In 1984, Winston said tragedy does not exist in his world. How is tragedy important in our lives?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tragedy is important in our lives because it indicates that we are human.  If we were not human and we did not have any human feelings, we would experience no tragedies.  In 1984 the Party has created a society in which there is no tragedy by taking away the basic humanity of the people.  This is one of the major themes of the book.

We can see these things in two quotes from Chapter 3.  When Winston thinks about the idea that tragedy no longer exists in his society, he thinks that tragedy

belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there was still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason.

This illustrates how tragedy comes out of the things that make us human.  It comes out of our ability to love one another and to care about one another.  When we love and care, we open ourselves up to tragedy.

A few lines later, Winston reflects on what the current society is like and why there is no tragedy in that society.  In contrast to the old days when people loved each other,

Today there were fear, hatred, and pain, but no dignity of emotion, no deep or complex sorrows.

With no dignified emotions like love, there are no longer any deep sorrows; no tragedy.

The Party has taken away all the human emotions of the people and, in doing so, they have made tragedy impossible.  They have done so in an attempt to make the people depend completely on the Party and the State, not on one another.  This is a major theme of the book.