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In 1984, why does Winston feel that he murdered his mother?

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ilovecats2 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:28 AM via web

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In 1984, why does Winston feel that he murdered his mother?

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 31, 2012 at 8:40 AM (Answer #1)

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Orwell provides several clues as to why Winston feels guilty in regards to his mother. First, Winston cannot distinguish whether his "memories" are truly past events or misrecollections of his childhood. He thinks that he selfishly became upset with his mother over chocolate and perhaps snitched on her, but he does not know if the incident truly occurred or if his mother's disappearance was connected to the chocolate incident.

Furthermore, Winston observes the Parson children's treatment and eventual betrayal of their father, and most likely thinks that he could have been capable of such behavior as a boy against his own mother because of the Party's strong indoctrination of children.

Winston's sense of guilt over his relationship with his mother illustrates not only Orwell's depiction of totalitarian regimes' ability to cause individuals to question their recollection of the past but also their method of brainwashing the youth into loyalty to the regime rather than to their own families.


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