In the novel, 1984, identify at least two arguments Orwell is making about people and society in Part 1, Chapters 2-4. 

Expert Answers
kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Part 1 of 1984, Orwell makes a number of important points about the nature of people and society. 

First of all, Orwell suggests that children are extremely susceptible to propaganda. This view is supported by the Parsons' children who Winston meets in Chapter 2 when he fixes the family's sink. The children call Winston a "Eurasian spy" and a "thoughtcriminal" and pretend to shoot him with a toy pistol (page 25). The children's zealous behaviour makes their mother and Winston extremely nervous and this is exacerbated by their desire to attend the hanging of some Eurasian prisoners (page 25-26). In fact, the narrator notes that children were always the most enthusiastic about hangings: "Children always clamoured to be taken to see it" (page 26).  

In Orwell's mind, then, children make the most zelaous supporters of the party because they are the easiest to manipulate and control. Unaware of the implications of public executions and thoughtcrime, the children enable the party's survival and persecution of the citizens of Oceania. This is, perhaps, Orwell's way of highlighting the importance of protecting children from negative images, from dangerous governments and encouraging the reader to nurture their vulnerability and think carefully about the messages they are exposed to. 

A second message in this section of the book is that memories can never be erased, no matter how hard the government tries. We see this in practice on page 34-35 when Winston's mind begins to wander during his mandatory exercise. He remembers very clearly that maps of the world looked different before the rise of the party and that the country had not always been at war. These memories linger in Winston's subconscious and cannot be erased, though the party have rewritten the official history. If he vocalised these memories, he would be accused of thoughtcrime, but that is not the important point. Winston's memories remain, despite the constant bombardment of party propaganda and the fear of being vaporised. Memories are, therefore, much stronger than any form of government.