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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15
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1answer
845 views

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.
6
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1answer
64 views

Where did Orwell ask whether British democracy would end through a Fascist takeover or by a Socialist revolution?

The Wikipedia article about Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighthy-Four contains the following statement: During World War II, Orwell believed that British democracy as it existed before 1939 would not ...
22
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5answers
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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 ...
13
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3answers
10k views

Who does Mollie represent in Animal Farm?

It's well known that various characters represent real Soviet figures. Who does Mollie, the horse sympathetic to the humans, represent? Is she just a generic non-Soviet sympathizer or does she ...
11
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2answers
114 views

In 1984 why does the Newspeak dictionary have numbered editions?

A major theme in 1984 is that the Party is never wrong and commonly changes all past references to reflect this. Why would the Party have numbered editions of their Newspeak dictionary, as opposed to ...
12
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2answers
5k views

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 ...
6
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1answer
176 views

When was the Party founded?

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 ...
12
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6answers
13k views

What did O'Brien mean when he said “They got me a long time ago” in the book 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 ...
2
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3answers
634 views

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, because ...
5
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2answers
86 views

In 1984, how did people think their thoughtcrime would be discovered?

In the novel 1984, Winston Smith writes: Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death. How exactly does Smith, or anyone else, think that Big Brother will discover their thoughtcrimes?...
22
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4answers
35k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
140 views

What does George Orwell mean with “vague reverence”?

In Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell writes this: Sometimes it stopped for a few seconds, spread out and resettled its wings, then swelled its speckled breast and again burst into ...
8
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1answer
201 views

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 ...
9
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1answer
426 views

Did the Brotherhood really exist?

In George Orwell's 1984, there is a mention of a secretive organization named Brotherhood whose main aim is to rebel against the Big Brother, and the Party in general. In the later part of the prose, ...
7
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0answers
247 views

Nineteen Eighty Four - the chocolate ration demonstrations

After the chocolate ration is reduced from 30 grammes per week to 20, the Ministry of Truth puts out the claim that it has been increased to 20 grammes (its supposed previous level is not stated). ...
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1answer
159 views

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 ...
11
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1answer
601 views

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 two years later with that understanding. While recently ...
3
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1answer
2k views

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?
3
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2answers
9k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
483 views

Looking for a quote from 1984 about the party's immortality vs personal mortality

What is the quote from 1984 where Winston tells O'Brien that O'Brien is mortal, and O'Brien responds that what matters is the party's immortality and not his own? It was during a sort of "ask me ...
6
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
14
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4answers
2k views

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 ...
22
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2answers
11k views

Why is the UK called Airstrip One?

In 1984, London is the chief city of the province Airstrip One (which consists of the UK), which is a part of the superstate Oceania. Is there a reason why it's called Airstrip One?
3
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2answers
236 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
77 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
797 views

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?
4
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1answer
121 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
304 views

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 ...
99
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4answers
22k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
11
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2answers
788 views

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 ...
33
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1answer
18k views

George Orwell's 1984 banned for contradictory reasons?

The book 1984, being about suppression of information itself, was banned in the USSR for being anti-communist, but it also was banned in the USA for being pro-communist. Is there any analysis where ...
3
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1answer
1k views

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')...
2
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1answer
284 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
2k views

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, ...
4
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
7
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1answer
354 views

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 ...
20
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2answers
1k views

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’...
11
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
15
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2answers
2k views

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, ...
6
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0answers
445 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
118 views

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 time ago. ...
21
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3answers
962 views

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? ...
6
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2answers
2k views

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 chapter ...
6
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
302 views

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, ...
11
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1answer
174 views

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’...
7
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1answer
560 views

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 ...
17
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1answer
13k views

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 ...