Questions tagged [nineteen-eighty-four]

Questions about George Orwell's dystopian novel 'Nineteen Eighty-Four', first published in 1949. Use this tag with the [george-orwell] tag.

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6
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1answer
72 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 ...
11
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2answers
144 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 ...
5
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2answers
102 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?...
2
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1answer
164 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 ...
7
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0answers
429 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). ...
2
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1answer
597 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 ...
9
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1answer
618 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, ...
6
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1answer
198 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 ...
5
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1answer
78 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 ...
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')...
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2answers
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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, ...
4
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1answer
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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 ...
2
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1answer
315 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 ...
5
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2answers
851 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?
2
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3answers
709 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 ...
11
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1answer
2k 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 ...
11
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2answers
860 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 ...
6
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0answers
466 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 ...
7
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575 views

What is the significance of Goldstein's book in 1984?

In 1984 by George Orwell, Goldstein's book The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism is given roughly 30 pages of text, is largely drawn out, and seems unimportant compared to the rest of ...
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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0answers
121 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. ...
7
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1answer
411 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 ...
3
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2answers
243 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 ...
6
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1answer
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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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2answers
611 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 ...
6
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2answers
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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 chapter ...
9
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1answer
316 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, ...
12
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1answer
9k views

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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6answers
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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 ...
100
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4answers
23k 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 ...
18
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3answers
1k views

Is there strong evidence that “room 5” in V for Vendetta was a conscious reference to Room 101?

In 1984, Room 101 is where people are taken to meet their worst fears. In V for Vendetta, room 5 is the room that V is kept in at Larkhill. Since it is labeled with the Roman numeral "V", it is ...
23
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5answers
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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 ...
9
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1answer
310 views

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 ...
21
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3answers
1k 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? ...
8
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2answers
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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 ...
9
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1answer
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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 ...
15
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1answer
881 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.
12
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1answer
582 views

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 ...
20
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2answers
2k 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’...
33
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
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, ...
33
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1answer
20k 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 ...
23
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2answers
12k 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?