1984 Lesson Plan

Composed in the shadow of World War II and the numerous Fascist and Communist revolutions that preceded it, 1984 is a dystopian novel, embeded in a terrifying pictured future– in this case, the thought of year 1984. It informs the story of Winston Smith, who is a citizen of Oceania, among the three superstates that control the world; the unique follows his struggle against its ruling body, the Celebration, and its symbolic leader, Huge Sibling. The Party goes for absolute power over its residents, whom it manages through consistent observation utilizing “telescreens” and through cruelty enforced by social norms and orthodoxies rather than formalized legal codes. Winston feels a desperate need to withstand this control, and presumes that a colleague of his, the fantastic O’Brien, might likewise feel these very same hankerings of political unorthodoxy. It is not until Winston takes a secret enthusiast, Julia, that he feels strong enough to try to join with an underground resistance movement known as the Brotherhood, with the help of O’Brien. Nevertheless, it ends up that O’Brien is an agent of the government, and Winston is detained, tortured, and mentally controlled. He betrays his love for Julia, and eventually the state asserts its control by engaging Winston to genuinely love Huge Brother.

1984 was both Orwell’s most effective unique and his last: he passed away of tuberculosis less than a year after its 1949 publication.

Key Aspects of 1984


1984 takes a very downhearted tone, underscored by matter-of-fact diction and rather scholastic vocabulary and description. Orwell’s word choices are precise, and his emotional description limited, in order to capture Winston’s ordinary day-to-day experiences, his love and longing, and the physical and psychological torture he experiences. The extended excerpt from the book in Part 2 uses more florid and sophisticated prose to create a tone more like a political manifesto.


Published in 1949, 1984 is set in London in the year 1984, in an envisioned, horrible future where the society of Oceania (the international superstate of which Airstrip One, previously Great Britain, is a part) is managed by a company referred to as “the Celebration” and led by an omnipresent, quasi-mythical figure called Big Brother.

Point of view

The novel is composed in the third individual minimal, following just Winston Smith’s viewpoint. The exception is the prolonged excerpt from the book, a book-within-the-novel, which is written as a political writing from a 3rd individual universal point of view.

Character advancement

From the start of the unique, Winston is politically unorthodox: he does not think in Big Sibling or the doctrines of the Party, and is frightened of being found, apprehended, and in all likelihood eliminated by the Thought Police. His affair with Julia makes him more brave and direct in his activism. Nevertheless, when he is recorded and imprisoned in the Ministry of Love, Winston is broken by O’Brien and the Celebration: his psychological and psychological resistance are broken down so that by the end of the book, Winston likes Big Brother.


Totalitarianism: In his years in the Imperial Cops, in the Spanish Civil War, and as a political reporter during The second world war, Orwell was exposed to a variety of totalitarian routines, and he felt compelled to reward the world of their risks. In composing 1984, Orwell sought to develop and check out a society in which all individual liberties fall victim to an all-powerful, universal federal government. Orwell was a Socialist who thought in political disobedience and its prospective to advance society, but he saw benefit in neither Communism nor Fascism, and in his creation of Oceania and Ingsoc he draws out and denounces both.

Love and Sexuality: Orwell commits a great deal of time to the function that libido plays in Oceanian society, using the character of Julia in particular. The novel asserts that sex and love are disadvantageous to totalitarian ends, that a totalitarian government like the Celebration wishes to use energy that would be used up on sex for patriotic eagerness. The state desires a person’s total commitment, his or her complete passion: O’Brien’s claim that the Celebration plans to “eliminate the orgasm” underscores this theme.

Technology: The universal telescreen exemplifies innovation’s chokehold on the society that Orwell pictures. Drawing upon the technological advances of his time, Orwell portrays the environment of paranoia and fear created when the federal government has the consistent ability to eavesdrop on its people.

Language: Orwell was the author of “Politics and the English Language,” an essay on the political influence of composing and speech, and he checks out that theme further in 1984. Newspeak, the main language of Oceania, aims to “narrow the range of idea,” and Orwell extracts that style in a number of characters, including Winston’s estranged partner, Katharine.

Class: Orwell, born middle-class, was interested with and frightened by the lives and the suffering of individuals living in hardship. 1984 explores Winston’s fascination with the lives of the “proles,” the lower class who make up 85% of Oceania’s population, as part of the hope for the future of the world.

Doublethink: This Newspeak concept is central to the book. Doublethink is the capability to hold 2 inconsistent beliefs in the mind at the exact same time: to know that a politically harmful idea should be erased, and to concurrently believe that you have actually eliminated it. It is this practice that Winston sees taken part in by those around him, eventually by O’Brien in specific, and that Winston discovers himself utilizing in the terrible last chapter.

Music: Music repeats throughout 1984. It always relates in some method to surges of feeling– often basic freedom, just like the thrush in the meadow and the prole woman outside Mr. Charrington’s shop. At other times, similar to the tune “Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree,” music represents the undergirding of feeling that can make us vulnerable.


“Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement’s”: Winston’s discovery of this song embodies his journey in the book. His introduction to the opening couplet (“Oranges and lemons, state the bells of St. Clement’s/ You owe me 3 farthings, say the bells of St. Martin’s”) comes from Mr. Charrington, whose shop first represents the prospect of flexibility and rebellion for Winston. Julia, whose love inspires Winston to greater political rebellion, knows the 3rd line, “When will you pay me? say the bells of Old Bailey.” When Julia and Winston meet with O’Brien (for Winston, a triumphant minute in his resistance to the Party) O’Brien understands the last line: “When I grow abundant, state the bells of Shoreditch.” However, right after, Winston and Julia are recorded by the Thought Authorities, of which Mr. Charrington turns out to be an agent. He, after all, has actually known the final couplet the whole time: “Here comes a candle light to light you to bed/Here comes a chopper to slice off your head.”

The Spreading Chestnut tree”: Ultimately, the “spreading chestnut tree” represents the Party. Julia and Winston betrayed each other, “sold” each other, and are still separated from the orthodox members of Oceanian society (“There lie they, and here lie we”) even as they are managed by it.

The Glass Paperweight: The glass paperweight with a piece of coral inside represents Winston and Julia’s love. Winston feels he sees a “sort of eternity” in the paperweight, but when the Thought Cops attack their sanctuary and break it, he sees how small the piece of coral always was, and how powerless he and Julia always protested the Party.

Telescreens: Telescreens are representative of the Party’s universal power. The telescreens allow the Celebration to maintain total social control, producing a climate of worry and suspicion through consistent monitoring.

The prole female: The lady who sings outside of the window of Mr. Charrington’s store is a symbol of ongoing, perhaps unstoppable vitality. She concerns represent all the proles, the group of people among whom hope may still lie, even given the paradox Winston recognizes: “Till they become conscious they will never rebel, and until they have actually rebelled they can not end up being conscious.”

The memory hole: The memory holes that go through the Ministries of Truth and Love are the physical personification of Oceanian society, which is undergirded by its ability to remove and manage memory.

The sash: Julia’s scarlet sash, symbolizing her as a member of the Junior Anti-Sex League, represents hypocrisy: Julia has long been able to maintain the look of an orthodox Party member while continuing clandestine love affairs.


The climax of the unique happens in the Ministry of Love in Part 3, when Winston is sent out to “Room 101” to challenge his worst fear: rats. To keep O’Brien from loosing the rats and, most likely, eliminating Winston, he betrays his enthusiast, Julia, asking O’Brien to cause the punishment on her instead. This represents the Celebration’s complete domination of Winston: physically, intellectually, and emotionally.


The novel is divided into three parts. Part One focuses on Winston Smith’s daily life as a Party member and the structure of Oceanian society as he experiences it.

Part Two portrays the changes in Winston’s life when he takes an enthusiast, Julia, as an act of both passion and political rebellion.

Part 3 describes Winston’s torture at the hands of O’Brien in the Ministry of Love, and how Winston is required to end up being a Party member by harsh and powerful ways.

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