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1984 Orwell Notes
Terms in this set (146)
name of the mysterious, legendary group working to overthrow the Party
Who does Winston Smith start a relationship with?
What is Winston's job at the Ministry of Truth?
changes historical records for the Party
What are Winston's nightmares about?
What nation does the book take place in?
What does Winston own that is illegal?
Does Winston think his relationship with Julia will last?
The character who claims to be a part of the Brotherhood but turns out to be a Party spy
What ends up happening to Winston at the end of the book?
He accepts the Party
The character who runs a small shop; seems average but ends up being a part of the Thought Police
The Party has invented and is enforcing a new language that eliminates words remotely related to rebellion. What is it called?
Who is the legendary leader of the Brotherhood?
Why did George Orwell write this book?
warn about dangers of totalitarian government
Who is the ruler/symbol of the Party?
What is the name of the technology that the Party uses to constantly monitor its citizens? There are also hidden microphones.
1. Part One: I, II, III
1. Who is the main character? Describe him.
A minor member of the ruling Party in near-future London, Winston Smith is a thin, frail, contemplative, intellectual, and fatalistic thirty-nine-year-old. Winston hates the totalitarian control and enforced repression that are characteristic of his government. He harbors revolutionary dreams.
2. What is the setting? Give country and the city.
London, England (known as "Airstrip One" in the novel's alternate reality) which is the main city of Airstrip One, a province of the country of Oceania.
3. What are the three slogans of the Party?
"War is Peace."
"Freedom is Slavery."
"Ignorance is Strength."
"War is Peace." -This world is full of troubles, most of the time we don't even know what they are or where they are. When we have an enemy in plain sight, we are confident of our ability to fight him. Therefore, with that confidence we feel at peace.
We've taken action. We are doing something. In times of peace, we know there's an enemy somewhere.... On top of that, war brings often economic benefits (e.g. World War II bringing the country out of the Great Depression).
"Freedom is Slavery." - When you are free, you are responsible for yourself. No one will take care of you, look out for your welfare. You are tied to the struggle to survive.
If the government provides for your needs, you are free to pursue other pleasures.
" Ignorance is Strength." - As the saying goes, "The more you learn, the more you realize the less you know."
Without knowledge, you are freed from responsibility. "Ignorance is bliss." So in a way, you can also say "Ignorance is Freedom."
4. What does the caption on the posters say?
"BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU
5. Name each of the Ministries and explain its function. Include its Newspeak name. All the ministries basically do everything that would contradict their name.
Ministry of Truth -(Minitrue) where Winston records history to match the Party's official version of past events; deals with propaganda and changing all documentation of the past to suit the Party's needs (where Winston works)
Ministry of Love - (Minipax)the center of the Inner Party's loathsome activities; deals with punishing and torturing all those who are suspected of opposing the Party (where Winston and Julia are tortured)
Ministry of Peace -(Miniluv) deals with everything concerning Oceania's continuous wars
Ministry of Plenty -(Miniplenty) which plans economic shortage; deals with rationing food and goods
6. What date does the main character record?
April 4th, 1984. In this book, the most important instance in which Winston Smith records the date comes in the first chapter. This is the point at which Winston begins his diary. When Winston begins the diary, he writes the date -- April 4, 1984.
This is important because of what we are told next -- Winston does not even know for sure what year it is. This is one of the first indications we get about how thoroughly the Party has taken over the society. The Party has kept people in such ignorance that they do not even know what year it is.
When you add this to the slogans and to the names of the ministries and the machine gun nests on the street and other things like that, you can see that the Party has truly taken control of the society and that they have been twisting the truth and keeping the people ignorant.
7. Describe the two people the main character sees just before the Two Minutes Hate. What does he think of each of them?
The dark haired girl who works in the fiction department at the Ministry of Truth. He lusts and hates her. O'brien is an important Inner Party member, an enemy of the party. He thought he could be the type of person he could talk to if he could find a way to cheat the telescreen.
8. Describe/explain the appearance/importance of Emmanuel Goldstein.
Goldstein, Emmanuel - The supreme enemy of the state. He was once a high-ranking member of the party, until he supposedly betrayed the party and began engaging in revolutionary activities. He is the supposed head of the "resistance". Goldstein is to Ingsoc what Satan is to Christianity... The embodiment of pure evil.
Orwell describes Goldstein as having "a lean Jewish face, with a great fuzzy aureole of white hair and a small goatee beard -- a clever face, and yet somehow inherently despicable, with a kind of senile silliness in the long thin nose, near the end of which a pair of spectacles was perched.
It resembled the face of a sheep, and the voice, too, had a sheep-like quality."
9. Describe/explain the appearance/importance of Big Brother.
Big Brother - Also refered to as simply "B.B.". Similar to America's "Uncle Sam", except this individual is the leader of the nation. In Oceania, Big Brother is worshiped almost as if he were a god.
And just like the gods of most religions, Big Brother is most likely fictional. Orwell never refers to Big Brother by his 'real' name, and it would appear that nobody in Oceania possesses this information either. Winston's memory is a little foggy, but he does share some of the history of BB's rise to power with us:
"The story really began in the middle sixties, the period of the great purges in which the original leaders of the Revolution were wiped out once and for all. By 1970 none of them was left, except Big Brother himself. All the rest had by that time been exposed as traitors and counter- revolutionaries."
But this really doesn't answer the question of whether Big Brother is a 'real' individual or not. But elsewhere in the book there are hints that Big Brother is a fictional leader:
"Nobody has ever seen Big Brother. He is a face on the hoardings, a voice on the telescreen. We may be reasonably sure that he will never die, and there is already considerable uncertainty as to when he was born. Big Brother is the guise in which the Party chooses to exhibit itself to the world. His function is to act as a focusing point for love, fear, and reverence, emotions which are more easily felt towards an individual than towards an organization."
10. What crime does the main character commit? How does he do this? What is the punishment?
Winston Smith commits thought-crime in the novel 1984. This is a type of crime in which the offender's thoughts conflict with or defy the current laws or beliefs of the society. The thought-police identify this crime through the actions of the offender either through the sophisticated and widespread surveillance of the society or through another individual turning that person in.
Thought-crime is hard to define and equally hard to prevent. Winston's thoughts eventually manifest themselves in his desire for a forbidden physical relationship, his desire for personal reflection through his diary, and his desire to join an underground movement against Big Brother.
He is punished as all thought-criminals are: through a terrifying visit to the Ministry of Love, Room 101. While some thought criminals are completely vaporized both physically and historically, Winston is, after torture, brainwashed to reintegrate harmlessly into society.
11. What is the telescreen and how is it used?
Two way television. All party members has one in every room of their apartment. Because of this, the party member is never out of earshot of the latest party propaganda, and not one second goes by that they are not under the surveillance of the party. There was no way to change the channel, and the telescreen could not be turned off except by members of the Inner
12. Describe thoughtcrime and give an example.
Thoughtcrime or crimethink - To even consider any thought not in line with the principles of Ingsoc. Doubting any of the principles of Ingsoc. All crimes begin with a thought. So, if you control thought, you can control crime. "Thoughtcrime is death. Thoughtcrime does not entail death, Thoughtcrime is death.... The essential crime that contains all others in itself."
Thinking anything against the Big Brother. Winston thinks over and over "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER!"
2. Part One: IV, V, VI
1. What happens to the rewritten news articles after Winston puts them into the pneumatic tube?
Why is this significant?
Corrections to the copy of the appropriate documents were made and reprinted and then the original copy was destroyed as well. This continued alteration applied to every kind of literature or documentation. No evidence of previous documents were left, they were incinerated. The past was always being brought up to date. This way, every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct. Winston puts all related documentation into a "memory hole," thus sending any evidence of altered data to a large furnace in the center of the building.
2. Winston thinks that what he is does is not forgery. What does he think it is?
To call it forgery would be thoughtcrime. It was merely a substitution of one piece of nonsense for another.
3. What is Winston's greatest pleasure in his life, and why is it so?
His work and its because he gets lost in it.
4. Describe the aim of Newspeak and how it works.
Aimes to narrow range of thought, makes thought crime impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.
5. What is Syme's observation about Winston's appreciation of Newspeak?
He knows that Winston isn't in favor of Newspeak but needs to learn it because it will become the most used language.
6. Winston is at lunch when the message on the telescreen relates the good news about increase in production, including that the chocolate ration has been raised to twenty grams a week. What is Winston thinking as he hears this message?
It was a reduction from the day before.
7. What is facecrime? Give an example.
Orwell's definition : "It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself -- anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called."
8. Who is looking at Winston during lunch? How does this affect him?
Winston feels that he is being watched; he looks up and sees the dark-haired girl staring at him. He worries again that she is a Party agent.
9. What is the aim of the Party with regard to male- female relationships and sex?
He thinks about the Party's hatred of sex, and decides that their goal is to remove pleasure from the sexual act, so that it becomes merely a duty to the Party, a way of producing new Party members. The Party prohibits sex in order to channel the sexual frustration of the citizenry into fervent opposition to Party enemies and impassioned worship of Big Brother.
10. What is the Party's policy on marriage, divorce, and children?
Permission is required for all marriages and divorce, the Party controls it. Divorce not allowed, separation was. Children should be propagated to create new Party members only.
3. Part One: VII, VIII
1. Where does Winston think hope lies? Why?
In the book 1984 by George Orwell Winston thinks about the Party and believes that the only hope lies in the Proles who constitutes over 80% of Oceanias population.
2. What is the Party belief about the proles?
The Party explicitly teaches that the proles are "natural inferiors who must be kept in subjection, like animals".
3. Describe the one time that Winston held real evidence of an act of falsification.
The evidence was an article about Jones, Asronson, and Rutherford he was to change, he remembers the true events back in 1965 and 1973. He held proof, concrete evidence that the three men's confessions to crimes were lies. A photograph of the three men somewhere else from where the Party reports them being.
4. What bothers Winston the most, along with the sense of nightmare?
The face of Big Brother bothers Winston, Winston is more bothered by the idea that he might be sane under these awful circumstances
5. What bothers Winston more than the thought that he might be a lunatic?
The thought of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him; the horror was that he might also be wrong. Pg 80
6. What is the heresy of heresies? Why is that terrifying to Winston?
Common sense. Not that they would kill you for thinking otherwise, but that they might be right. Goldsteinism was the heresy of heresies. However it emerged that "Goldsteinism" was created by Big Brother to entrap opponents of the regime. For a human being to insist 2 and 2 make 4 in defiance of the party saying otherwise was Winston Smith's major heresy.
7. For whom does Winston realize he is writing his diary? Why?
For Obrien, to Obrien. He felt that Obrien was on his side. He was right They were wrong. He felt like he was setting forth an important axiom.
8. What is the final, most essential command of the Party?
Two plus two makes five.
9. What does Winston write in his diary?
"Freedom is the right to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows." " If there is hope, it lies in the Proles."
10. Describe what happens when Winston goes to the antique shop, and who he sees when he comes out.
Winston buys an antique paperweight, then sees the dark-haired girl from the fiction department as he departs from the shop.
4. Part Two: I, II, III, IV
1. Describe what happens when the girl with the dark hair falls on the floor.
At work one morning, Winston walks toward the men's room and notices the dark-haired girl with her arm in a sling. She falls, and when Winston helps her up, she passes him a note that reads "I love you."
2. What does the note say?
"I love you."
3. How does Winston feel about the message on the note?
The note from the dark-haired girl makes Winston feel a sudden, powerful desire to live.
4. Describe their next meeting.
Several days later, Winston manages to sit at the same lunchroom table as the girl. They look down as they converse to avoid being noticed, and plan a meeting in Victory Square where they will be able to hide from the telescreens amid the movement of the crowds
5. Describe their meeting in Victory Square. .
They meet in the square and witness a convoy of Eurasian prisoners being tormented by a venomous crowd. The girl gives Winston directions to a place where they can have their tryst, instructing him to take a train from Paddington Station to the countryside. They manage to hold hands briefly.
6. What emotions does Winston feel at first when the girl put her arms around him? What emotion didn't he feel?
At first no feeling, except sheer incredulity and pride, but no physical desire.
7. What is the girl's name?
8. Winston asks the girl what attracted her to him. What is her answer?
Something in his face. She could see that he was against "them."
9. What does the girl tell Winston about her attitude toward the party?
Hatred. Revolt against the party. Unlike Winston, Julia is not interested in widespread rebellion; she simply likes outwitting the party and enjoying herself.
10. Summarize Julia's explanation of the meaning of the Party's sexual puritanism.
She hates purity, goodness, and virtue. Wants corruptness to be everywhere, just like Winston does. She explains to Winston that the Party prohibits sex in order to channel the sexual frustration of the citizenry into fervent opposition to Party enemies and impassioned worship of Big Brother.
11. According to Winston, how has the Party used the instinct of parenthood?
Used it like a trick. The family could not actually be abolished, people were encouraged to be fond of their children in almost the old fashioned way. The children, on the other hand, were simultaneously turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. Family became the extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately.
12. What does Winston do the next time he visits the little shop? Why?
Rented the room from Mr. Charrington for the reason of his love affair with Julie.
13. What does Julia bring to their meeting?
Julie brought a toolbag, with paper packets of real sugar, bread, jam, milk and real coffee. A packet of real tea as well. Makeup and scent. All Inner Party stuff.
14. How does Winston react when he sees the rat?
Felt like he was back in a nightmare, his deepest feeling of deceptions... he panicked!
5. Part Two: V, VI, VII, VIII
1. Who has vanished?
as Winston had predicted earlier, one day his colleague Syme disappeared. He vanished and ceased to have existed.
2. How has Winston changed since he started coming to the little room with Julia?
He stopped drinking gin, his leg healed up, his coughing in the morning has stopped, he had put on some weight. Life had ceased to be intolerable, he no longer had the impulse to make faces at the telescren or shout curses at the top of his voice.
3. What do Winston and Julia realize about their relationship?
They know it can't last.
4. What does Winston realize from talking to Julia about things he remembers?
He realizes that it is easy to look like one was supporting the Party when one has no idea what was really going on.
5. Describe the meeting between Winston and O'Brien.
They meet in a hallway in the Ministry. O'Brien compliments Winston on his writing. He mentions Syme's work but not his name. This reference seems to Winston to be a signal or code word that he and O'Brien are accomplices in thoughtcrime. O'Brien offers to loan Winston a copy of the Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak dictionary and gives Winston his address in full view of a telescreen.
6. What does Winston think this meeting means?
He thinks the meeting means that the conspiracy against The Party is real and he has reached it. He also thinks it will mean his death.
7. What does Winston tell Julia the real betrayal will be when they are caught?
He says the real betrayal will be if they can be made to stop loving each other.
8. How does Winston say they can beat the Party?
He says if they can feel inside that staying human is worthwhile they will have beaten the Party.
9. Describe the meeting between O'Brien, Julia, and Winston at O'Brien's apartment.
Winston asks if Goldstein and the Brotherhood are real. O'Brien tells them it is, and that he is part of it. They say they want to join. O'Brien says they won't see any changes in their lifetime. He tells Winston how he will receive a copy of Goldstein's book.
10. What does O'Brien know that surprises Winston?
O'Brien knows the last line of the rhyme that Mr. Charrington had started telling him.
6. Part Two: IX, X
1. Why is Winston working such long hours?
The enemy has changed from Eurasia to Eastasia, so all of the literature has to be rewritten.
2. According to The Book, what is the aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink)?
The aim of modern war is to use up products but not raise the standard of living.
3. According to The Book, what is really going on with the war, and why?
The superstates are not really fighting with each other. The powers of each superstate are really warring against their own people to keep the structure of the society intact.
4. While Winston is reading Chapter 1 of The Book, he stops for a minute. Why does he stop reading?
He stopped reading to appreciate the fact that he was reading in comfort and safety, without feeling nervous, and with no telescreen watching him.
5. How is the current government different than any previous governments? What invention enables it to be like this?
The current government is able to watch all the citizens all the time because of the invention of the two-way telescreen. Previous governments were not able to watch the citizens all of the time.
6. Explain the organization of the Party.
Big Brother is at the top,
followed by members of the Inner Party.
The Outer Party comes next,
followed by the proles.
7. Explain the concept of doublethink.
Doublethink is the ability to have two opposite or contradictory thoughts at the same time, and accept both of them. People who practice doublethink are able to tell lies and believe them or forget about facts that they don't need. They deny objective reality while they are aware of that same reality.
8. What is the one thing that Winston and Julia know they will never do together?
They will never have a child together.
9. While Winston and Julia are in the room, he says, "We are the dead," and Julia repeats the phrase. What happens next?
They hear another voice say, "We are the dead." The voice is coming from behind the picture, as there is a hidden telescreen. The Thought Police come into the room and captured them.
10. What does Winston discover about Mr. Charrington?
He is a member of the Thought Police.
7. Part Three: I, II
1. Where is Winston as this section of the novel opens?
He is in the Ministry of Love.
2. What is Winston Smith's number?
3. Who is brought into the cell with Winston and why does he think he is there?
Ampleforth is brought in. He thinks it was because he let the word "God" stay at the end of a sentence of a poem he was rewriting.
4. Who is brought into the cell next and why? Who denounced him? How does he feel about the arrest?
Parsons is brought in for committing thoughtcrime. His daughter had denounced him for saying, "Down with Big Brother." He tells Winston he must have been guilty and was glad the Thought Police had stopped him before it went any further.
5. What is the number of the room where the guards take some of the prisoners? How do many of them react to this?
They are taken to Room 101. Many of them react with fear.
6. Who comes into the room next? What does Winston discover about this person?
O'Brien comes in and Winston discovers that O'Brien is a Party member, not a member of the Brotherhood, and has betrayed him.
7. Describe what is happening to Winston in Section Three: Chapter II, and who is doing this.
Winston is being tortured by O'Brien. O'Brien says Winston is insane and he (O'Brien) will cure Winston.
8. What does O'Brien tell Winston about Big Brother, the Party, and the Brotherhood?
Big Brother and the Party both exist. Winston will never know if the Brotherhood exists.
9. What is the last question that Winston asks O'Brien in Chapter II? What is O'Brien's answer?
Winston asks, "What is Room 101." O'Brien answers that Winston already knows what is in Room 101, as everyone knows.
10. Does Winston betray Julia in either of these chapters?
O'Brien tells Winston that Julia has betrayed him, but the reader has no evidence of this yet.
8. Part Three: III, IV, V, VI
1. According to O'Brien, what are the three stages of Winston's reintegration?
2. What does Winston find out about The Book?
O'Brien wrote part of The Book.
3. Winston learns why the Party seeks power. What is the reason?
The Party wants power just to have power.
4. How has Winston changed physically during his imprisonment? What does he do after he sees himself in the mirror?
He is now stooped over and very thin, and his skin looks gray. He is partly bald, covered with scars and wounds. After Winston looks in the mirror, he collapses on a small stool and cries.
5. What is Winston's answer when O'Brien asks, "Can you think of a single degradation that has not happened to you?" How does O'Brien respond?
Winston replies that he has not betrayed Julia. O'Brien agrees.
6. While Winston is exercising himself in Crimestop, he calls out, "Julia! Julia! Julia, my love! Julia!" What does this show about him? What happens to him as a result? Include his conversation in the room with O'Brien.
His cries show that he is obeying the Party but he still hates the Party. He realizes that he will have to undergo reeducation all over again. O'Brien comes into the room and asks how Winston feels about Big Brother. Winston replies that he hates Big Brother. O'Brien orders Winston to be taken to Room 101. He tells Winston he must learn to love Big Brother.
7. According to O'Brien, what is in Room 101 in general? What is this for Winston in particular?
The worst thing in the world is in Room 101. For Winston, this is rats.
8. Describe the scene with the cage. Tell what is in the cage. Tell the outcome of the scene.
The cage is a kind of face mask that has two rats in it. O'Brien tells Winston he will put the mask on Winston's face unless Winston does what is required of him. Winston asks what he is to do, but O'Brien does not answer. As the mask is closing on his face, Winston screams that O'Brien should put the mask on Julia instead. This is what O'Brien wants; for Winston to betray Julia. The Party has succeeded .
9. Describe what happens when Winston and Julia meet after they have been released. Include the verse that Winston hears.
They admit that they have betrayed each other and that they don't feel the same about each other anymore. The voice that Winston hears is singing, "Under the spreading chestnut tree/I sold you and you sold me."
10. What is Winston thinking at the end of the novel?
He realizes that he has won the victory over himself. He now loves Big Brother.
Member of Outer Party, works at the Ministry of Truth does not truly believe in Party ideas/slogans, wants to rebel against the Party, caught by Thought Police, forces himself to reform, at the end believes in the Party
Winston's lover, works in the Fiction department, very involved in different groups, has many affairs with Party members, rebels for her own enjoyment rather than idealogical reasons, eventually caught by the Though Police
The figurehead of Oceania, most likely fictional, but worshipped like a god, his posters are plastered everywhere, idolized by the citizens
A permanent fixture in the living space that looks like a TV, two way screen where the Party watches you, cannot be turned off
A police force that catches thought criminals, who are people that think bad of Big Brother, create a sense of fear over the people
Two Minutes Hate
Mandatory viewing of a propaganda video to stir up emotions of hate and rage against the enemy and encourage the support of Big Brother
The anti-Big Brother group, rumored underground resistance party against Big Brother
Official Language of the Party, trying to eliminate excess words or words that have dangerous meaning, attempting to control thought through language
Newspeak word for the present form of government; replaces the Old Speak word of English Socialism
Small minority of the Party, top level officials who determine how the government should run, they wear black overalls as their uniforms, get special priveleges
The work force, they wear blue overalls as their uniform, carry out administratice policies
They make up 80% of the population in Oceania, live in slums, very ignorant and stupid, not under surveillance by the Party
Setting of the story, Newspeak name for London
Leader of the Brotherhood
Thought to be a member of the Brotherhood, ends up to be part of the Thought Police and betrays Winston
Owner of the antique shop in the Prole district, reminisces with Winston about the Past and seems to share his view on the Party, turns out to be part of the Thought Police
Winston's former wife, was a slave to the Party, believed that sex was only a duty to produce the next generation for the Party
Next door neighbors of Winston, the children are very affluent in the groups and events of the Party, display the ideal family part of the Party
Ministry of Truth
Named Minitrue in Newspeak, concerns itself news, entertainment, education and fine arts
Ministry of Peace
Named Minipax in Newspeak, concerns itself with war
Ministry of Love
Named Miniluv in Newspeak, maintains law and order, the most frightening ministry
Ministry of Plenty
Named Miniplenty in Newspeak, responsible for economic affairs
Also called, Reality Control, the power to hold two completely contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accept both of them.
Hole where they destroy the old obsolete documents of everything and the history of people
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
The three slogans of the Party
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