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Questions tagged [george-orwell]

For questions about the English author George Orwell or about any of his literary works, which include the satirical novels 1984 and Animal Farm.

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In George Orwell's Burmese Days, what word is the censored “b--s” supposed to be?

Here's a passage where Westfield talks about possibly having to allow Natives into the European club: "Got to put up with it, I suppose", he said. "B--s of natives are getting into all the Clubs ...
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Do Orwell's and E. B. White's essays belong to a school?

I have always been charmed by George Orwell's and E. B. White's essays. They're insidiously plain, but extremely pleasant to read. The way that they talk is so different from authors today (for ...
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Animal Farm — silent protest?

Is Animal Farm by George Orwell a silent protest against the Russian Revolution? I am correcting an essay about Animal Farm, and someone called it a silent protest. I am not sure whether I should ...
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Would Julia have wanted to meet with O'Brien if not for Winston?

In George Orwell's 1984 I am trying to prove that Winston influenced Julia to be more proactive in rebelling against the Party. So I am wondering if Julia's views on actively trying to take down the ...
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What does “toby” mean, in London slang of Orwell's time?

In the George Orwell poem "A Dressed Man and a Naked Man", two men are haggling for the clothes of one of them (the other is naked). After a little research into the pounds/shillings/pence system for ...
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What caused English intellectuals to be “ashamed of their own nationality”, according to George Orwell?

Gary Gibbon, First-class BA History (Balliol College, Oxford). Breaking Point: The UK Referendum on the EU and its Aftermath (Haus Curiosities). p. 63.         And then there ...
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Are these quotes from Orwell's 1984 similes, metaphors, or something else?

Winston's entrails seemed to have turned into ice. I thought metaphor, but it's the "seemed" that's throwing me off. It's not quite 'something IS something else' (i.e. his 'entrails turned into ice')...
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What is meant by Winston only had once a proof of falsification by the Party?

(From Chapter 3..) Winston Smith is doing his morning gymnastics in front of the telescreen and thinking about the Party and their actions. Quoting from the book itself (emphasis mine): Sometimes, ...
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How bad is Winston Smith 's memory in the novel `1984`?

The book starts with Winston entering his apartment in noon, leaving work at noon by choice since we are given the information that By leaving the Ministry at this time of day he had sacrificed ...
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Why did George Orwell make “Oceania” totalitarian in his novel “1984”?

During his times the United States and Great Britain were seen as one of the few the greatest "true" democracies that have ever existed. Why did he decide to merge them into one totalitarian ...
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What might Syme have been thinking when he was captured?

I understand that Syme was vaporised because he overthought the concept of the newspeak, but would he have regretted being an avid follower of Big Brother and destroyer of language?
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What does this passage of 1984 mean?

There were also memories of another kind. They stood out in his mind disconnectedly, like pictures with blackness all round them. He was in a cell which might have been either dark or light, ...
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Is Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984 an unreliable narrator?

In a recent discussion in on online course about How to Read a Novel, someone suggested that Winston Smith in Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four is an unreliable narrator. L. Kip Wheeler's glossary ...
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Why doesn't Winston ask Mr Charrington about life before the Revolution?

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston goes to a pub and asks an old prole about life in the olden days. But it's all in vain, because the man can't remember anything Winston thinks is important, so Winston ...
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Were the three slogans in Orwell's 1984 partly inspired by Kipling's poem “The White Man's Burden”?

George Orwell did not like Kipling at all. I quote from this essay by Orwell: Kipling is a jingo imperialist, he is morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting. But this essay also shows that ...
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Terminology and examples for what George Orwell calls “good bad poetry”?

Recently I bumped into an article where "The Poetry Foundation’s president, John Barr, takes a look at what separates “serious” poetry from the rest". Poetry being an art form, obviously no such ...
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In 1984, did Julia ever reach room 101? If so, what was her worst fear?

While O'Brian is torturing Winston, he reveals that Julia betrayed Winston almost immediately. Does this mean that she never reached room 101? If she did reach it, do we have any hints as to what her ...
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1984 - What does O'Brien mean by this sentence? [duplicate]

While Winston is being held prisoner, O'Brien walks in the room for the first time and the conversation goes something like this: Winston: They got you too! O'Brien: Yes, they got me a long ...
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Is the speaker with an on-off switch a reference to Orwell?

I'm intrigued by this passage in Lois Lowry, The Giver, chapter 10. He watched as the man rose and moved first to the wall where the speaker was. It was the same sort of speaker that occupied a ...
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How did the Thought Police prevent themselves from becoming Thought Criminals?

The Thought Police presumably encountered Thought Criminals with at least some regularity. At a minimum, there were a fair number of people imprisoned at the Ministry of Love. With that said, how did ...
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Why does Emmanuel Goldstein's book in 1984 have a title page?

I was rereading 1984 when I noticed something amiss in this passage: A heavy black volume, amateurishly bound, with no name or title on the cover. The print also looked slightly irregular. The ...
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Does “Animal Farm” explicitly state anywhere in the text that it is in fact a political allegory?

I first heard of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" in high school when a teacher mentioned that it was an allegory of the Soviet State. So I read it 2 years later with that understanding. While recently ...
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Why did the animals in Animal Farm confess to their crimes?

One of the things that I did not understand about Animal Farm is why the animals, after the hen's rebellion, simply came forward to confess their crimes. Napoleon offers no incentive for coming ...
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Why wasn't O'Brien considered a thought criminal?

Given that O'Brien shows a high level of awareness of the Party's deceptiveness and malice (e.g. the fact that he admitted to being involved in creating and promoting the Goldstein myth), to what ...
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Why does O'Brien claim that the party didn't believe in solipsism?

In 1984, O'Brien claims that the party's philosophy is not solipsism. Why does he claim that? Was he telling the truth, and how does the party's philosophy actually differ from solipsism? From ...
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Did George Orwell ever feel that Spain would be better off under Franco?

I recently read an article at Foreign Policy (archived here) stating the following: [Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom] grounds Churchill and illuminates the grim conclusions Orwell didn’...
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Who said it first - Orwell or Churchill?

One of my favorite quotes is Churchill's "We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us." But recently I found out that Orwell was attributed ...
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Are there regional variations of Newspeak?

It is repeated several times throughout 1984 that Newspeak is the official language of Oceania. However, as you can see below, although Oceania covers some English-speaking areas (Australia, England, ...
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What is the greater meaning of the thrush?

In 1984, Orwell devotes a few lines to a singing thrush that lands several feet away from Julia and Winston during their first secret meeting. A thrush had alighted on a bough not five metres ...
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What did O'Brien mean when he said this at the end of 1984?

The boots were approaching again. The door opened. O'Brien came in. Winston started to his feet. The shock of the sight had driven all caution out of him. For the first time in many years he ...
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What did George Orwell think of the USSR before travelling to Spain?

George Orwell volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War. After being wounded on the front line, he went to Barcelona and was caught up in the suppression of the POUM militia by the Spanish ...
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Is there any evidence that George Orwell read 'For whom the bell tolls'? Did Hemingway read 'Homage to Catalonia' or (later) '1984'?

Orwell was familiar with Hemingway, who was already very famous by the 1920s. Mostly Orwell was quite scathing about Hemingway, because of his macho image. Hemingway was relatively favourable towards ...
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Why did George Orwell name himself after the River Orwell?

Eric Arthur Blair, author of such famous books as Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm among many others, used the name George Orwell for his books. From the linked Wikipedia page (cited to Voorhees, ...
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Why was 1984 set in 1984?

Was there any special meaning to the year he chose? I originally thought that he just selected a date in the future but now I am not so sure. Has George Orwell or his editor ever commented on the ...
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What's the significance of “Oranges and Lemons” in 1984?

The popular London nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons is quoted and partially recited several times throughout 1984. Winston learns about it from Mr Charrington in Part 1, Chapter 8, then talks about it ...
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Is there any evidence the Party was atheistic?

Generally, most totalitarian regimes in history have been atheistic, shunning any form of religion and creating a cult of mass worship towards the leader(s) of the government. Does this hold true for ...
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Do we know what prompted Orwell to write 1984?

I just read through Orwell's short essay, What is Fascism? In it, Orwell defines fascism (or doesn't) with two sentences: Why, then, cannot we have a clear and generally accepted definition of it? ...
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Are there any motifs or symbols related to imperialism in Animal Farm?

In my centennial edition of Animal Farm by George Orwell, his bio states that he joined the Burmese Indian Imperial Police stating, In order to hate imperialism, you have got to be part of it. In ...
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What does Mrs. Jones represent in Animal Farm?

There are a few mentions of Mrs. Jones, primarily in reference to her table cloth. Does she represent something in and of herself? If so, what does Mrs. Jones represent in Animal Farm?
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Why was the book Animal Farm banned in non-communist countries?

I understand why it was banned in the USSR, because it's pretty blatant satire of the USSR. It's also still banned in North Korea for the same reason. But why was it banned in the United Arab ...
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What does Old Major in Animal Farm represent?

Old Major, the elder pig in Animal Farm, seems to have a different role than the younger ones. I believe he has a different view, but after he dies, the young pigs don't follow his legacy. What does ...
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Did Winston and Julia oversleep?

When Winston and Julia are arrested at the end of Part 2 of 1984, Winston speculates dully that they may have overslept in the room above Charrington's shop, and that it is now the morning instead of ...
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How does the Ministry of Love know your worst fear?

Room 101 is a torture room based on your worst fear. In Winston's case, it's quite easy to find his worst fear (rats) because he is caught by the telescreen admitting to Julia that he hates rats when ...
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Was there a reason Room 101 was called Room 101?

Was the room named after anything significant? It seems odd to me that he would name such an important piece of the novel after nothing, but maybe I am just looking too hard.
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How does Room 101 reset for each person who enters?

It's known in 1984 that Room 101 contains your worst fears; it's the ultimate torture/emotional breakdown technique. However, assuming each prisoner has a different fear, Room 101 would have to ...
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In 1984, why does O'Brien expect Winston to know what Room 101 is?

In 1984, O'Brien expects Winston to know what Room 101 is. I know that Room 101 is more torture, but why would O'Brien expect Winston to know that? ‘What is in Room 101?’ The expression on O’...
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In 1984, why did O'Brien wait so long?

In Orwell's 1984, O'Brien knows well that Julia and Winston are enemies of the Party when they come to his house to pledge their allegiance to the Brotherhood. Why doesn't he immediately arrest them ...
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Why is the superstate Winston lives in named Oceania in 1984?

Winston Smith lives in London, a city in the superstate of Oceania. As shown in the map here, Oceania consists of all of the Americas, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In the modern world today, ...
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Who or what does Benjamin the donkey represent in Animal Farm?

Benjamin is the old, irritable donkey who doesn't care who's in control, because he says that work will be the same either way. He is one of the few on the farm who can read, and who still remembers ...
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Who does the cat represent in Animal Farm?

It's well known that various characters represent real Soviet figures. Who does the cat, who is fond of shirking physical work but enjoys reaping the rewards, represent? Does the cat even have any ...