Study Guide

1984

by George Orwell

1984 Essay - Critical Essays

Sample Essay Outlines

These are topics on which you can write a substantial analytical paper. They are designed to test your understanding of major themes and details from this novel as a whole. Following the topics are outlines you can use as a starting point for writing an analytical paper.

  • Topic #1
    The theme of betrayal is a dominant thread running throughout this novel. Give examples of characters and events that contribute to Winston’s final self-betrayal. Make it clear that these examples intensify the novel’s overall mood of loneliness and alienation.

    Outline
    I. Thesis statement: Orwell explores various kinds of betrayal, including self-betrayal, to heighten the mood of loneliness and alienation in 1984.

    II. Party intolerance of betrayal to its ideology
    A. Indoctrination of children to Party policy
    B. Denouncement
    C. Role of the Thought Police
    D. Extermination
    E. Room 101

    III. Individual characters’ betrayal of one another
    A. Charrington’s betrayal of Winston and Julia
    B. Parsons’ betrayal by his children
    C. Ampleforth’s betrayal by his work
    D. O’Brien’s betrayal of Winston

    IV. The hope symbolized by Winston and Julia’s love affair
    A. The sanctuary of Charrington’s room
    B. The lovers’ definition of betrayal
    C. Winston’s betrayal of Julia
    D....

(The entire section is 639 words.)