strength. The rigidity of her muscles
managed to convey that impression. She would lie there
with shut eyes, neither resisting nor co-operating but
submitting. It was extraordinarily embarrassing, and,
after a while, horrible. But even then he could have
borne living with her if it had been agreed that they
should remain celibate. But curiously enough it was
Katharine who refused this. They must, she said,
produce a child if they could. So the performance
continued to happen, once a week quite regularly,
whenever it was not impossible. She even used to
remind him of it in the morning, as something which
had to be done that evening and which must not be
forgotten. She had two names for it. One was "making a
baby," and the other was "our duty to the
Party." (1.6.13)
Winston hated having sex with Katharine because
of her mindless devotion to the Party.
Winston sighed inaudibly. He picked up his pen again
and wrote:
She threw herself down on the bed, and at once, without
any kind of preliminary in the most coarse, horrible way
you can imagine, pulled up her skirt. (1.6.14-15,
Winston)
How romantic.
He saw himself standing there in the dim lamplight,
with the smell of bugs and cheap scent in his nostrils,
and in his heart a feeling of defeat and resentment
which even at that moment was mixed up with the
thought of Katharine's white body, frozen for ever by
the hypnotic power of the Party. Why did it always have
to be like this? Why could he not have a woman of his
own instead of these filthy scuffles at intervals of years?
(1.6.16)
Winston resents the Party because Katharine’s
devotion to it repressed him sexually.
Page 100 of 134
Chastity was as deep ingrained in them as Party loyalty.
By careful early conditioning, by games and cold water,
by the rubbish that was dinned into them at school and
in the Spies and the Youth League, by lectures, parades,
songs, slogans, and martial music, the natural feeling
had been driven out of them. (1.6.16)
Party members have been totally brainwashed to
use chastity as a way to show one’s loyalty to the
Party. We have to admit, we're a bit curious what
those songs sounded like.
Then the memory of her face came back, and with it a
raging, intolerable desire to be alone […]. At the sight
of the words I love you the desire to stay alive had
welled up in him, and the taking of minor risks
suddenly seemed stupid. It was not till twenty-three
hours, when he was home and in bed – in the darkness,
where you were safe even from the telescreen so long as
you kept silent – that he was able to think continuously.
(2.1.20)
Flustered by the note and Julia’s interest in him,
Winston feels alive again, no longer hampered by
the sexual repression that restricted him earlier.
He thought of her naked, youthful body, as he had seen
it in his dream. He had imagined her a fool like all the
rest of them, her head stuffed with lies and hatred, her
belly full of ice. A kind of fever seized him at the
thought that he might lose her, the white youthful body
might slip away from him! What he feared more than
anything else was that she would simply change her
mind if he did not get in touch with her quickly. (2.1.21)
Sexually repressed for years now, the thought of
having Julia stirs and scares Winston at once.
The youthful body was strained against his own, the
mass of dark hair was against his face, and yes!
Actually she had turned her face up and he was kissing
the wide red mouth. She had clasped her arms about his
neck, she was calling him darling, precious one, loved
one. He had pulled her down on to the ground, she was
utterly unresisting, he could do what he liked with her.
But the truth was that he had no physical sensation,
except that of mere contact. All he felt was incredulity
and pride. He was glad that this was happening, but he
had no physical desire. It was too soon, her youth and
prettiness had frightened him, he was too much used to
living without women – he did not know the reason.
(2.2.16)
After living in such a repressed society, Winston’s
physical functions are at first rusty when finally
confronted with a lusty situation.
Page 101 of 134
"I've been at school too, dear. Sex talks once a month
for the over-sixteens. And in the Youth Movement. They
rub it into you for years. I dare say it works in a lot of
cases. But of course you can never tell; people are such
hypocrites." (2.3.24, Julia)
Female Party members have been brainwashed
since childhood about the importance of chastity as
manifestation of one’s loyalty to the Party.
"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we
are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid
hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers
imagined. A world of fear and treachery is
torment, a world of trampling and being trampled
upon, a world which will grow not less but more
merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world
will be progress towards more pain. The old
civilizations claimed that they were founded on
love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In
our world there will be no emotions except fear,
rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything
else we shall destroy everything. Already we are
breaking down the habits of thought which have
survived from before the Revolution. We have cut
the links between child and parent, and between
man and man, and between man and woman. No
one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any
longer. But in the future there will be no wives and
no friends. Children will be taken from their
mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen.
The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will
be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration
card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our
neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be
no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There
will be no love, except the love of Big
Brother." (3.3.34, O’Brien)
The world that the Party aspires to create is a world
unlike any that has existed: fear and torment shall
replace love and happiness; destruction shall trump
advancement; loyalty to the party will be the only
acceptable loyalty; families and the sexual instinct
shall be eradicated.
Page 102 of 134
Unlike Winston, she had grasped the inner meaning of
the Party's sexual puritanism. It was not merely that the
sex instinct created a world of its own which was
outside the Party's control and which therefore had to be
destroyed if possible. What was more important was
that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was
desirable because it could be transformed into war-fever
and leader-worship. The way she put it was: "When you
make love you're using up energy; and afterwards you
feel happy and don't give a damn for anything. They
can't bear you to feel like that. They want you to be
bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up
and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex
gone sour. If you're happy inside yourself, why should
you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year
Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their
bloody rot?"
That was very true, he thought. There was a direct
intimate connection between chastity and political
orthodoxy. For how could the fear, the hatred, and the
lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its members
be kept at the right pitch, except by bottling down some
powerful instinct and using it as a driving force? The
sex impulse was dangerous to the Party, and the Party
had turned it to account. They had played a similar trick
with the instinct of parenthood. The family could not
actually be abolished, and, indeed, people were
encouraged to be fond of their children, in almost the
old-fashioned way. The children, on the other hand,
were systematically turned against their parents and
taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The
family had become in effect an extension of the
Thought Police. It was a device by means of which
everyone could be surrounded night and day by
informers who knew him intimately. (2.3.25-27)
Julia teaches Winston about her musings on the
dangerous effects of sex on loyalty to the Party: The
Party not only seeks to sever private loyalties in
encouraging chastity, but also to control its
constituents’ use of time by advocating the abolition
of sex at all.
Four, five, six – seven times they met during the month
of June. Winston had dropped his habit of drinking gin
at all hours. He seemed to have lost the need for it. He
had grown fatter, his varicose ulcer had subsided,
leaving only a brown stain on the skin above his ankle,
his fits of coughing in the early morning had stopped
[…]. (2.5.6)
As Winston moves away from the sexually
repressed lifestyle he'd been used to, we start to see
some emotional and even physical improvements in
him.
Page 103 of 134
Theme: Loyalty
He was already dead, he reflected. It seemed to him that
it was only now, when he had begun to be able to
formulate his thoughts, that he had taken the decisive
step. The consequences of every act are included in the
act itself. He wrote:
The Party takes loyalty seriously, and does not
tolerate any acts of subversion – even if they are
mere thoughts.
Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS
death. (1.2.42-43)
Page 104 of 134
Unlike Winston, she had grasped the inner meaning of
the Party's sexual puritanism. It was not merely that the
sex instinct created a world of its own which was
outside the Party's control and which therefore had to be
destroyed if possible. What was more important was
that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was
desirable because it could be transformed into war-fever
and leader-worship. The way she put it was: "When you
make love you're using up energy; and afterwards you
feel happy and don't give a damn for anything. They
can't bear you to feel like that. They want you to be
bursting with energy all the time. All this marching up
and down and cheering and waving flags is simply sex
gone sour. If you're happy inside yourself, why should
you get excited about Big Brother and the Three-Year
Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their
bloody rot?"
That was very true, he thought. There was a direct
intimate connection between chastity and political
orthodoxy. For how could the fear, the hatred, and the
lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its members
be kept at the right pitch, except by bottling down some
powerful instinct and using it as a driving force? The
sex impulse was dangerous to the Party, and the Party
had turned it to account. They had played a similar trick
with the instinct of parenthood. The family could not
actually be abolished, and, indeed, people were
encouraged to be fond of their children, in almost the
old-fashioned way. The children, on the other hand,
were systematically turned against their parents and
taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The
family had become in effect an extension of the
Thought Police. It was a device by means of which
everyone could be surrounded night and day by
informers who knew him intimately. (2.3.25-27)
Julia teaches Winston about her musings on the
dangerous effects of sex on loyalty to the Party: The
Party not only seeks to sever private loyalties in
encouraging chastity, but also to control its
constituents’ use of time by advocating the abolition
of sex entirely.
Page 105 of 134
For a moment he was violently angry. During the month
that he had known her the nature of his desire for her
had changed. At the beginning there had been little true
sensuality in it. Their first love-making had been simply
an act of the will. But after the second time it was
different. The smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth,
the feeling of her skin seemed to have got inside him, or
into the air all round him. She had become a physical
necessity, something that he not only wanted but felt
that he had a right to. When she said that she could not
come, he had the feeling that she was cheating him. But
just at this moment the crowd pressed them together and
their hands accidentally met. She gave the tips of his
fingers a quick squeeze that seemed to invite not desire
but affection. It struck him that when one lived with a
woman this particular disappointment must be a normal,
recurring event; and a deep tenderness, such as he had
not felt for her before, suddenly took hold of him. He
wished that they were a married couple of ten years'
standing. He wished that he were walking through the
streets with her just as they were doing now but openly
and without fear, talking of trivialities and buying odds
and ends for the household. He wished above all that
they had some place where they could be alone together
without feeling the obligation to make love every time
they met. (2.4.13)
Winston quickly falls in love with Julia; from here,
the feared bond of private loyalty is created.
When his father disappeared, his mother did not show
any surprise or any violent grief, but a sudden change
came over her. She seemed to have become completely
spiritless. It was evident even to Winston that she was
waiting for something that she knew must happen.
(2.7.9)
Winston tells the tale of his mother’s depression
over his father’s disappearance – an example of
loyalty severed by the Party.
He never saw his mother again…When he came back
his mother had disappeared. This was already becoming
normal at that time. Nothing was gone from the room
except his mother and his sister. They had not taken any
clothes, not even his mother's overcoat. To this day he
did not know with any certainty that his mother was
dead. It was perfectly possible that she had merely been
sent to a forced-labor camp. As for his sister, she might
have been removed, like Winston himself, to one of the
colonies for homeless children […]. (2.7.14)
It is common for the Party to move family members
away from each other so that private loyalties may
be severed in a timely manner.
Page 106 of 134
[…] yet she had possessed a kind of nobility, a kind of
purity, simply because the standards that she obeyed
were private ones. Her feelings were her own, and could
not be altered from outside. It would not have occurred
to her that an action which is ineffectual thereby
becomes meaningless. If you loved someone, you loved
him, and when you had nothing else to give, you still
gave him love. (2.7.19)
Winston describes his mother as loving – an
example of true, unadulterated private loyalty.
And yet to the people of only two generations ago this
would not have seemed all-important, because they
were not attempting to alter history. They were
governed by private loyalties which they did not
question. What mattered were individual relationships,
and a completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a
word spoken to a dying man, could have value in itself.
Proles, it suddenly occurred to him, had remained in
this condition. They were not loyal to a party or a
country or an idea, they were loyal to one another. For
the first time in his life he did not despise the proles or
think of them merely as an inert force which would one
day spring to life and regenerate the world. The proles
had stayed human. They had not become hardened
inside. They had held on to the primitive emotions
which he himself had to re-learn by conscious effort.
(2.7.19)
Winston realizes that the proles, like people of the
past, hold dear to their hearts loyalty to persons –
not a party or a country or an idea. That, he
believes, is true and natural freedom.
"The one thing that matters is that we shouldn’t betray
one another, although even that can’t make the slightest
difference."
[…]
"Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn’t
matter, only feelings matter. If they could make me stop
loving you – that would be the real betrayal."
She thought is over. "They can’t do that," she said
finally. "It’s the one thing they can’t do. They can make
you say anything – anything – but they can’t make you
believe it. They can’t get inside you." (2.7.26-29,
Winston and Julia)
Winston and Julia discuss betrayal, and resolve that
their shared loyalty to each other shall triumph.
Page 107 of 134
"You are prepared to give your lives?"
"Yes."
"You are prepared to commit murder?"
"Yes."
"To commit acts of sabotage which may cause the death
of hundreds of innocent people?"
"Yes."
"To betray your country to foreign powers?"
"Yes."
"You are prepared to cheat, to forge, to blackmail, to
corrupt the minds of children, to distribute habitforming drugs, to encourage prostitution, to disseminate
venereal diseases – to do anything which is likely to
cause demoralization and weaken the power of the
Party?"
"Yes."
"If, for example, it would somehow serve our interests
to throw sulphuric acid in a child's face – are you
prepared to do that?"
"Yes."
"You are prepared to lose your identity and live out the
rest of your life as a waiter or a dock-worker?"
"Yes."
"You are prepared to commit suicide, if and when we
order you to do so?"
"Yes."
"You are prepared, the two of you, to separate and never
see one another again?"
"No!" broke in Julia. (2.8.28-45, O’Brien, Winston, and
Julia)
Winston and Julia pledge selfless loyalty to the
Brotherhood. While Winston seems prepared to
give it all up, including his love for Julia, Julia
presently is reluctant.
Page 108 of 134
In principle, membership of these three groups is not
hereditary. The child of Inner Party parents is in theory
not born into the Inner Party. Admission to either branch
of the Party is by examination, taken at the age of
sixteen. Nor is there any racial discrimination, or any
marked domination of one province by another. Jews,
Negroes, South Americans of pure Indian blood are to
be found in the highest ranks of the Party […]. Its rulers
are not held together by blood-ties but by adherence to a
common doctrine… The Party is not a class in the old
sense of the word. It does not aim at transmitting power
to its own children, as such; and if there were no other
way of keeping the ablest people at the top, it would be
perfectly prepared to recruit an entire new generation
from the ranks of the proletariat. In the crucial years, the
fact that the Party was not a hereditary body did a great
deal to neutralize opposition… The essence of
oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the
persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of
life, imposed by the dead upon the living. A ruling
group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its
successors. The Party is not concerned with
perpetuating its blood but with perpetuating itself.
(2.9.58, Goldstein’s Manifesto)
The Party’s view about loyalty is that for
totalitarianism to thrive, there must not be private
loyalties at all. Rather, insofar as Inner Party
members are concerned with the perpetuation of the
Party’s rule, the only allowable loyalty is the loyalty
to power itself.
A Party member is expected to have no private
emotions and no respites from enthusiasm. He is
supposed to live in a continuous frenzy of hatred of
foreign enemies and internal traitors, triumph over
victories, and self-abasement before the power and
wisdom of the Party. The discontents produced by his
bare, unsatisfying life are deliberately turned outwards
and dissipated by such devices as the Two Minutes
Hate, and the speculations which might possibly induce
a sceptical or rebellious attitude are killed in advance by
his early acquired inner discipline. (2.9.61, Goldstein’s
Manifesto)
A Party member’s duties include ensuring that he
has no private loyalties or enthusiasms, in addition
to ensuring that he learns ways to counter any
temptations of rebellion.
Page 109 of 134
"‘Down with Big Brother!’ Yes, I said that! Said it over
and over again, it seems. Between you and me, old man,
I'm glad they got me before it went any further […]."
"Who denounced you?" said Winston.
"It was my little daughter," said Parsons with a sort of
doleful pride. "She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I
was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next
day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don't bear
her any grudge for it. In fact I'm proud of her. It shows I
brought her up in the right spirit, anyway." (3.1.48-50)
The children of Party members such as Parsons are
so overcome with love for and indoctrination by the
Party that they survey and turn in their own parents
for thoughtcrime.
"Can you think of a single degradation that has not
happened to you?"
Winston had stopped weeping, though the tears were
still oozing out of his eyes. He looked up at O'Brien.
"I have not betrayed Julia," he said […].
He had not stopped loving her; his feeling toward her
had remained the same. (3.3.77-81, O’Brien to Winston)
Despite prolonged torture, Winston’s final act of
rebellion is to hold on to his private loyalty to Julia;
he refuses to betray her.
Suddenly he started up with a shock of horror. The
sweat broke out on his backbone. He had heard himself
cry aloud:
"Julia ! Julia! Julia, my love! Julia!" (3.4.20-21)
In a fit of rebellion and manifestation of private
loyalty, Winston refuses to give up his ties to Julia.
"Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't care
what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the
bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!" (3.5.24)
Faced with his biggest fear, Winston finally betrays
his private loyalty to Julia.
Page 110 of 134
"I betrayed you," she said baldly.
"I betrayed you," he said.
She gave him another quick look of dislike.
"Sometimes," she said, "they threaten you with
something you can't stand up to, can't even think about.
And then you say, ‘Don't do it to me, do it to somebody
else, do it to So-and-so.’ And perhaps you might
pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you
just said it to make them stop and didn't really mean it.
But that isn't true. At the time when it happens you do
mean it. You think there's no other way of saving
yourself, and you're quite ready to save yourself that
way. You want it to happen to the other person. You
don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is
yourself."
"All you care about is yourself," he echoed.
"And after that, you don't feel the same towards the
other person any longer."
"No," he said, "you don't feel the same." (3.6.16-22,
Winston and Julia)
For both Winston and Julia, torture is able to chew
through the deepest bonds of loyalty.
Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his
nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the
struggle was finished. He had won the victory over
himself. He loved Big Brother. (3.6.41)
How appropriate it is to end with Winston’s selfproclamation of love, acceptance, and loyalty to the
Party.
" […] in the end we broke them down. I took part in
their interrogation myself. I saw them gradually worn
down, whimpering, groveling, weeping – and in the end
it was not with pain or fear, only with penitence. By the
time we had finished with them they were only the
shells of men. There was nothing left in them except
sorrow for what they had done, and love of Big Brother.
It was touching to see how they loved him. They begged
to be shot quickly, so that they could die while their
minds were still clean." (3.2.105, O’Brien)
The Party ultimately vaporizes captured rebels, but
not before converting, reforming, and
reindoctrinating them – thereby ensuring continued
and undying loyalty.
Page 111 of 134
"Do anything to me!" he yelled. "You've been starving
me for weeks. Finish it off and let me die. Shoot me.
Hang me. Sentence me to twenty-five years. Is there
somebody else you want me to give away? Just say who
it is and I'll tell you anything you want. I don't care who
it is or what you do to them. I've got a wife and three
children. The biggest of them isn't six years old. You
can take the whole lot of them and cut their throats in
front of my eyes, and I'll stand by and watch it. But not
Room 101!" (3.1.71, the old tortured man at the
Ministry of Love)
The type of torture the Party employs is so intense
that the people subject to it are ready to betray
anything and anyone in order to avoid it. No private
loyalty can be said to exist after the threat of this
pain.
"What have you done with Julia?" said Winston.
Upon hearing of Julia’s betrayal, Winston is certain
that she was subject to torture, just as he was.
Loyalty is easy to breach in the face of torture.
O'Brien smiled again. "She betrayed you, Winston.
Immediately-unreservedly. I have seldom seen anyone
come over to us so promptly. You would hardly
recognize her if you saw her. All her rebelliousness, her
deceit, her folly, her dirty-mindedness – everything has
been burned out of her. It was a perfect conversion, a
textbook case." "You tortured her?" (3.2.32-34)
"That's a first-rate training they give them in the Spies
nowadays – better than in my day, even. What d'you
think's the latest thing they’ve served them out with?
Ear trumpets for listening through keyholes! My little
girl brought one home the other night – tried it out on
our sitting-room door, and reckoned she could hear
twice as much as with her ear to the hole." (1.5.67,
Parson)
Its reach not limited to technology, the Party
employs children against their parents as another
way of behavior surveillance. There is simply no
loyalty to speak of.
Chastity was as deep ingrained in them as Party loyalty.
By careful early conditioning, by games and cold water,
by the rubbish that was dinned into them at school and
in the Spies and the Youth League, by lectures, parades,
songs, slogans, and martial music, the natural feeling
had been driven out of them. (1.6.16)
From an early age, Party members are taught to
show loyalty to the Party by remaining chaste.
Page 112 of 134
"We believe that there is some kind of conspiracy, some
kind of secret organization working against the Party,
and that you are involved in it. We want to join it and
work for it. We are enemies of the Party. We disbelieve
in the principles of Ingsoc. We are thought-criminals.
We are also adulterers. I tell you this because we want
to put ourselves at your mercy. If you want us to
incriminate ourselves in any other way, we are
ready." (2.8.16)
Winston and Julia profess their devotion and loyalty
to the ultimate force of rebellion – the Brotherhood.
Theme: Rebellion
For some reason the telescreen in the living-room was
in an unusual position. Instead of being placed, as was
normal, in the end wall, where it could command the
whole room, it was in the longer wall, opposite the
window. To one side of it there was a shallow alcove in
which Winston was now sitting, and which, when the
flats were built, had probably been intended to hold
bookshelves. By sitting in the alcove, and keeping well
back, Winston was able to remain outside the range of
the telescreen, so far as sight went. He could be heard,
of course, but so long as he stayed in his present
position he could not be seen. It was partly the unusual
geography of the room that had suggested to him the
thing that he was now about to do. (1.1.12)
Winston starts a journal of rebellious thoughts as a
first step towards his eventual fate at the Ministry of
Love.
Party members were supposed not to go into ordinary
shops ("dealing on the free market," it was called), but
the rule was not strictly kept, because there were
various things, such as shoelaces and razor blades,
which it was impossible to get hold of in any other way.
He had given a quick glance up and down the street and
then had slipped inside and bought the book for two
dollars fifty. At the time he was not conscious of
wanting it for any particular purpose. He had carried it
guiltily home in his briefcase. Even with nothing
written in it, it was a compromising possession. (1.1.13)
Winston enjoys small acts of rebellion to begin
with, as he frequents ordinary shops in the prole
district and purchases items from the past.
Page 113 of 134
Momentarily he caught O'Brien's eye. O'Brien had
stood up. He had taken off his spectacles and was in the
act of resettling them on his nose with his characteristic
gesture. But there was a fraction of a second when their
eyes met, and for as long as it took to happen Winston
knew- yes, he knew!- that O'Brien was thinking the
same thing as himself. An unmistakable message had
passed. It was as though their two minds had opened
and the thoughts were flowing from one into the other
through their eyes. 'I am with you,' O'Brien seemed to
be saying to him. 'I know precisely what you are
feeling. I know all about your contempt, your hatred,
your disgust. But don't worry, I am on your
side!' (1.1.33)
Paranoid but fanciful, Winston imagines an
encounter with O’Brien that might deepen their
rebellious tie.
His eyes re-focused on the page. He discovered that
while he sat helplessly musing he had also been writing,
as though by automatic action. And it was no longer the
same cramped, awkward handwriting as before. His pen
had slid voluptuously over the smooth paper, printing in
large neat capitals
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER
DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER (1.1.36-37)
Unleashing all of his fury, Winston finally triumphs
his over fear by setting pen to paper in the essential
rebellion that contains all other crimes in itself –
thoughtcrime.
To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is
free, when men are different from one another and do
not live alone – to a time when truth exists and what is
done cannot be undone:
From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude,
from the age of Big Brother, from the age of
doublethink – greetings! (1.2.40-41)
By dedicating the journal of rebellion to the future
or to the past, Winston is interested in large or grand
scale rebellion – the type that perpetuates itself and
leads to the overthrow of the Party.
And what he wanted, more even than to be loved, was
to break down that wall of virtue, even if it were only
once in his whole life. The sexual act, successfully
performed, was rebellion. Desire was thoughtcrime.
(1.6.16)
Winston views sex as an essentially politically
rebellious act.
Page 114 of 134
In principle a Party member had no spare time, and was
never alone except in bed. It was assumed that when he
was not working, eating, or sleeping he would be taking
part in some kind of communal recreation: to do
anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go
for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous.
There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife, it was
called, meaning individualism and eccentricity. (1.8.2)
In concert with having no private time is the Party’s
view that individualism and eccentricity run
contrary to the Party’s purposes.
"It was something in your face. I thought I'd take a
chance. I'm good at spotting people who don't belong.
As soon as I saw you I knew you were against
them." (2.2.34, Julia)
Julia believes she is adept at identifying rebels.
They were both breathing fast. But the smile had
reappeared round the corners of her mouth. She stood
looking at him for an instant, then felt at the zipper of
her overalls. And, yes! It was almost as in his dream.
Almost as swiftly as he had imagined it, she had torn
her clothes off, and when she flung them aside it was
with that same magnificent gesture by which a whole
civilization seemed to be annihilated. (2.2.47)
Having dreamt of it for so long, Winston finally
sees the ultimate act of rebellion in Julia—or rather,
in having sex with Julia. Bow-chicka-bow-wow.
"Have you done this before?"
"Of course. Hundreds of times – well scores of times
anyway."
"With Party members?"
"Yes, always with Party members." (2.2.48-51, Winston
and Julia)
Julia must be awfully busy if she's been getting
jiggy with hundreds of guys. For her, it's just
another way to stick it to the Man.
His heart leapt. Scores of times she had done it: he
wished it had been hundreds – thousands. Anything that
hinted at corruption always filled him with a wild hope.
Who knew, perhaps the Party was rotten under the
surface, its cult of strenuousness and selfdenial simply a
sham concealing iniquity. If he could have infected the
whole lot of them with leprosy or syphilis, how gladly
he would have done so! Anything to rot, to weaken, to
undermine! He pulled her down so that they were
kneeling face to face. "Listen. The more men you've
had, the more I love you. Do you understand
that?" (2.2.54-55, Winston)
Winston probably would have had a great time with
all the free love in the 1960's. Here he's fantasizing
about how rebellious it would be if Julia had sex
with thousands of other men. Thousands? Really,
Winston? For him, it's all part of her rebellious
allure—she's the bad girl, but that's what makes her
oh-so-good.
Page 115 of 134
"I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don't want any virtue to
exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the
bones."
"Well then, I ought to suit you, dear. I'm corrupt to the
bones."
"You like doing this? I don't mean simply me: I mean
the thing in itself?"
"I adore it." (2.2.57-60, Winston and Julia)
Looks like someone's gonna be on Santa's naughty
list. Winston is first and foremost interested in sex
as an act of rebellion, and secondly in sex as a
pleasurable act. We have Big Brother to thank for
that.
But you could not have pure love or pure lust
nowadays. No emotion was pure, because everything
was mixed up with fear and hatred. Their embrace had
been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck
against the Party. It was a political act. (2.2.63)
The Party? More like the Party Poopers. These guys
have managed to mess up society so much that
something as intimate as sex becomes an act of
rebellion. And it's not just sex, every human
emotion gets turned into a possible act of rebellion
—including feeling hangry.
She hated the Party, and said so in the crudest words,
but she made no general criticism of it. Except where it
touched upon her own life she had no interest in Party
doctrine […]. Any kind of organized revolt against the
Party, which was bound to be a failure, struck her as
stupid. The clever thing was to break the rules and stay
alive all the same. He wondered vaguely how many
others like her there might be in the younger generation
people who had grown up in the world of the
Revolution, knowing nothing else, accepting the Party
as something unalterable, like the sky, not rebelling
against its authority but simply evading it, as a rabbit
dodges a dog. (2.3.15)
Julia wants to have the best of both worlds—to live
under the Party's rule but still participate in little
acts of rebellion as they suit her, like falling in love
and having sex. Winston is critical of this mindset
because he thinks it signifies a tacit acceptance of
the Party's authority, since rebellion only happens
on such a small scale.
She knew the whole driveling song by heart, it seemed.
Her voice floated upward with the sweet summer air,
very tuneful, charged with a sort of happy melancholy
[…]. It struck him as a curious fact that he had never
heard a member of the Party singing alone and
spontaneously. It would even have seemed slightly
unorthodox, a dangerous eccentricity, like talking to
oneself […].
"You can turn round now," said Julia.
He turned round, and for a second almost failed to
recognize her […]. The transformation that had
happened was much more surprising than that. She had
painted her face. (2.4.29-31)
Makeover time. So apparently makeup is banned in
the future, and Julia puts some on (gasp!). This is
another example of one of her low-key acts of
rebellion, but we've got to ask—what the heck did
she do to her face to make her unrecognizable? This
may be the future, but we're pretty sure Youtube
beauty tutorials still don't exist.
Page 116 of 134
Yet she had only the dimmest idea of who Goldstein
was and what doctrines he was supposed to represent.
She had grown up since the Revolution and was too
young to remember the ideological battles of the fifties
and sixties. Such a thing as an independent political
movement was outside her imagination: and in any case
the Party was invincible. It would always exist, and it
would always be the same. You could only rebel against
it by secret disobedience or, at most, by isolated acts of
violence such as killing somebody or blowing
something up. (2.5.8)
Idealogical battles of the sixties? There's one thing
Orwell accurately predicted. Winston's still pretty
unimpressed by Julia's half-hearted efforts at
rebellion, but he attributes that to the fact she was
born after the Party took control—she can't fathom
that true revolution even remotely possible.
The conspiracy that he had dreamed of did exist, and he
had reached the outer edges of it […].
What was happening was only the working-out of a
process that had started years ago. The first step had
been a secret, involuntary thought, the second had been
the opening of the diary. He had moved from thoughts
to words, and now from words to actions. The last step
was something that would happen in the Ministry of
Love. (2.7.16-17)
The rebellion trajectory is now complete for
Winston: from starting a journal, to having an affair,
to the imminent induction into the Brotherhood by
O’Brien, Winston has finally attained the status of
the true rebel.
"They can’t get inside you. If you can feel that staying
human is worth while, even when it can’t have any
result whatever, you’ve beaten them."
He thought of the telescreen with its never-sleeping ear.
They could spy upon you night and day, but if you kept
your head you could still outwit them. (2.7.30-31)
Winston believes that as long as his rebellious spirit
is intact, the Party can not triumph.
"We believe that there is some kind of conspiracy, some
kind of secret organization working against the Party,
and that you are involved in it. We want to join it and
work for it. We are enemies of the Party. We disbelieve
in the principles of Ingsoc. We are thought-criminals.
We are also adulterers. I tell you this because we want
to put ourselves at your mercy. If you want us to
incriminate ourselves in any other way, we are
ready." (2.8.16)
Winston and Julia profess their devotion and loyalty
to the ultimate force of rebellion – the Brotherhood.
Page 117 of 134
"A description, yes. The program it sets forth is
nonsense. The secret accumulation of knowledge – a
gradual spread of enlightenment – ultimately a
proletarian rebellion – the overthrow of the Party. You
foresaw yourself that that was what it would say. It is all
nonsense. The proletarians will never revolt, not in a
thousand years or a million. They cannot. I do not have
to tell you the reason: you know it already. If you have
even cherished any dreams of violent insurrection, you
must abandon them. There is no way in which the Party
can be overthrown. The rule of the Party is for ever.
Make that the starting-point of your thoughts." (3.3.7)
O’Brien’s belief in the Party’s power is so strong
that he believes any act of rebellion will prove
futile.
"If you are a man, Winston, you are the last man. Your
kind is extinct; we are the inheritors. Do you understand
that you are alone? You are outside history, you are nonexistent." His manner changed and he said more
harshly: "And you consider yourself morally superior to
us, with our lies and our cruelty?" "Yes, I consider
myself superior." (3.3.58-59, O’Brien and Winston)
Winston’s belief in his moral superiority to the
Party’s lies and cruelty is indispensable to his
rebellious spirit.
He obeyed the Party, but he still hated the Party. In the
old days he had hidden a heretical mind beneath an
appearance of conformity. Now he had retreated a step
further: in the mind he had surrendered, but he had
hoped to keep the inner heart inviolate. He knew that he
was in the wrong, but he preferred to be in the wrong.
(3.4.24)
After months of torture, Winston outwardly obeys
the Party, but inwardly does not resign his
rebellious spirit.
After months of torture, Winston outwardly obeys the
Party, but inwardly does not resign his rebellious spirit.
Winston believes that any hope in overthrowing the
Party lies in the proles – if only they were smart
enough.
Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and
until after they have rebelled they cannot become
conscious. (1.7.4)
Having reached a metaphysical paradox, Winston
concludes that which he does not wish to believe:
the Proles will never gain the consciousness
required for them to effectively rebel.
Thought 2: For the proles, consciousness is as
necessary for rebellion as the latter is for
consciousness. Unfortunately, that paradox is the
proles’ futile plight.
Page 118 of 134
The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily
of human lives, but of the products of human labor […].
The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city, where
the possession of a lump of horseflesh makes the
difference between wealth and poverty. And at the same
time the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in
danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small
caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of
survival. (2.9.28, Goldstein’s Manifesto)
War is a necessary tool for the Party because it
keeps the people peaceful, such that rebellion is far
from their minds.
The cage was nearer; it was closing in. Winston heard a
succession of shrill cries which appeared to be
occurring in the air above his head. But he fought
furiously against his panic. To think, to think, even with
a split second left – to think was the only hope.
Suddenly the foul musty odor of the brutes struck his
nostrils. There was a violent convulsion of nausea inside
him, and he almost lost consciousness. Everything had
gone black. For an instant he was insane, a screaming
animal. Yet he came out of the blackness clutching an
idea. There was one and only one way to save himself.
He must interpose another human being, the body of
another human being, between himself and the rats.
(3.5.21)
The Party does not merely employ physical torture
on the captured rebels and criminals, but
psychological torture as well. The Party capitalizes
on fear very proficiently, and Winston finally breaks
under the weight of psychological fear. Rebellion is
not a match for psychological torture and fear.
"Can you think of a single degradation that has not
happened to you?"
Winston had stopped weeping, though the tears were
still oozing out of his eyes. He looked up at O'Brien.
"I have not betrayed Julia," he said […].
He had not stopped loving her; his feeling toward her
had remained the same (3.3.77-81, O’Brien to Winston)
Despite prolonged torture, Winston’s final act of
rebellion is to hold onto his private loyalty to Julia;
he refuses to betray her.
Theme: Memory & The Past
Page 119 of 134
He tried to squeeze out some childhood memory that
should tell him whether London had always been quite
like this. Were there always these vistas of rotting
nineteenth-century houses, their sides shored up with
baulks of timber, their windows patched with cardboard
and their roofs with corrugated iron, their crazy garden
walls sagging in all directions? And the bombed sites
where the plaster dust swirled in the air and the willowherb straggled over the heaps of rubble; and the places
where the bombs had cleared a larger patch and there
had sprung up sordid colonies of wooden dwellings like
chicken-houses? But it was no use, he could not
remember: nothing remained of his childhood except a
series of bright-lit tableaux occurring against no
background and mostly unintelligible. (1.1.6)
Winston’s memory of the past is fuzzy.
Actually he was not used to writing by hand. Apart from
very short notes, it was usual to dictate everything into
the speakwrite which was of course impossible for his
present purpose. (1.1.14)
Winston’s memory of the past is fuzzy because of
the Party’s control and elimination of records in the
past and present.
The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance
with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania
had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four
years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in
his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be
annihilated. (1.3.18)
Even though Winston has evidence of the Party’s
lies in his memory, he also accepts that the
unreliability of his mind will soon expunge that
evidence as well.
Why should one feel it to be intolerable unless one had
some kind of ancestral memory that things had once
been different? (1.5.55)
Winston believes a tie exists between one’s intuition
and one’s "ancestral memory."
"You are very much older than I am," said Winston.
"You must have been a grown man before I was born.
You can remember what it was like in the old days,
before the Revolution. People of my age don't really
know anything about those times. We can only read
about them in books, and what it says in the books may
not be true. I should like your opinion on that." (1.8.39,
Winston)
Winston seeks out history because of his fascination
with the memory aspect of existence.
Page 120 of 134
What appealed to him about it was not so much its
beauty as the air it seemed to possess of belonging to an
age quite different from the present one […]. The thing
was doubly attractive because of its apparent
uselessness […]. Anything old, and for that matter
anything beautiful, was always vaguely suspect.
(1.8.70)
Winston is strangely drawn to objects from the past
because of his fascination with the memory aspect
of existence.
Uncalled, a memory floated into his mind. He saw a
candle-lit room with a vast white counterpaned bed, and
himself, a boy of nine or ten, sitting on the floor,
shaking a dice-box, and laughing excitedly. His mother
was sitting opposite him and also laughing.
[…]
He pushed the picture out of his mind. It was a false
memory. He was troubled by false memories
occasionally. They did not matter so long as one knew
them for what they were. Some things had happened,
others had not happened […]. (3.6.34-36)
After being brainwashed, Winston experiences
overactive crimestop and doublethink, as evidenced
by the occasional "false memories" he never used to
doubt.
"Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday,
has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it's
in a few solid objects with no words attached to them,
like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost
literally nothing about the Revolution and the years
before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed
or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every
picture has been repainted, every statue and street and
building has been renamed, every date has been altered.
And that process is continuing day by day and minute
by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except
an endless present in which the Party is always right. I
know, of course, that the past is falsified, but it would
never be possible for me to prove it, even when I did the
falsification myself. After the thing is done, no evidence
ever remains. The only evidence is inside my own mind,
and I don't know with any certainty that any other
human being shares my memories. Just in that one
instance, in my whole life, I did possess actual concrete
evidence after the event – years after it." (2.5.14,
Winston to Julia)
Winston feels confident that, despite the Party’s
control of information, and thus, the past, he alone
had possession of evidence to prove the Party’s
wrong – at least in his memory.
Page 121 of 134
Winston could not definitely remember a time when his
country had not been at war, but it was evident that
there had been a fairly long interval of peace during his
childhood, because one of his early memories was of an
air raid which appeared to take everyone by surprise.
Perhaps it was the time when the atomic bomb had
fallen on Colchester. He did not remember the raid itself
[…]. (1.3.12)
No matter how hard he scrutinizes his memory,
Winston is uncertain whether a time existed when
Oceania was not at war with someone.
And if all others accepted the lie which the Party
imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie
passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the
past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who
controls the present controls the past." And yet the past,
though of its nature alterable, never had been altered.
Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to
everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed
was an unending series of victories over your own
memory. "Reality control," they called it: in Newspeak,
"doublethink." (1.3.18)
Winston believes that as long as one’s perception
(or memory) of the truth can be externally verified,
then even a lie can become truth. Such is the Party’s
method of control.
For how could you establish even the most obvious fact
when there existed no record outside your own
memory? He tried to remember in what year he had first
heard mention of Big Brother. He thought it must have
been at some time in the sixties, but it was impossible to
be certain. In the Party histories, of course, Big Brother
figured as the leader and guardian of the Revolution
since its very earliest days. His exploits had been
gradually pushed backwards in time until already they
extended into the fabulous world of the forties and the
thirties, when the capitalists in their strange cylindrical
hats still rode through the streets of London in great
gleaming motor-cars or horse carriages with glass sides.
There was no knowing how much of this legend was
true and how much invented. Winston could not even
remember at what date the Party itself had come into
existence. (1.3.22)
Without physical records outside of his own
memory, Winston experiences great trouble in
trying to remember the commencement of the
Party’s rule.
Page 122 of 134
This last was for the disposal of waste paper. Similar
slits existed in thousands or tens of thousands
throughout the building, not only in every room but at
short intervals in every corridor. For some reason they
were nicknamed memory holes. When one knew that
any document was due for destruction, or even when
one saw a scrap of waste paper lying about, it was an
automatic action to lift the flap of the nearest memory
hole and drop it in, whereupon it would be whirled
away on a current of warm air to the enormous furnaces
which were hidden somewhere in the recesses of the
building. (1.4.2)
The Party seeks to control the present by mandating
the destruction of all records of the past through
"memory holes."
And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or
small. Everything faded away into a shadow-world in
which, finally, even the date of the year had become
uncertain. (1.4.9)
Due to the Party’s control and rectification of all
media in Oceania, there is no certainty in historical
records.
A Research Guide
War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength
These are the slogans engraved on the Ministry of
Truth. They evoke the double think of the
totalitarian regime of Oceania. The meaning and
logic of the slogans run counter to all conventional
sense and they reveal the mind-numbing force of
the party. All reality is what the Party says it is,
even in the face of logic and reason. War is peace
because with a common enemy, an individual can
find peace. Freedom is slavery since the only way
to be free is by being a slave to the collective will
of the Party. Ignorance is strength because the
individual finds strength only in the official
knowledge of the party.
Page 123 of 134
“Who controls the past, controls the future. Who
controls the present controls the past.”
The Party's internal slogan, this represents the
entire strategy of the Party. It is spoken twice in the
novel; once in Book One, Chapter 3 while Winston
thinks about the way the Party controls history and
personal memory; again in Book 3, chapter 2 as
Winston talks to O’Brien about the nature of
history. It is a perfect example of how the Party
exerts control over history and truth to subvert
individual ideas of both. The totalitarian power of
the Party resides in its ability to exert all
understanding of reality over individual will.
“And when memory failed and written records were
falsified - when that happened, the claim of the Party to
have improved the conditions of human like had got to
be accepted, because there did not exist, and never again
could exist, any standard against which it could be
tested.”
From Book 1, Chapter 8, this demonstrates the farreaching power of the Party. By not only erasing
and re-writing history, but also eliminating any and
all counter-claims to truth, the party rendered it
impossible to challenge their dominating version of
truth. Even if a rebellion were to present a real
challenge, there are no documents or records to
support any of their claims. The only history and
truth is the official version written and constantly
re-written by the Party. This is the ultimate exertion
of knowledge as a form of power.
“And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was
only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop
and didn’t really mean it. But that isn’t true. At the time
when it happens you do mean it. You think there’s no
other way of saving yourself and you’re quite ready to
save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the
other person. You don’t give a damn what they suffer.
All you care about is yourself.”
Spoken toward the end by Julia to Winston as they
talk about their experiences in Room 101. This
quotation reveals the final triumph of the Party.
They deny any real love, devotion, or dedication to
each other and accept the Party’s version of what
happened. The triumph of the brutal state over
individual will is complete as they accept and
admit their love was a lie and that their intentions
were to hurt each other so as to prevent themselves
from being hurt. They final claim is that there are
no real motives beyond self-interest and
individuals require a powerful central authority to
ensure peace and order.
Other
Theme: Mind Control
Page 124 of 134
``Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to
narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make
thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be
no words in which to express it.’’
Syme explains the political goals of Newspeak to
Winston. According to Syme, eliminating traditional
words from the English language and replacing
them with Party-approved concepts will rob English
speakers of the ability to express concepts that
counter the Party’s ideology. The influence of
language on people’s ability to think is one of the
book’s most enduring themes.
“He was already dead, he reflected. It seemed to him
that it was only now, when he had begun to be able to
formulate his thoughts, that he had taken the decisive
step.”
Shortly after Winston begins keeping a diary of his
subversive thoughts, he begins to think of himself
as “already dead.” In this and other examples, the
reader can see how thoroughly Winston has
internalized the Party’s ideology. To disobey the
Party is to gain a death sentence, or to commit
social suicide, and Winston believes that he has
forfeited his own life by committing thoughtcrime.
“Sexual intercourse was to be looked on as a slightly
disgusting minor operation, like having an enema. This
again was never put into plain words, but in an indirect
way it was rubbed into every Party member from
childhood onwards.”
Thinking back to his wife, Katharine, Winston
reflects on the social programming that teaches
Party members that sex is disgusting and only to be
used for procreation. Examples he gives are
arranged marriages between Party members and the
existence of organizations like the Junior Anti-Sex
League. Later, Julia will explain to Winston that the
Party uses people’s suppressed sexual energy to fuel
its marches and rallies and to keep people in line.
“All beliefs, habits, tastes, emotions, mental attitudes
that characterize our time are really designed to sustain
the mystique of the Party and prevent the true nature of
present-day society from being perceived.”
This section of Goldstein’s manifesto sums up the
nature of totalitarianism. Having conquered the dayto-day life of modern society, the Party needs to
gain control over the first and last place where
revolution could take root: the minds of the people.
Winston and Julia are unaware of the full extent of
the Party’s psychological reach until they read the
manifesto.
Page 125 of 134
“‘If they could make me stop loving you—that would
be the real betrayal.’ She thought it over. ‘They can’t do
that. . . . They can make you say anything—anything—
but they can’t make you believe it. They can’t get inside
you.’”
With Goldstein’s manifesto in hand, Julia and
Winston talk over the sacrifices they are prepared to
make for the cause. Julia convinces Winston that no
matter what the Party makes them say under torture,
the Party will be unable to force them to change
their minds. She will be wrong. In this conversation,
Winston and Julia also unwittingly give the Party
ammunition against them, as the room is bugged.
“‘We do not destroy the heretic because he resists
us. . . . We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we
reshape him.’”
Inside the Ministry of Love, O’Brien explains to
Winston that the ultimate goal of the Party’s
punishments is to regain control over thoughtcriminals by changing their psychology and
manipulating them into giving up their resistance.
This speech emphasizes how thoroughly the Party
wants to gain control over people’s thoughts and
signals to Winston that O’Brien won’t be satisfied
with false confessions.
Theme: Manipulation Of History
“‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls
the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”
Winston introduces the theory behind the work he
does at the Ministry of Truth. The Party understands
that by rewriting the events of the past and
controlling the narrative of history, they can
maintain their position of authority.
“Suddenly there sprang into his mind, ready-made as it
were, the image of a certain Comrade Ogilvy, who had
recently died in battle, in heroic circumstances. . . . It
was true that there was no such person as Comrade
Ogilvy, but a few lines of print and a couple of faked
photographs would soon bring him into existence.”
While working at the Ministry of Truth, Winston
invents the backstory of a fallen soldier to cover up
the mention of a person who had been declared an
unperson. This moment shows both the cynicism
Winston holds toward the work he does and also
how thoroughly he has internalized Party ideology,
because he is able to imagine the kind of person the
Party would most approve of.
Page 126 of 134
“Within twenty years at most, he reflected, the huge and
simple question ‘Was life better before the Revolution
than it is now?’ would have ceased once and for all to
be answerable.”
Winston attempts to learn about life before the
Revolution by talking to an old man in a prole bar,
but the man isn’t able to remember anything
substantive (or he is afraid to answer the questions
of a stranger who could be a Party informant).
Winston realizes that due to the unreliability of
individual memory, the influence of propaganda,
and most of all the deaths of people who
remembered life before the Revolution, the Party
can succeed in exerting its control over the past.
“What appealed to [Winston] about [the coral
paperweight] was not so much its beauty as the air it
seemed to possess of belonging to an age quite different
from the present one.”
Winston purchases an antique paperweight from Mr.
Charrington’s shop. By doing so, he is skirting
illegal behavior by owning something aesthetically
pleasing and without a clear use. He is also forming
a connection to a world without the Party in it.
“[T]he Party member, like the proletarian, tolerates
present-day conditions because he has no standards of
comparison. He must be cut off from the past, just as he
must be cut off from foreign countries, because it is
necessary for him to believe that he is better off than his
ancestors and that the average level of material comfort
is constantly rising.”
This section from Goldstein’s manifesto explains
why the Party’s maxim “Who controls the past
controls the future” holds true. If people had a set of
standards and norms to hold the Party against,
Orwell implies, its authority would collapse.
Theme: Resistance And Revolution
“The sexual act, successfully performed, was rebellion.
Desire was thoughtcrime.”
Reflecting on his failed marriage to Katharine,
Winston realizes that sex and sexuality must have
revolutionary potential and that this is why the Party
spends so much time and energy training people to
repress their sexual instincts. Later, Julia will
express a similar theory—that the Party is anti-sex
because suppressed sexual energy can be transferred
into marches and rallies.
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make
four. If that is granted, all else follows.”
Winston writes this in his diary after remembering
the photograph he found at work, which depicted
Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford and proved that
the Party was lying about their whereabouts on a
certain date and therefore must be lying about their
involvement in treason. Orwell establishes
objectivity, logic, and access to historical facts as
the antidote to the Party’s psychological control.
Page 127 of 134
“Any kind of organized revolt against the Party, which
was bound to be a failure, struck her as stupid. The
clever thing was to break the rules and stay alive all the
same.”
Winston reflects on his and Julia’s different
attitudes toward the Party and attributes their
different attitudes to generational differences.
Having seen a successful revolution once in his
lifetime, the Revolution that installed the Party,
Winston believes a successful organized revolt can
happen again. Julia, who was born after the
Revolution, has internalized the Party’s propaganda
that its authority is permanent. In her view, revolt is
individual and covert.
“[E]verywhere, all over the world, hundreds or
thousands or millions of people just like this . . . people
who had never learned to think but were storing up in
their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that
would one day overturn the world. If there was hope, it
lay in the proles!”
Watching the red-armed woman, Winston comes to
realize that although he’d written off the proles as
too unintelligent to organize and overthrow the
Party, the proles have kept their humanity and
empathy in a way that Party members like himself
and Julia have lost, or have traded away.
“The voice came from an oblong metal plaque like a
dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the
right-hand wall.” (Book 1, Chapter 1)
Simile
We get our first glance of how Big Brother
communicates inside the home of our protagonist,
Winston. The communication method being the
oblong metal plaque.
In comparing the metal plaque to a “dulled mirror,”
Orwell creates an image of a TV screen before
there were even TVs
“In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between
the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and
darted away again with a curving flight” (Book 1,
Chapter 1)
Simile
Imagery
When Orwell wrote 1984, helicopters were in their
infancy. In this example, Orwell compares a
helicopter to a bluebottle, a type of fly.
The imagery is very effective, giving the aircraft
quick, insect-like qualities.
“A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire
to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a
sledgehammer, seemed to flow through the whole group
of people like an electric current, turning one even
against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.”
(Book 1, Chapter 1)
Simile
This is during the two minute hate where everyone
is being worked into a frenzy by the images/video
being show to them.
In this evocative example, Orwell displays the
ability of powerful emotions to travel within a
group of people. Comparing the emotions’ ability
to travel quickly as if conducted by electricity
gives the emotions a certain amount of power, that
whatever person comes into contact will be
infected and electrified.
“And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract,
undirected emotion which could be switched from one
object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.” (Book
1, Chapter 1)
Simile
Comparing rage to things like fire is not exactly
original. However, Orwell gives us a very specific
image of a blowlamp, which is more commonly
called a blowtorch. Just imagine the burning heat
of a blue flame.
Page 128 of 134
“He went to the bathroom and carefully scrubbed the
ink away with the gritty dark brown soap which rasped
your skin like sandpaper and was therefore well adapted
for this purpose.” (Book 1, Chapter 2)
Simile
Orwell is very good at providing similes we can
feel. All throughout 1984, Orwell describes
products that are very inferior or of poor quality. In
this example, Orwell compares the soap Winston
uses to sandpaper. You can almost feel the
grittiness.
“From the table at Winston’s left, a little behind his
back, someone was talking rapidly and continuously, a
harsh gabble almost like the quacking of a duck, which
pierced the general uproar of the room.” (Book 1,
Chapter 2)
Simile
Just like in the last example, Orwell is expert at
using similes that compel our senses. In this
example, Orwell plays on our sense of sound as he
compares a crowd’s banter to the quacking of a
duck.
“They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like
a horse shaking off flies.” (Book 1, Chapter 7)
Simile
Here we have another visually-stimulating simile.
You can almost hear this one.
“But this was concrete evidence; it was a fragment of
the abolished past, like a fossil bone which turns up in
the wrong stratum and destroys a geological
theory” (Book 1, Chapter 7)
Simile
This is a very well-deployed simile. Orwell
compares a piece of evidence that the protagonist,
Winston, discovers to a fossil that challenges
previous theories. This simile is very appealing
because it is comparing something abstract from
the past to something tangible form the past: a
fossil that one can touch and hold.
“Seen from the top the stuff looked almost black, but in
the decanter it gleamed like a ruby.” (Book 2, Chapter
8)
Simile
This example occurs in the part of the story where
Winston sees and drinks wine for the first time.
The imagery Orwell employs is very effective. In
comparing the wine to a ruby, we not only get a
colorful visual reference, but we also get a sense of
the rarity and preciousness of the wine.
“It was like swimming against a current that swept you
backwards however hard you struggled, and then
suddenly deciding to turn round and go with the current
instead of opposing it.” (Book 3, Chapter 4)
Simile
This last example is another simile that plays to our
sense of touch. This example makes use of the
common metaphor of swimming against the
current, meaning moving counter to a trend or
tradition. Reading this passage almost makes one
feel as if they are in the ocean or in a fast-moving
river being swept away and totally out of control.
“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make
four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the
past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external
world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is
controllable – what then?”
Synesis
In this excerpt, the grammatical construction of the
words “two and two make four,” which should be
“makes” instead of “make.” The arrangement is not
made in morphosyntactic form. Instead, the words
are arranged according to their logic.
Page 129 of 134
“The voice came from an oblong metal plaque like a
dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the
right-hand wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice
sank somewhat, though the words were still
distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it was
called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of
shutting it off completely. He moved over to the
window: a smallish, frail figure, the meagreness of his
body merely emphasized by the blue overalls which
were the uniform of the party. His hair was very fair, his
face naturally sanguine…”
Affix
In this example, the author has used both types of
affix. The prefixes include “dis-” and “uni-,” and
the suffixes include “-ed,” “-ly,” “-ish,” “-ness,”
and “-lly.”
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were
striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into
his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped
quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions,
though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty
dust from entering along with him.”
Phoneme
The underlined letters are sounds of /i/ /b/ /d/ /s/ /
ie/ /w/ /s/ and /v/ respectively. However, two
phonemes have used aspirated diphthong sounds /
th/ in “Smith” and /th/ in “though.”
“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to
narrow the range of thought? In the end, we shall make
thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be
no words in which to express it. Every concept that can
ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word,
with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary
meanings rubbed out and forgotten.”
“[…] Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range
of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of
course, there’s no reason or excuse for committing
thoughtcrime. It’s merely a question of self-discipline,
reality-control. But in the end there won’t be any need
even for that.”
“[…] In fact there will be no thought, as we understand
it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to
think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
Distortion
In the above excerpt taken from 1984, George
Orwell has used distortion of several facts as a
manipulative device. He expresses that this is an
important part of human thought, as it either limits
or structures the ideas of individuals. Orwell has
rather focused on political language to distort the
story’s concepts and events by naming them
differently than their names in our reality.
“The flat was seven flights up, and Winston, who was
thirty-nine and had a varicose ulcer above his right
ankle, went slowly, resting several times on the way. On
each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the
enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those
pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you
about when you move. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING
YOU, the caption beneath it ran.”
Symbol
Big Brother is a representative of a dictatorial
government, and its supremacy in the society. It
can exercise total control and manage citizen’s
lives by watching with spy cameras and advanced
technology.
Page 130 of 134
“Big Brother is watching you.’’ (Book 1, Chapter 1)
“WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.” (Book 1, Chapter 1)
This is the most critical quote seen by Winston
Smith on posters every time he enters his
apartment. This is a slogan propagated by the Party
that Big Brother, the leader of the country Oceania
to warn all the citizens that Big Brother is watching
everyone. Therefore, everyone must stay within the
given lines of the Party or else face the
consequences. This slogan is given in all capital
letters to show that this directive is very important.
It relates to the existing surveillance through
internet and smartphones.
Slogan
These slogan type of quotes occur in the first
chapter of the novel. These are mottos of the
Ministry of Truth of the state of Oceania. The main
political party “The Party” has introduced these
slogans to manipulate and control the minds of
people while putting ‘thoughts from the Party’
about what is important for them and what is not.
In other words, these mottos show that people
should accept these truths. In recent circumstances,
it shows the subversive use of language to make
people think what the governments want them to
think.
Paradox
This is a paradox because of how contradicting
each statement is. Each statement given by the
society are literal opposites from each other, but
are given to the people as if they are made to be
truth. They are basically telling the people to go the
opposite of their natural belief and trust in them
only. This paint a picture for the totalitarian society
depicted in the novel.
“One of those completely unquestioning, devoted
drudges on whom, more even than on the Thought
Police, the stability of the Party depended.” (Book 1,
Chapter 2)
These lines are about Parsons, the fellow employee
of Winston Smith, the main character of the
storyline of 1984. This line is a comment on his
enthusiasm to work for “The Party” and the
government. It says that the Party depends on such
unquestioning fellows who prove diehard
followers. These people become the main source of
the Thought Police to control the thoughts of the
people. This shows their relevance to the religious
fanatics of the modern times.
Page 131 of 134
“The past was dead, the future was
unimaginable.” (Book 1, Chapter 2)
This short line occurs in the second chapter of the
novel. It is a significant line that shows how the
past is modified to make it equal to zero, or almost
dead for the people. The main character, Winston
Smith, is feeling quite odd when working in the
party office. He feels that the past is more before
him and that he cannot imagine what may happen
to him in the future. Therefore, he is clueless about
time due to his work in the Ministry of Truth.
“Who controls the past’, ran the Party slogan, ‘controls
the future: who controls the present controls the
past.” (Book 1, Chapter 3)
These lines are from the third chapter. Winston
Smith thinks about the existence of knowledge and
realizes that truth is being annihilated. He thinks
that if the line of the Party is accepted that who
controls the present controls the past, it means it
also controls the future. Therefore, the Party is
working to obliterate all records. Then it will own
the future as it can create its own record for future
reference.
“Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous
system. At any moment the tension inside you was
liable to translate itself into some visible
symptom.” (Book 1, Chapter 6)
These lines are spoken in the sixth chapter.
Winston Smith, the protagonist of this novel, is in a
reflective mood. He is writing a diary which could
prove a rebellious act against him. In these
sentences, he thinks that his nervous system could
prove bad for him. He knows that his inner tension
could become visible, and he could be arrested.
These lines show how the Party has overpowered
the mental processes of its workers.
“Until they become conscious, they will never rebel,
and until after they have rebelled they cannot become
conscious.” (Book 1, Chapter 7)
The hero of the novel, Winston Smith, writes these
lines in his diary in the seventh chapter of the first
section. He has been visiting the proles, the
settlements of the proletariat people. He is thinking
about the mob of the proletariat and states that if
they become conscious of the situation in which
they are forced to live, they will rebel. However,
their thoughts have been curbed so much so that
they could not become conscious of why they rebel
and against whom they are rebelling. These lines,
given in italics in original, are significant as they
show how the politicians dominate the commoners
using their power.
Page 132 of 134
“At the sight of the words I love you the desire to stay
alive had welled up in him, and the taking of minor
risks suddenly seemed stupid.” (Book 2, Chapter 1)
These lines occur in the first chapter of the second
section. These are very important lines, as Winston
Smith has already read “I love you” when Julia
secretly passes the note. Now he is reflecting upon
its meanings and feeling passionate intimate
moments with Julia. In the past, he has experienced
intimacy is a routine matter where no love is
involved. Hence, meeting Julia has changed that
thought and he has become passionate. He also
understands that taking these small risks for love is
mindless and yet worth it because Julia makes him
feel alive
“The smell of her hair, the taste of her mouth, the
feeling of her skin seemed to have got inside him, or
into the air all around him. She had become a physical
necessity.” (Book 2, Chapter 4)
These lines occur in the fourth chapter of the
second section. Here Winston is again thinking
about his girlfriend, Julia, with whom he has met
earlier. Although in the past sexual relationship was
declared a routine matter for breeding more
members of the Party, it is still a passionate act for
him. He thinks about Julia and feels her presence.
Then it suddenly dawns upon him that Julia has
removed all his repression from the past and that
he craves to be with her.
“For the first time, he perceived that if you want to keep
a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” (Book 3,
Chapter 4)
These words are thoughts of Winston Smith. He is
very much overwhelmed by his rebellious
thoughts, and seem, to be on the verge of spilling
the beans or making it visible. He is very much
aware of ‘Thought Police’ and the consequence of
his thoughts. It has occurred to him for the first
time that if you are working as a spy, you must
hoodwink yourself, too. This line is significant in
the novel and shows how a change of thoughts
sometimes causes delusion.
"From over scrubby cheekbones eyes looked into
Winston’s, sometimes with strange intensity, and
flashed away again. The convoy was drawing to an end.
" pg. 146
Foreshadowing
The prisoners looking at Winston so intently could
foreshadow Winston becoming one of them in the
future. Their glares could be a way of drawing
Winston towards them showing how he may be
with them one day. Coupled with the fact that he's
going around with Julia, may lead him down a path
where his own well being is threatened.
Page 133 of 134
"‘It’s this bloody thing that does it,’ she said, ripping off
the scarlet sash of the Junior Anti-Sex League and
flinging it on to a bough." pg. 153
Symbol
Julia ripping off the sash symbolizes her blatant
defiance towards the society. Where the sash itself
illustrates a citizen's devotion to the cause, Julia
shows her commitment in her desires when taking
off the sash, rather than the societies desires. She
uses the sash to hide her true intentions.
"Everything faded into mist. The past was erased, the
erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth. Just once in
his life he had possessed—AFTER the event: that was
what counted—concrete, unmistakable evidence of an
act of falsification." Pg. 95-96
Irony
The irony in this in "the lie became the truth". This
symbolizes how the big brother takes every part of
history pertaining to them and twists it into their
own imaging, creating a "lie".
"In the dream he had remembered his last glimpse of his
mother, and within a few moments of waking the cluster
of small events surrounding it had all come back. It was
a memory that he must have deliberately pushed out of
his consciousness over many years." Pg. 203
Flashback
The flashback depicts the animosities the society
puts people through. Winston was taken away from
his family as a child, and believed he was the one
who killed his mother. When in actuality, his dream
shows that his mother was killed by the society.
"Shall I tell you why we have brought you here? To cure Satire
you! To make you sane! Will you understand, Winston,
that no one whom we brings to this place leaves
uncured." Pg. 265
The man is telling Winston that they will make him
"sane" meaning that they will bring him to what the
society deems normal. This shows how what Big
brother deems to be normal or accepted is opposite
from what others think. With this, the statement
shows the narrow minded viewpoint of officials in
the society.
Page 134 of 134
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