Study Guide

1984

by George Orwell

1984 Analysis

Form and Content (Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

Nineteen Eighty-Four is George Orwell’s unswervingly grim vision of a dystopian future. The author always intended it as more warning than prophecy, so that even though its title date has passed, its lessons about the dangers of conformity, mental coercion, and verbal deception retain their validity and relevance. Orwell’s careful use of clear, understandable language makes the unfamiliar world of Nineteen Eighty-Four comprehensible to every level of reader, and his theme of personal individuality and human emotion, particularly love, trying to establish themselves in spite of the relentless pressure of the modern industrial state has perennial appeal to young adult audiences.

The novel depicts a world divided into three totalitarian superpowers that are constantly at war with one another: Oceania, dominated by the former United States; Eurasia, dominated by Western Europe; and Eastasia, dominated by China and Japan. Since the novel belongs to the genre of the dystopia, a negative Utopia, much of its content is necessarily involved in describing Oceanian society—not only in the features of its everyday life, much of which reflects British life in 1948 (a year whose inverted numbers may have suggested the novel’s title), but also in detailed explanations of the historical origins of Ingsoc and Oceania, as well as its official language, Newspeak. Orwell, rather clumsily in the view of some critics, gives much of this information in the form of a book-within-a-book, the supposed handbook of the revolutionaries, and an appendix to the novel itself about Newspeak.

Not until the second main part of the novel does the story really begin. Winston Smith is a writer for the ironically named Ministry of Truth, whose chief job is to assist in the constant rewriting of history so that it conforms with the predictions and pronouncements of Big Brother, the possibly mythical ruler of Oceania, whose minions in the Inner Party are nevertheless omnipotent and omniscient. Winston, who was born in 1945 and thus was named after Britain’s wartime leader Winston Churchill, vaguely remembers life before the revolution and the establishment of Ingsoc, and he gradually comes to believe that life was not always as dreary, mechanical, and deadening as it now is in Oceania, although he has no means of proving it. Another worker in the Ministry of Truth, Julia, a young woman whom Winston suspects of spying on him, turns out to be attracted to him, and they enter into a complicated, dangerous love affair that they both internally believe can only end in disaster.

O’Brien, an Inner Party member to whom Winston has been vaguely drawn, provides a ray of hope when the lovers become convinced that he is a secret member of the Brotherhood, the revolutionary group committed to the overthrow of Ingsoc and Big Brother. O’Brien—naturally, one is almost tempted to say—turns out to be a double agent, and the last part of the novel depicts in graphic detail Winston’s torture and conversion by O’Brien into an unconditional acceptance of the power of the party and Big Brother. To accomplish this acceptance, Winston must master the mental skill of “doublethink,” a form of reality control involving “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” To some critics, the descriptions and explanations in this section of the novel are the book’s weakest parts. This ordeal culminates in Winston’s betrayal of his love for Julia. A broken man, Winston is set “free” to spend his last days in a semi-alcoholic stupor, mindlessly cheering on huge mythical victories by the forces of Oceania as he awaits the inevitable bullet in the back of the head. Nineteen Eighty-Four ends with the chilling—and inescapable—sentence “He loved Big Brother.”

1984 Background

1984 is George Orwell’s most famous and enduring work, with the possible exception of his political fable Animal Farm. The novel has been translated into more than 60 languages, condensed in the Reader’s Digest, made into two movies, and presented on television.

The widespread impact of 1984 is evidenced by the changes in language that it effected. Today, the word “Orwellian” refers to any regimented and dehumanized society. Words like “Newspeak,” “unperson,” “doublethink,” and “thoughtcrime” have become part of the English language. And the familiar phrase “Big Brother Is Watching You” has become synonymous with the concept of a totalitarian state.

1984’s influence on other twentieth-century works has been considerable: Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (1954) shares the theme of repression and the destruction of a culture (in this case, books), and Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange (1962) shares a British setting as well as an invented language, much like the Newspeak of Oceania.

Orwell thought of writing 1984 as early as 1940, during World War II but he did not complete it until 1948 when the Cold War was beginning. The anti-Fascist writing of the 1930s and 1940s had a profound influence on Orwell, and is reflected in his writing.

Moreover, events in Communist Russia also impacted the plot and theme of 1984. From 1922 when Lenin suffered a stroke until 1928—four years after his death—there was a power struggle between Leon Trotsky Minister of War, and Joseph Stalin then Secretary of the Communist party. Stalin continued to grow even more influential as a member of the Politbureau, a small group of party bosses where his function was to manage the day-to-day activities of the Communist party. In 1921 Stalin became liaison between the Central Control Commission and the Central Committee; in this capacity he could control the purges designed to keep the party pure. He used this position to his advantage.

Stalin, along with allies Zinoviev and Kamenev, soon proved invincible as they utilized the secret police to put down all plots against them. While resisting Trotsky’s urges to somewhat democratize the party, they eliminated his followers by sending them abroad. Trotsky was forced to resign as Minister of War. He was later expelled from the Politbureau, exiled from Russia, and eventually assassinated by one of Stalin’s secret police.

From 1928 until World War II, Stalin enjoyed supreme power in Russia. Among the changes he brought to Russian life were collective agriculture, industrialization with forced labor, and the build-up of the authoritarian state combined with the annihilation of all political opposition. In 1928 began the era of the Five-Year Plans, each of which set ambitious goals for the next five years. The goals of the first Five-Year Plan were never actualized; nevertheless, the government announced that they had been realized in 1932. Immediately, another Five-Year Plan went into effect.

Changes were felt in Russian society as well. Freedom to choose one’s job was non-existent; those who resisted were sent to labor camps. Stalin’s dictatorship was complete when the vast majority of unskilled workers became controlled by a minority of loyal skilled workers and bureaucrats who enjoyed certain privileges restricted from the masses. Thus, the gulf between the classes widened and a new elite was created.

To refute contradictory information, Stalin had histories rewritten to show that Lenin had favored his accession to power. He enjoyed a certain amount of hero-worship as cities were named in his honor.

There were critics, however, whom Stalin eliminated during the Great Purges of 1934-1938, which destroyed all possibility of future conspiracies. By 1936, when Stalin proclaimed the constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) “the most democratic in the world,” this was hardly an accurate description.

Under Stalin’s dictatorship, the USSR had become a one-party state where elections were a mockery. Although all were eligible to belong to the Communist party, membership was, in fact, a privilege. The party was built upon a pyramidical structure with power and privilege for an elite few. At each level of the pyramid existed organizations to generate propaganda, train military personnel, and educate bureaucrats. All of these activities were designed to increase party loyalty and strength. Stalin remained a dictator through World War II until his death in 1953. Some elements in the plot of 1984 parallel this history.

Five books, in particular, seem to have had a direct impact on the creation of 1984. Fyodor Zamyatin’s We (1923), reviewed by Orwell in 1946, provided the idea for a futuristic, anti-Utopian frame for the novel. There are several resemblances between the works, both of which are also derived from H. G. Wells’ anti-Utopian satire When the Sleeper Walks (1899). Likewise, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), to which 1984 is frequently compared, is set in the future and deals with a regimented society. From Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon (1941), Orwell took ideas about the atmosphere of a totalitarian society. This “concentration camp” literature details the struggle of its main character to maintain his individuality after his arrest and torture. James Burnham’s The Managerial Revolution (1941) gave Orwell the idea for a world controlled by superstates. These powers became the Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia of 1984.

The novel’s bleak ending prompted readers and critics to take it as an attack on socialism in general and Communist Russia in particular and a prophesy of what would happen in the West should communism spread. Orwell was asked if his book should be interpreted as prophesy. He answered this question in a letter of June 1949:

I do not believe that the kind of society I describe necessarily WILL, but I believe (allowing of course for the fact that the book is a satire) that something resembling it COULD arrive. I believe also that totalitarian ideas have taken root in the minds of intellectuals everywhere, and I have tried to draw these ideas out to their logical consequences. (1)

In 1949, some readers were also concerned that Orwell had set the novel in Britain. Orwell replied, “The scene of the book is laid in Britain in order to emphasize that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else and that totalitarianism, if not FOUGHT against, could triumph anywhere.” (2)

Opinions among critics have not been entirely favorable. Some point to the novel’s overwhelming pessimism and its denouement as flawed, claiming the novel obviously is a reflection of Orwell’s last illness. Others believe that it should be judged as a period piece bearing little relevance to today’s world. After all, there was no special significance to the title. Orwell simply transposed the last two numbers of the year in which he finished the book.

Thus, it can be seen that a number of factors influenced the creation of 1984, including literary sources and historical events. In order to understand the full impact of this novel, the student needs to be familiar with these influences.

1984 The Principles of Newspeak

Summary
This section defines Newspeak, the official language of Oceania, and sets forth its purpose: to meet the specific needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism while making all other methods of thought impossible. When Oldspeak has become obsolete, the last link with the past will have been destroyed.

The vocabulary of Newspeak has been built by inventing new words, eliminating old words, and stripping existing words of their finer shades of meaning. Newspeak, based on English, has three classes of vocabulary words:

1. “A” – words used for everyday life; reserved for simple thoughts, concrete objects, or physical actions.

2. “B” – words created for political...

(The entire section is 541 words.)

1984 The Plot (Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Winston Smith begins a diary, an act tantamount to signing his own death sentence in a ruthlessly totalitarian state bent on eradicating individuality. He is determined to stay alive—and “human”—as long as he can. To do so, he must escape the all-seeing eye and all-hearing ear of the Thought Police behind the omnipresent telescreen.

Winston and Julia, who work in the Ministry of Truth, become lovers and find an illusory haven above Charrington’s shop in the district of the “proles,” or masses outside the Party. Earlier, the lovers revealed themselves to O’Brien, allegedly a member of the “Brotherhood” intent on toppling Big Brother. O’Brien sends them “the book,” supposedly written by Goldstein, Big Brother’s enemy. The Thought Police smash into the lovers’ refuge and drag them away to the Ministry of Love.

As he expected, Winston is maniacally tortured, but to his surprise his torturer is O’Brien, a self-styled therapist, determined to return Winston to “sanity.” Winston masters “doublethink,” or the capacity to believe that two plus two equals five, or any other number suggested. Confident that he has satisfied O’Brien’s insane demands without betraying the self that loves Julia, Winston is totally unprepared for the horror of what awaits him in Room 101. Knowing that Winston has a phobia of rats, O’Brien has devised a wire mask to fit over his head with a door his tormentors can open into a cage of starving rats. Winston in mindless terror screams, “Do it to Julia! Not me!” Internally devastated by the horrible recognition of his betrayal, Winston accepts self-annihilation as a “victory over himself.” The last sentence confirms his conversion: “He loved Big Brother.”

1984 Places Discussed (Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

*London

*London. Capital of a future (from the perspective of 1949, when George Orwell wrote the book) political unit called Airstrip One in the superstate Oceania that is the setting for the novel. London’s skyline is dominated by four government ministries, whose enormous bulk and tasteless architecture distinguish them from the surviving historical structures surrounding them. Residential sectors of the city segregate members of the unnamed Party from proles (“proletarians”), but both Proles and Outer Party members live in crumbling tenement buildings that are unsanitary, crowded, and poorly maintained. Police patrols are highly visible; posters of Big Brother—the ever-present, seemingly loving personification of the state—are ubiquitous.

The city’s squalor is symptomatic of the Ingsoc government’s disdain for the welfare of its own citizens. This is the result of a change in the fundamental principles and core values of the society; human rights are nonexistent, and all available resources support building and maintaining government structures that administer and preserve the collective. The life of the individual is barren; this barrenness is suggested by lack of luxury, beauty, and privacy.

Inner Party member Winston Smith has a fascination with the past that he acts out by paying clandestine visits to the oldest and meanest areas of the city, where the proles live and work. Because the proles are considered by Inner Party leaders to be beneath concern, their sectors are largely ignored by the government and have become de facto museums of prerevolutionary culture, customs, and mores. Only within the prole neighborhoods can Winston enjoy the smell of real coffee, the sounds of unconstrained conversation and songs, and the sights of uninhibited children playing and adults gathering to talk—all of which reminds Winston of his own childhood and suggest the complexity and fullness of prerevolutionary life.

Victory Mansions

Victory Mansions. Run-down London building in which Winston has a flat on the seventh floor. The building has bad plumbing, no heat, a broken elevator, and the inescapable stench of rancid cabbage. The one thing in the building that works flawlessly is its network of telescreens, which broadcast ceaseless propaganda and, in turn, watch residents through television cameras.

Charrington’s shop

Charrington’s shop. Cramped, dilapidated antique store in a prole sector of London that Winston frequents. He sees the shop as a microcosmic remnant of the past, but it is, in fact, a carefully maintained surveillance tool. Its upstairs apartment, which Winston rents for trysts with Julia, becomes the place of their downfall. Though infested by biting bedbugs and large, aggressive rats, the room also has a private entrance to facilitate Winston and Julia’s secret meetings. There they abandon themselves to sensuality only because they think the room has no telescreen. However, it does have a telescreen, which, ironically, is obscured by something that would never be found in the home of a Party member—an engraving of a medieval church. The illusion of privacy leads Winston and Julia to incriminate themselves, and furthermore leads Winston inadvertently to betray his abject horror of rats to the Thought Police watching him and Julia through the telescreen.

Ministry of Truth

Ministry of Truth. Government ministry building in which Winston is one of many writers who revise historical records to match the government’s constantly changing definitions of reality. Each time Oceania’s military alliances shift, history must be rewritten to show that Oceania has always had the same allies and same enemies. Winston often rewrites the same news stories many times, making something different happen each time, and he comes to appreciate the power of the government precept that whoever controls the past controls the future.

Ministry of Love

Ministry of Love. Site of Winston and Julia’s detention, torture, and reintegration into the Party. One of four enormous pyramidal steel and concrete structures that dominate the London skyline, “Miniluv” has no windows. Standing behind heavily guarded barricades, it is protected by barbed wire and automatic gun pods. Inside, brilliant lights gleam on sparkling clean white walls, which Winston comes to think of as “the place where there is no darkness,” a phrase he remembers either from a prescient dream or from his confused memory. The absence of clocks and windows creates a sense that time is suspended or has no influence, an impression rendered more powerful by the contrast with life outside, where all activities are maintained on a rigorous schedule. Thus Miniluv becomes a mockery of heaven, and by extension, Winston’s indoctrination and reintegration into the Party by O’Brien become a mockery of the loving inclusion into Paradise and communion with God promised by the saints.

Golden Country

Golden Country. Place about which Winston dreams frequently. It is an abandoned pasture that, although once hedged, is being reclaimed by nature. Winston associates it at first with the distant past, and early in the novel, dreams of having a sexual encounter with Julia here; after this dream, he awakens speaking the word “Shakespeare.” Less than a month later, Winston and Julia have their first sexual experience in a rural spot outside London that Winston realizes is almost identical to the place of his dreams. In the midst of his first encounter with Julia, the Golden Country comes to represent for him an animal sensuality unburdened by reason, the antithesis of calculation and cold restraint. Such freedom, for Winston, is possible only in a place largely untainted not just by Ingsoc, but also by the political and philosophical milieu from which it has arisen. The disappearing traces of human domination and the return of the pasture to an idyllic state suggest perhaps not just a yearning for the past, but also a hope for the future. Nevertheless, it is a hope so wild that Winston can hardly allow himself to indulge it except in dream.

Chestnut Tree Café

Chestnut Tree Café. Sidewalk coffeehouse associated with Party members who have been reintegrated and subsequently targeted for vaporization. Early in the novel, Winston destroys an exculpatory newspaper photograph of three enemies of Big Brother whom he later sees at the café, before their disappearances but after their much-publicized but false confessions. A year later, in the novel’s final episode, Winston himself, now a doomed outcast, again sits at the café, drinking sweetened clove-flavored gin, the café specialty, and solving newspaper chess problems. As the telescreen announces a military victory for Oceania’s armies, Winston, who throughout the novel has reacted to such questionable government claims with cynical skepticism, can no longer resist proclaiming his joy and his love for Big Brother.

Oceania

Oceania. One of three superstates that cover most of the globe. The superstates are conglomerates of nations and regions that first formed alliances then annealed into new entities under the pressures of revolution. The three states are engaged in a constant state of war and shifting alliances, on which Ingsoc broadcasts interminable news bulletins through the telescreens. Oceania itself comprises the lands of the Western Hemisphere, Australia and its surrounding islands, the British Islands, and part of Southern Africa. The easternmost province of Oceania is Airstrip One, which corresponds to what had once been the United Kingdom.

Eastasia

Eastasia. Superstate that comprises China, Southeast Asia, Japan and its surrounding islands, and varying portions of Manchuria, Mongolia, and Tibet.

Eurasia

Eurasia. Superstate that comprises most of Europe and northern Asia, from Portugal to eastern Siberia. When the novel opens, Oceania is at war with Eurasia; when it ends, Eurasia is Oceania’s ally.

1984 Historical Context

Totalitarianism
In 1948, when Orwell’s 1984 was published World War II had just ended. One of England’s...

(The entire section is 734 words.)

1984 Literary Style

Point of View
Orwell’s 1984 is told in the third person, but the point of view is clearly Winston Smith’s....

(The entire section is 975 words.)

1984 Quizzes

Part 1, Chapter 1 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. When does the novel begin?

2. Where does the novel begin?

3. Cite the caption on the posters in Winston’s building.

4. What is Newspeak?

5. What does a telescreen do?

6. What are the Party’s three slogans?

7. Name the four Ministries of the government.

8. What is the purpose of the Two Minutes Hate?

9. What is thoughtcrime?

10. What is the penalty for thoughtcrime?

Answers
1. The novel begins at 13 o’clock on a day in April 1984.

2. The novel begins at Victory Gardens.

3. The caption on the posters reads “Big Brother...

(The entire section is 161 words.)

Part 1, Chapter 2 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What form of address has replaced “Mrs.”?

2. What game are the Parsons’ children playing?

3. Give the crime the children accuse Winston of committing.

4. What popular spectacle took place that afternoon?

5. What is a “child hero”?

6. Who speaks in Winston’s dream?

7. What does the speaker in the dream tell Winston?

8. What is the bad news delivered via the telescreen?

9. Winston addresses his diary to whom or to what?

10. Explain why Winston washes his hands before he returns to work.

Answers
1. The new form of address is “Comrade.”...

(The entire section is 196 words.)

Part 1, Chapter 3 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How old was Winston when his mother disappeared?

2. What is the only thing Winston remembers about his father?

3. What does Winston surmise happened to his parents?

4. Where are Winston’s mother and sister in his dream?

5. Who appears in Winston’s second dream?

6. What is Winston muttering as he awakens?

7. What is Airstrip One?

8. With whom is Oceania at war?

9. What is the Party slogan?

10. What is Ingsoc?

Answers
1. Winston was 10 or 11 years old when his mother disappeared.

2. Winston only remembers the thin soles on his...

(The entire section is 179 words.)

Part 1, Chapters 4 and 5 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What is the official phrase for altering records?

2. What is the primary job of the Ministry of Truth?

3. What is “Pornosec”?

4. What is Winston’s greatest pleasure in life?

5. Who is Comrade Ogilvy?

6. What is Syme’s current project at the Records Department?

7. According to Syme, what is the whole aim of Newspeak?

8. What does Syme predict will have occurred by 2050?

9. Tell why Winston believes Syme will disappear one day.

10. Who does Winston believe is following him?

Answers
1. The official phrase for altering records is to “rectify”...

(The entire section is 205 words.)

Part 1, Chapters 6 and 7 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Winston believe is the most deadly danger of all?

2. What is the unforgivable crime?

3. What is the only recognized purpose of marriage?

4. Why did Winston call Katharine the “human soundtrack”?

5. Why does Winston believe a real love affair would be almost unthinkable?

6. What percent of Oceania’s population is comprised of proles?

7. What does Winston copy into his diary?

8. What is Winston’s proof that the confessions of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford were lies?

9. What happened to Winston’s proof?

10. To whom is Winston writing the diary?

...

(The entire section is 217 words.)

Part 1, Chapter 8 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Instead of spending a night at the Community Center, where does Winston go?

2. What does the Newspeak term “ownlife” imply?

3. After the bombing, what does Winston see lying in the street?

4. What is the one public event to which the proles pay attention?

5. What does Winston learn from the old man in the bar?

6. What does Winston buy at Charrington’s shop?

7. What is different about the room above Charrington’s shop?

8. Why does Winston plan to return to the shop?

9. Who seems to be spying on Winston as he leaves Char-rington’s shop?

10. What is Winston’s current...

(The entire section is 211 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 1 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. How much time has passed since Winston spotted the girl from the Fiction Department outside the junk shop?

2. What conflicting emotions does Winston feel before helping the girl?

3. Give the possible sources of the note.

4. Give the message on the note.

5. Tell why Winston no longer believes the girl is an enemy.

6. Where do Winston and the girl plan to meet?

7. Tell what Winston and the girl witness in the square.

8. When and where will the couple meet again?

9. What emotion prevails when Party members see foreigners?

10. What does the girl do right before she leaves?

...

(The entire section is 199 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 2 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Tell why a person is no safer in the countryside than in London.

2. What does Winston confess?

3. What is Winston’s immediate feeling as he holds Julia in his arms?

4. What is Winston’s idea of a love offering?

5. What is the emblem of the Junior Anti-Sex League?

6. Where did Julia obtain the chocolate?

7. What has attracted Julia to Winston?

8. Why is Winston shocked at the coarseness of Julia’s language?

9. What is Julia’s feeling about her many other lovers?

10. What is the one act of rebellion that could ruin the Party?

Answers
1. A...

(The entire section is 229 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 3 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Tell why Winston does not need to know Julia’s surname or address.

2. What does Julia mean by “talking in installments”?

3. How does Julia spend much of her free time?

4. What does Julia do at the Fiction Department?

5. What special job was Julia selected for at work?

6. What is Julia’s only interest in Party doctrine?

7. Give Julia’s opinion of revolt against the Party.

8. What is Julia’s reaction when Winston tells her the details of his loveless marriage?

9. According to Julia, what does sexual privation produce?

10. What does Julia believe will help Winston and her to...

(The entire section is 241 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 4 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Winston’s heart keep saying about the affair?

2. What does Winston see and hear under the window?

3. What is Winston thinking of as he awaits Julia?

4. What has Julia brought?

5. What does Winston see when he faces Julia?

6. Why does Julia throw a shoe into the corner?

7. What is Winston’s reaction when Julia describes the rat?

8. What is Winston’s opinion of the paperweight?

9. According to Winston, who might know the missing line to the nursery rhyme?

10. What has the paperweight come to symbolize for Winston?

Answers
1. Winston’s...

(The entire section is 207 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 5 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Who vanishes?

2. How is Winston preparing for Hate Week at work?

3. Who organizes the squads of volunteers?

4. What is pictured on the new poster appearing all over
London?

5. What causes the proles to feel increasingly patriotic?

6. How does Winston regard the room over Charrington’s shop?

7. What does Julia take for granted?

8. What does Julia believe about the stories of Goldstein and the underground?

9. What is Julia’s impulse during the Two Minutes Hate?

10. What is Julia’s interest in the next generation?

Answers
1. Syme vanishes....

(The entire section is 181 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 6 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where is Winston when O’Brien approaches him?

2. How does O’Brien compliment Winston?

3. Why does O’Brien refer to Syme only indirectly?

4. How does O’Brien turn Winston into his accomplice?

5. What does O’Brien think is an ingenious development in the tenth edition of the Newspeak dictionary?

6. What is O’Brien willing to lend Winston?

7. What happens to the paper with the address?

8. What prevents Winston from finding out O’Brien’s address on his own?

9. What is the one thing of which Winston is now certain?

10. What feeling does Winston experience as he talks with...

(The entire section is 207 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 7 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What do the arm gestures made by Winston’s mother in the dreams have in common with one another?

2. What does Winston remember in his dream?

3. What does Winston believe the proles have retained, but Party members have lost?

4. How did Winston spend many of his childhood afternoons?

5. How did Winston’s mother react to her husband’s disappearance?

6. What did Winston do with his sister’s portion of the chocolate ration?

7. What did Winston find when he returned home?

8. What is a Reclamation Center?

9. In Winston’s mind, what would prove he had betrayed Julia?

10. According...

(The entire section is 214 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 8 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Winston fear as he travels to O’Brien’s apartment?

2. What is the only evidence that suggests O’Brien is a political conspirator?

3. Why can Winston not use the excuse that he had come for the dictionary?

4. What privilege is reserved for Party members?

5. To whom does the group drink a toast?

6. According to O’Brien, what is the most Winston will ever know about the Brotherhood?

7. What is Winston prepared to do for the Brotherhood?

8. Why will the Brotherhood never be destroyed?

9. What is in the book that O’Brien plans to send to Winston?

10. Where will...

(The entire section is 210 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 9 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. With what power is Oceania now at war?

2. What has Winston been doing for the past six days at the Ministry of Truth?

3. What is the title of Goldstein’s book?

4. What are Goldstein’s three classes?

5. What does Goldstein’s book claim is the primary aim of modern warfare?

6. What is the only possible basis of a hierarchical society?

7. What are the two aims of the Party?

8. What happens to the most gifted proles?

9. Why must the past be altered?

10. Define doublethink.

Answers
1. Oceania is now at war with Eastasia.

2. Winston has...

(The entire section is 190 words.)

Part 2, Chapter 10 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What is the only way that the secret of the love affair would be passed on?

2. What occurs to Winston as he thinks of all people?

3. What does Winston conclude is Goldstein’s final message?

4. According to Winston, what kind of world would the proles create?

5. What makes Winston believe that proles are immortal?

6. How does Winston think he and Julia can share in the future?

7. What is behind the picture on the wall?

8. What follows the voice?

9. What happens to Winston’s paperweight?

10. What occurs to Winston as he looks at Charrington?

Answers
...

(The entire section is 202 words.)

Part 3, Chapter 1 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where does Winston presume he is when he awakens?

2. What difference does Winston observe between Party prisoners and ordinary criminals?

3. Who does all the dirty jobs in the prisons?

4. Why does Winston think of O’Brien with hope?

5. What is the “place with no darkness”?

6. Why has Ampleforth been arrested?

7. Who has denounced Parsons?

8. What crime has Parsons committed?

9. What does the chinless man offer the skull-faced man?

10. Who is Winston’s surprise visitor?

Answers
1. Winston presumes he is in the Ministry of Love.

2....

(The entire section is 166 words.)

Part 3, Chapter 2 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Winston realize about his continuous beatings?

2. What is the aim of the Party torturers?

3. What becomes Winston’s only concern?

4. Who is in charge of Winston’s torture?

5. What does O’Brien think is wrong with Winston?

6. What does O’Brien throw down the memory hole?

7. What happens whenever Winston insists that O’Brien is holding up four fingers?

8. What was the Party’s purpose in bringing Winston to the Ministry of Love?

9. What does O’Brien predict will happen after Winston’s death?

10. According to O’Brien, what is the information Winston will never...

(The entire section is 201 words.)

Part 3, Chapter 3 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Give the three stages of Winston’s reintegration.

2. What is O’Brien’s opinion of Goldstein’s book?

3. Why does the Party seek power?

4. What power is most important?

5. Where does O’Brien believe reality exists?

6. How does the Party exert its power over humans?

7. What is the foundation of the Party’s world?

8. What does Winston see when O’Brien forces him to look into the mirror?

9. What is the only degradation that has not yet happened to Winston?

10. What is the only certainty in Winston’s life?

Answers
1. The three stages of...

(The entire section is 184 words.)

Part 3, Chapters 4 and 5 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Winston write on his slate?

2. What does Winston think of his few remaining contrary flashbacks?

3. Define “crimestop.”

4. What is Winston’s hallucination?

5. What is Winston’s immediate reaction after he cries out for Julia?

6. How must Winston change his feelings toward Big Brother before he can be released?

7. Where does Winston’s final torture occur?

8. What is the worst thing in the world for Winston?

9. What does Winston believe is the only way to save himself from his torture?

10. Who is the only person to whom Winston can transfer his punishment?

...

(The entire section is 184 words.)

Part 3, Chapter 6 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What is Winston’s new hangout?

2. What news is Winston awaiting?

3. What is Winston’s usual routine?

4. What does Julia’s body remind Winston of when they unexpectedly meet?

5. What do Winston and Julia admit to each other?

6. Why doesn’t Winston follow Julia through the streets?

7. What is Winston’s latest false memory?

8. What is the telescreen’s announcement?

9. Whose picture hangs in the cafe?

10. Whom does Winston now love?

Answers
1. Winston’s new hangout is the Chestnut Tree Cafe.

2. Winston awaits news of the war...

(The entire section is 157 words.)