I am doing a task on 1984. My idea was to do a post room 101 interview with Winston Smith. O'Brien would be conducting this interview so that he could be sure that Winston has turned out the way...

I am doing a task on 1984. My idea was to do a post room 101 interview with Winston Smith. O'Brien would be conducting this interview so that he could be sure that Winston has turned out the way the party wanted.

The goal of this assignment would be to demonstrate knowledge of the book by posing the questions in such a way that they safeguard the interest of the party. At the same time Winston would have to answer with things he previously hated other outer party members for (In example, never taking into doubt what the party says about war, food, availability, and so on).

My question is, what question would you ask a post-room 101 Winston Smith?

Expert Answers
kcoleman2016 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This sounds like a great assignment!

My one caution would be to provide students with a rubric that clarifies whether or not they will be graded on elements such as style/diction, or simply on content to demonstrate knowledge of the text.

Also, as a quick question: would students be writing Winston's answers only, or the entire interview? 

Here are some sample questions you could have O'Brien ask Winston: 

  1. What is 2+2?
    5
  2. How do you feel about Big Brother? 
    I love Big Brother
  3. Tell me what London was like when you were a child? 
    Winston's description should match current London
  4. Why do we need Newspeak? 
    Better, simpler, no confusion, it is right, etc. 
  5. How do you feel about Emmanuel Goldstein?
    Winston's response should demonstrate true hatred
  6. Who is Oceania at war with? 
    Free to choose - we don't know how much time has passed in the Room
  7. Who was Oceania at war with last year?
    Same as #6
  8. How do you feel about Julia? 
    Total apathy
  9. What should we do to thought criminals?
    Something really atrocious
  10. What is true?
    What the Party says is true

Good luck!

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Following Winston Smith's prolonged captivity and psychological treatment in Room 101, he finally capitulates by giving his soul to Big Brother. Throughout the ordeal Winston Smith resisted opening his heart to the authoritative government, which he passionately hated. However, O'Brien is able to use Winston's extreme fear of rats to change his opinion of the Party. In a post-interview scenario many of O'Brien's questions would challenge Winston's orthodoxy. One could imagine that O'Brien would ask Winston questions concerning their current enemy to test his ability to master "doublethink," as well the Party's motto, and the sum of 2+2. Understanding that Winston has feelings for Julia, O'Brien might question Winston's loyalty to her. Questions concerning Winston's opinion of the Brotherhood and Goldstein would possibly be discussed. Considering the fact that Winston absolutely hated organizations like the Junior Spies and the Junior Anti-Sex League, Goldstein would possibly question Winston's opinions on those groups. Finally, O'Brien might show Winston a picture of Big Brother and ask him what emotions came to mind while he looked at the Party's symbolic leader.