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In the book 1984 how does George Orwell give internal events the sense of excitement...

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marissafoote | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 11, 2012 at 3:09 PM via web

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In the book 1984 how does George Orwell give internal events the sense of excitement usually associated with external action?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM (Answer #1)

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Orwell does this by showing that the characters, especially Winston, view internal acts of dissent as dangerous acts of rebellion against the state. Big Brother does not just seek outward acquiescence to his power, he wants to so totally dominate the consciousness of the people that any form of resistance is inconceivable. We see this most clearly at the end of the book, as Winston is tortured not simply to force his acquiescence to the power of the Party, but to purge him of any dissenting thoughts whatsoever. So in a society that is this thoroughly oppressive, the only possible acts of defiance are internal, as, for example, when Winston scribbles anti-Party ramblings in his journal. This creates drama for two reasons. First, the reader can wonder if all the characters in the book perhaps feel the same way as Winston. Second, it allows Orwell to make the depressing point that the state can win out in the end by gaining control of the minds of its subjects. Even internal resistance, it seems in the end, is not beyond the reach of Big Brother. 

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