George Orwell 1984 Questions
By George Orwell QuestionsJayson Papa 1. Re read pages 3-6 and describe the setting/atmosphere in your own words The first few chapters of 1984 are devoted to introducing the major characters and themes of the novel. These chapters also acquaint the reader with the harsh and oppressive world in which, Winston Smith lives in. It is from Winston’s perspective that the reader witnesses the brutal physical and psychological cruelties brought upon the people by their government.
The tone, setting and atmosphere in the opening pages are recurring throughout the whole book and for most of the book the same tone remains. The overall tone of the book is dark, pessimistic, gloomy, cynical and undesirable, especially in the first few pages. It is a slow paced first few pages which reiterate the dark and gloomy tone as every day in London is surrounded and captured by miserable weather. The slow paced and gloomy tone matches Winston’s attitude and actions. The facilities and buildings are run downed and old and are described as grey and dull of colour. . What might change in your life if you “had to live…in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every moment scrutinised” how does Winston react to/live with these conditions? There is a definite perceived fear amongst not only Winston, but everyone who isn’t a part of the party. If Big Brother announces that everything people do or say is overheard or seen by Big brother and the thought police then people do believe it. Even though it may not be true, people still believe that it could be true therefore behave as if it is true.
Winston soon believes that the loss of passion and purpose in life is possibly more terrifying than death itself. Many reasons why Winston rebels is due to his memory. His memory of things being different and better at one time has made it impossible for him to obey the party. Winston accepts his defeat, however his main concern and goal is to help the future generation, he does this by writing in his diary, along with sharing knowledge he gains throughout the book. Winston and Julia combine to rebel against the party however Julia rebels for different reasons to Winston. 3.
When you read the novel for the first time, did you follow the footnote on p. 6 and read the appendix on newspeak? Why or why not? I did not follow the footnote or read the appendix as I was more interested in the storyline then possibly becoming confused by the footnote. I did not understand the principles of newspeak at the time, however I was sure that it would be mentioned numerous amounts of time later on in the novel and this would allow me to understand it and its principles. Newspeak is definitely a crucial aspect in understanding what Winston does for a living along with the aims of the party. . a – Explain based on re reading pages 6 and 7, what you think the purpose of each of the ministries were and what kind of methods they might use in their day to day operations based on the descriptions found in these two pages. In 1984, there were four different ministries, all of which served a different purpose. The first ministry revealed was the Ministry of Truth, which was described as “startlingly different from any other object in sight” as it was an enormous pyramidal structure soaring 300 metres into the air.
The Ministry of Truth had three slogans painted on one face of the building in elegant lettering, those slogans read: “WAR IS PEACE”, “FREEDOM IS SLAVERY”, AND “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”. The Ministry of Truth concerned itself with news, entertainment, education and the fine arts. The second ministry described, was the Ministry of Peace which concerned itself with war. The Ministry of Love proceeded after, and was said to maintain law and order. Lastly revealed was the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs.
The Ministry of Love is described as the most ‘frightening one’ as there were no windows in it at all. Winston has never been in or near the Ministry of Love as it was supposedly ‘impossible’ to enter except on official business. To add to the Ministry of Loves daunting features, the building was surrounded by barbed wire, steel doors and machine guns. The streets leading up to the Ministry of Love were roamed by guards in black uniforms armed with truncheons. With such a harsh description, one would imagine that inside the Ministry of Love, much interrogation and torture would take place.
Many would believe that the Ministry of Love is ironically named. However, the term ‘love’ is accurate as the purpose is to instil love of big brother. 4. b Why do you think the ministries are given seemingly ironic name? The reason for the ministries being named ironically is to give the rest of the community a sense of security. Big Brother attempts to portray himself as a leader who wants only good for his people. However the party does this in a way that forces people to believe this.
The Ministry of Love portrays itself to the people like a ministry dedicated to helping people in need, however in fact it is a prison, devoted to capturing people who are against the party and shaping them into better party members via torture in room 101. The next ministry, the Ministry of Truth, depicts itself as a ministry that will preserve history however it is a ministry where the truth is manipulated to conform the standards of the party. The Ministry of Plenty presents itself as a ministry that offers goods and services.
However, it is actually a ministry that controls the food rations to the point of starvation. The last ministry, the Ministry of Peace, displays itself as a ministry that attempts to deal with peace and war in a humane way however it wages an endless war against “enemies”. 5. For whom…was [Winston] writing this diary? Why do you think Orwell was writing 1984 Winston believes that he has lost the battle against big brother. For his lifestyle that he had in his youth had been taken away from him, however, he constantly replays these memories in his head.
Winston’s goal is to educate the future on how life used to be. Winston hopes that his diary will be passed on and he hopes his stories are spread throughout the future generation, as he is against the party and what they stand for, especially newspeak. As it is mentioned in the novel, by the year 2050, no one will remember proper English (Oldspeak) as newspeak will “narrow the range of thought, as no human in the year of 2050 will understand the conversation occurring at this time” as Syme describe.
This is also a long term goal for Winston, to keep Oldspeak alive. Orwell wrote the book, to warn the future generation, much like Winston, about the possibility and probability of every move, action and work spoken is seen or overheard. Orwell highlights the possibility of no free will, and that one day we will all live under an authoritarian government. 6. How is mass hatred of Goldstein generated and sustained The main technique used by Big Brother in persuading the mass to direct hatred towards Goldstein is to conduct a two minutes hate.
The two minutes hate is an operation conducted by Big Brother every morning at 11:00 am. The reason that the two minutes hate is so powerful is because hatred makes people to stick together to form a community. Goldstein is portrayed as the enemy, the one who deceives and takes from the community and from Big Brother himself. The two minutes hate is a constant reminder of the deceitfulness of Goldstein, and due to the two minutes hate being so powerful and enticing, people are obliged to join in. 7. What is the political purpose of this?
The political purpose is quite simple. We do not know if the existence of Goldstein is true or not, however Big Brother uses Goldstein as a scapegoat. Big brother uses Goldstein in order to gain respect and trust and ultimately love. Goldstein is portrayed as a betrayer and a taker, and this allows Big Brother the opportunity gain respect from his people. The two minutes hate is in order to unite people as a community and to expel hatred for Goldstein and to make people subconsciously show love towards big brother. 8. What is fatalism?
How is Winston fatalistic with regards to his approach to the diary writing? Fatalism is the thought or belief that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable. Winston writes his diary in order to prevent this thought of “inevitability”. Winston is too old to change his lifestyle however his ultimate goal in writing the diary is to educate the future. Winston knows that Big Brother will become stronger, and Newspeak will live on, however If there is a chance in Oldspeak surviving, Winston is willing to contribute and help.