In George Orwell's novel 1984, what are some thought-provoking questions that might be asked about Part II, Chapter 10?
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When one reads Chapter 10 of Part II of George Orwell’s novel 1984, various thought-provoking questions might arise, including the following:
- How are the first two lines of the woman’s song at the beginning of the chapter relevant to the rest of the chapter? [Answer: they foreshadow the sudden change that is about to occur to Winston and Julia.]
- How is the coldness of the stove symbolically relevant to the rest of the chapter? [Answer: the coldness of the stove foreshadows the symbolic coldness that is about to descend upon Winston and Julia.]
- How is it relevant to the rest of the chapter that, at the beginning, Winston and Julia are watching and listening to the old woman? [Answer: ironically, they do not realize that they are being listened to, and will soon be watched, as well.]
- How are Winston’s hopes for the future relevant to the rest of the chapter? [Answer: the rest of the chapter will ironically show the dashing of his optimism.]
- How is Winston’s thought about the proles’ “awakening” relevant to the rest of the chapter? [Answer: because he will soon be awakened in a different and far more depressing way.]
- How is the description of the hidden voice as an “iron voice” symbolic? [Answer: the adjective “iron” symbolizes the rigid inflexibility of the party, as well as the party’s strength and even its potential for violence. Iron is something that seems hard and durable and lacking in any kind of vitality, and the same traits are also applicable to the party.]
- How and why is it symbolic that the iron voice tells Winston and Julia not to touch each other? [Answer: this prohibition is symbolic because the party, in general, prohibits intimacy or any other kind of genuine bond between individuals.]
- Why is it symbolic that the iron voice repeats the comments of Winston and Julia? [Answer: the repetitive nature of the iron voice symbolizes the rigid, mechanical nature of the society the party has built. People cannot think for themselves in this society, and it is almost as if the voice is unthinking as well. On the other hand, the tendency of the voice to mimic Winston and Julia almost sounds sarcastic and mocking as well.]
- How and why is the change in Mr. Charrington symbolic? [Answer: the change in Mr. Charrington symbolizes the fact that nothing and no one may be what they seem to be in this society:
He was still recognizable, but he was not the same person any longer.
This sentence symbolizes the themes of appearance vs. reality, and of unstable appearances, that are crucial to the book as a whole.]
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