1984 “Mini Essay”: Rebellion is one way of coping with the oppression of a totalitarian regime. Part Two of Orwell’s 1984 reveals both the benefits and the negatives of non-conformity. Evaluate! One of the fundamental themes in 1984 is that rebellion takes many forms and can be as minor as a split-second facial expression, or as grand as a Revolution. It also brutally explores the consequences of rebellion grand and small, as well as non-conformity, or unorthodoxy in the context of both the world of 1984 and totalitarian regimes or dystopias as a whole. Right from the first chapter of the novel it is foreshadowed that Winston’s rebellion will ultimately bring about his demise, encapsulated in the phrase in Winston’s Diary “Thoughtcrime does not entail death, thoughtcrime is death”. But it is also life, a way to hold onto your sanity in an insane world, it is only through his rebellion, both in his writing of the Diary and his affair with Julia, that Winston is able to cope with the oppression of the Party. That rebellion, minor as it may seem, as Winston himself ponders, is a political act. Making love, simply being human, is a political act of rebellion. And in this political act Winston finds a kind of peace. In his own words “the process of life had ceased to be intolerable, he had no longer any impulse to make faces at the telescreen, or shout curses at the top of his voice”. It is yet another irony of the novel that only through death, not entailing death, but actual death, can one truly be alive in the truest sense. And yet there is a heavy cost in rebelling, a cost greater than death. Perhaps the greatest dramatic irony in the novel is that to rebel, to be “insane”, to be “a minority of one” is that in doing so one entails the certainty of the Party’s victory over you. All those who are unorthodox, who rebel so that they might live a life of their own are taken by the Party, without exception. To be “insane”, is to be made “sane”, in the world of 1984 it is inevitable. The ultimate cost of rebellion, in 1984, is not for the rebel in question to lose, but for the Party to win, the Party doesn’t “destroy” its enemies, it “changes them”, to claim its ultimate victory over the human psyche. And this is foreshadowed, even overtly stated, long before Winston’s ordeal in room 101 in part 2. “If they could make me stop loving you, that would be the real betrayal”. And it is, the ultimate victory of the party is destroying the love between Julia and Winston, a victory made possible only through their rebellion. That is perhaps the greatest irony in a novel built around perpetual juxtaposition and dichotomies. The benefits of rebellion and the negatives are encapsulated in Part Two of the novel, which is the third of the book most devoted to the rebellion Winston and Julia undertake, and the benefits they reap as a result. But it also significantly foreshadows the consequences, so much so that Part Three can hardly be said to be a twist in plot, but instead a realization of what was already known in Part Two, from the very beginning of Part One in fact. Obrien himself warns them that they will be caught, tortured and killed, that rebellion itself, to paraphrase Winston, does not entail defeat, it is defeat. It is in Part two, the zenith of both the novel and Winston’s rebellion, that the novel’s statements are made most bluntly and its greatest irony is explored. The inevitable end to rebellion is foreshadowed, and even overtly stated. And yet the freedom of rebellion is also explored, and it is in Part Two, even as Winston brings about his own demise, that he is the most free.