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What is the main theme in 1984 by George Orwell?

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stephanaynay623 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 6, 2013 at 1:43 AM via web

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What is the main theme in 1984 by George Orwell?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 6, 2013 at 2:06 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that a theme that has to be considered prominent, main, or dominant would be what happens in a political reality where individual rights are absent. The theme of political control lies at the heart of the novel.  Orwell's stated intention in writing the book was to “to alter other people’s idea of the kind of society they should strive after.”  This is where the main theme of a political order that has eviscerated individual rights becomes present.  For Orwell, a political order in which individual rights have been taken away as central political authority has become consolidated is a central concern of the novel.  The condition in which individual thought is controlled, where technology is used to monitor individual action, and one in which privacy has become removed is reflective of a political order that has consolidated control over the lives of its citizens.  For Orwell, the real fear of the modern setting was one in which political authority knows no boundaries.  There is no sense of checks and balances in this setting and such a reality terrified Orwell.  This becomes where the main theme of excessive political control is explored and illuminated.

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