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Questions tagged [nineteen-eighty-four]

For questions about George Orwell's dystopia, alternate-future novel, 1984. Use this tag with the [george-orwell] tag.

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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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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 ...
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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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1answer
80 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?
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What does this passage of 1984 mean? [closed]

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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1answer
137 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 ...
9
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1answer
135 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 ...
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111 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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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0answers
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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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1answer
107 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 ...
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1answer
111 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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1answer
239 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 ...
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2answers
603 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 ...
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1answer
158 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, ...
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1answer
3k 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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5answers
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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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4answers
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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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2answers
587 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 ...
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3answers
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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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1answer
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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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3answers
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
325 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.
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1answer
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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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2answers
839 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’...
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2answers
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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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2answers
848 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, ...
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1answer
5k 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 ...
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1answer
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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?