1984 Themes



In writing 1984, Orwell’s primary objective was to alert of the severe threat totalitarianism positions to society. He goes to excellent lengths to show the terrifying degree of power and manage a totalitarian routine can get and keep. In such routines, concepts of personal rights and flexibilities and private thought are pulverized under the all-powerful hand of the government. Orwell was a Socialist and believed strongly in the capacity for rebellion to advance society, yet frequently he witnessed such disobediences go wrong and develop into totalitarian guideline. Specifically, Orwell saw such developments throughout his time in Spain and in Russia, where he saw the increase of communism and the accompanying destruction of civil liberties, truthful government, and financial strength.

During a time when much of the Western world was lauding communism as an action towards human progress in the advancement of equality in federal government, Orwell plainly and definitively spoke up against the practice. In 1984, Orwell presents a dystopia, or in other words, the best totalitarian state. In composing this novel, Orwell provided the world a glance of what the embrace of communism may cause if permitted to continue untreated. The Celebration is unflawed in its universal control over society, as evidenced by its ability to break even an independent thinker such as Winston, and has mastered every aspect of mental control, largely through using technological advancements (permitting creations such as the telescreen) to their benefit. In ending the unique with Winston beat in every sense of the term, Orwell plainly recommends that there is no hope for stopping the growth or development of such a perfectly established regime. And, more notably, Orwell alerts that at the time, this outcome was within the world of possibility as long as the world supported and embraced communism.


A significant consider the Celebration’s rule over Oceania depends on its very well arranged and effective propaganda machine. The Ministry of Fact, which is paradoxically where Winston works, is responsible for disseminating all Party publications and info. All figures and facts originate from the Ministry of Fact, and all are determined by the Party. In other words, the Celebration picks exactly what to tell the general public, regardless of what is precise. The efficiency of this propaganda machine, which continuously fixes old product to show the Party’s existing position on any subject varying from chocolate provisions to the loyalty of a specific person, permits the Celebration to entirely control the variety of info shared to the general public. Therefore, as O’Brien notes, the maker identifies what makes up truth.

In addition to the enormous amounts of doctored info the Party shares to the public, there are also fundamental forms of propaganda, such as the 2 Minutes Hate, Hate Week, posters of Big Brother, and needed everyday involvement in the Physical Jerks. The Party uses literally every waking chance to impart its suitables into its citizens, and is strikingly successful in attaining its objective of overall commitment. In 1984 we see the vigor and loyalty such propaganda inspires in the residents. The citizens of Oceania are filled with hatred for the country’s stated enemies, but this hatred is easily re-directed if the opponent happens to change. This efficiency is quite troubling. Orwell’s discussion of the power of propaganda substantially supports his caution against totalitarianism. If propaganda guidelines all info, it is impossible to have any grasp on reality. The world is as the Celebration specifies it.


The Party works to stop all physical feelings of love, and depersonalizes sex to the point where it is described as a “responsibility to the Party” (for the purposes of procreation). Some Party companies even promote total abstinence and procreation only through artificial insemination. Winston suffers the Party’s elimination of personal satisfaction or enjoyment in relationships in his unsuccessful marriage with Katharine. Later on, when he finds Julia, Winston enjoys the freedom of being able to enjoy someone in a physical and psychological way. A lot of Winston’s seeming rebellion turns out to be directed and affected by the Party (Mr. Charrington, O’Brien, the Brotherhood), however his relationship with Julia is not. Winston is just able to rebel against the Party through his affair with Julia, despite the fact that this love is damaged in the end.

Orwell’s discussion of love is not only relegated to romantic love. Through Winston’s memories of his mother and the contrast between how she took care of him and his sis and the average Celebration family is striking. Winston’s mother deeply loved her children and did all she might to secure them throughout the after-effects of the Transformation and the Celebration’s increase to power. In Winston’s time, the Party has actually gotten rid of such interfamilial commitment, requiring that all love and commitment be reserved for Big Sibling and the Celebration. In this way, the bonds between moms and dads and kids are broken. Even worse, kids commonly report their moms and dads to the Thought Cops, putting the Party above the lives of their mother and daddy. The Celebration’s ultimate goal is to destroy the family completely and have actually all kids raised in Celebration facilities. The Party has no space for love, unless that love is directed with full force at Big Bro and Oceania.


Through its reliable psychological manipulation techniques, the Celebration damages all sense of self-reliance and individuality. Everyone uses the very same clothes, consumes the same food, and resides in the same grungy houses. Life is consistent and orderly. Nobody can stand apart, and nobody can be unique. To have an independent thought borders on the criminal. For this reason, composing such as Winston carries out in his journal has actually been forbidden. Individuals are just permitted to think what the Party informs them to think, which leads to what Syme refers to as “duckspeak.” Independent thought can be unsafe, as it may cause disobedience.

This theme comes to a head during Winston’s abuse, when Winston argues that he is a guy, and due to the fact that he is a man O’Brien can not inform him what he thinks. O’Brien counters that if Winston is a male, he is the last male in the world. Additionally, O’Brien recommends that this self-reliance is evidence of insanity. O’Brien’s view represents the purity of a totalitarian routine, because independent idea should be damaged to promote the requirements and goals of the Party. Winston and Julia’s downfall happens due to the fact that they believe they are unique. Their arrest and torture, however, breaks this spirit. When once again, through this ultimate loss of individual thought, we witness Orwell’s warning against accepting any variation of totalitarian rule.


Songs appear throughout the novel, usually when Winston is assessing the state of the world. Music appears to inspire Winston and enables him to see beauty and simplicity in an otherwise violent, awful, and frightening world. He sees a powerful sense of tragedy in “Under the dispersing Chestnut Tree,” expect a brighter future in the stunning thrush tune, regard for the true, untouchable past in the “St. Clement’s Dane” rhyme, and flexibility and hope in the passion with which the prole lady sings while hanging her laundry. Below, listed in sequential order are the musical events that occur in the novel.

Winston describes sitting in the Chestnut Tree Coffee shop, observing the plainly beaten, beat, and unfortunately unfortunate Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford, while the song “Under the dispersing Chestnut Tree, I offered you and you sold me” plays over the telescreen. The song appears to show the damaged spirits of these three guys, who were once Inner Party members and now have lost everything.

Mr. Charrington teaches Winston the rhyme that begins “Oranges and lemons state the bells of St. Clement’s,” which is a vestige of the past. Throughout the unique, Winston hangs on to this rhyme and tries to discover its whole. He succeeds, with the assistance of Julia, who keeps in mind a few more lines than Mr. Charrington, and O’Brien, who completes the poem for Winston.

Julia and Winston are in the Golden Country, starting their affair. As they stand next to each other surveying the landscape, a little thrush begins to sing next to them. Winston is taken in by the bird’s limitless liberty and questions what makes him sing so beautifully. To Winston, the bird’s song represents all he longs for in life. It is the precise reverse of the Celebration.

Winston hears the prole woman in the yard behind Mr. Charrington’s home sing while she works. She belts out the tune with no doubt, tossing herself into the easy music with a passion Winston reveres.

Winston tells Julia of the poem Mr. Charrington taught him, and she adds 2 verses. Her grandpa taught her the rhyme when she was young, and Winston is elated to discover the next few lines of the piece. This cooperation reveals a strong bond between Winston and Julia.

Winston discusses the Hate Song the Party produced solely for the Hate Week celebration. This is the only time we hear of a tune created purely for negative means. Winston keeps in mind that the Hate Tune is not as popular amongst the proles as a few of the more easy tunes the Ministry of Fact has produced for them.

O’Brien finishes Mr. Charrington’s rhyme, and Winston is tremendously pleased to finally understand the total piece. He feels that acquiring the last puzzle piece from O’Brien symbolically represents their bond in rebelling against the Party and pursuing a future soaked in liberty.

Winston again hears the prole lady singing passionately while doing her wash and assesses the primitivism in tune. Winston thinks of the millions of people all over the world, similar to this woman, who find such pleasure, power and flexibility in music and have the ability to embrace it in their lives. He is detained immediately after this short scene, which satisfies the last line of the “St. Clement’s Dane” tune, “Here comes a chopper to slice off your head!”

Winston beings in the Chestnut Tree Cafe, simply as Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford when did. He hears the very same song he heard when seeing those three guys, “Under the dispersing Chestnut Tree, I sold you and you sold me.” Here, the tune talks to the damage of Winston’s self-reliance, and his recently found love for Huge Bro.


The Celebration is fueled by commitment, and therefore demands that its citizens support any and all actions it takes in pursuing a higher Oceania. For the Celebration, commitment implies accepting without question or hesitation. Paradoxically, when Winston vows his loyalty to the Brotherhood, he also accepts accept the goals and requirements of the Brotherhood without question or hesitation. Winston concurs to do anything the Brotherhood needs, even if that implies murdering innocents. Nevertheless, Winston is likewise devoted to Julia, and refuses to be separated from her permanently. This split loyalty is what separates Winston from the other Celebration members. Party members are devoted to the Celebration, Big Brother, and Oceania alone. Individual relationships are of no value.

While in the Ministry of Love, O’Brien notes this weakness in Winston’s mind and efficiently eliminates it. Through agonizing physical abuse, O’Brien first teaches Winston that the Celebration’s point of view is the precise viewpoint. Next, by threatening him with carnivorous rats, O’Brien breaks Winston’s commitment to Julia. In the last scene of the novel, Winston finally comes to enjoy Big Sibling, and his transition from split loyalties to a higher single loyalty to the Celebration is total.

Hardship vs. Wealth

Oceanian society presents a clear dichotomy in living conditions. The little Inner Party lives luxuriously, with servants and lavish, well-furnished apartments. Celebration members, on the other hand, live in run-down single-room homes with no facilities and low-grade, tasteless food. The proles live in absolute hardship. The chasm between poverty and wealth in the book is striking, and is most obvious during Winston’s forays into prole society. The buildings the proles live in are decaying, and the city of London is filled with bombed-out ruins. While the Inner Celebration comforts itself with high-end, the citizens of Oceania suffer, getting by with the bare minimum in a dying city.

Orwell provides this dichotomy to demonstrate how totalitarian societies promote the wealth of the judgment program while reducing the lifestyle for all other members of society. Such governments frequently tout their expect establishing an equivalent society when in reality the separation in between their living conditions and those of the citizens is large. Winston looks out on the city of London and sees a dying world. Meanwhile, O’Brien looks out on the city of London and sees a society caught in a single minute in time, defined and controlled by the Party.


As formerly kept in mind, technology is an extremely important tool that the Party uses to maintain control over its citizens. Without telescreens, the Thought Cops would not be nearly as efficient, and propaganda would not be so prevalent. The consistent guidance of the telescreen effectively sends to prison people of Oceania in their every day lives: they are always under observation.

Ironically, other locations of technological advancement are noticeably stagnant. For instance, the printing makers in the Ministry of Truth are still quite standard, and each superstate continues to build the same bombs that were utilized years prior to. Scientific development has halted, other than where it serves the Celebration’s goals (such as in artificial insemination or new methods for mental adjustment). In the world of Oceania there is no such as thing as development for the sake of development; there is only power for the sake of power. When technological advancements serve this power, they are motivated. When they do not, they are stopped.


Newspeak plays an incredibly essential role in Oceanian society and in the Celebration’s control over its population. As Syme states, Newspeak decreases and limits the number of words in the English language, and removes words used to explain rebellion or independence (with the supreme goal being to get rid of people’ ability to believe anti-Party thoughts). Interestingly, the Party works to form a language around itself instead of naturally accepting and assuming the language of individuals that comprise the country. In this way, language is used yet another mechanism of mind control.

Eliminating a country’s original language serves to lower the importance of a country’s past. Languages develop over centuries, and are deeply linked with culture and history. Redefining and requiring a language on a population, as was frequently performed in the postcolonial era, denies that society its individuality. The Celebration satisfies this objective with excellent effectiveness.

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