1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

1984 book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does the fact that the society in 1984 cannot recreate history affect the possibility for a rebellion?

Expert Answers info

missy575 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,291 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Big Brother controls history in 1984. Party leaders choose what to edit on a daily basis for their purposes. Even the trace of human's existence is wiped out as are any extra scraps of paper. That means there are no pieces of evidence to look back on to try to know how it used to be.

The threat of the Thought Police seems to keep people in check. Winston worries that his thoughts will be seen. Winston is excited about his diary, but afraid it will be found. They work hard not to say anything against the Party to each other for fear that they will be heard or spied on through a telescreen.

Fear is a powerful motivator in the wrong hands. 1984 is a novel which clearly illustrates that rebellion is next to impossible when a leader rules by dishing out fear.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write35,413 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Social Sciences

In this book, no one in the society at large can really know what has happened in the past.  This is because the Party controls what people know and the Party (as we see in Winston's work) changes the past whenever they think it is necessary.

By changing and controlling the past, the Party makes rebellion much more difficult.  People cannot know what has happened in the past.  They cannot know that the Party has made their lives more difficult.  Because they do not know that things were better before the Party took control, they cannot be as angry at it as they might be.  This will make them less likely to rebel.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial