1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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Irony In 1984

What are three examples of irony in 1984?

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Madelyn Truitt eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The novel abounds with irony, and specifically the names and functions of different institutions convey irony in an intentional manner. The Ministry of Love, for example, is a place where prisoners are tortured in the process of interrogation.

It is also ironic that Julia, a member of the Anti-Sex League, wears a red sash (red being a potent visual symbol often associated with sexuality), and furthermore she turns out to be sexually assertive and adventurous in her relationship with Winston.

The ultimate irony is that Winston, a symbol of rebellion and protest, is ultimately bested by the system he hates and fights against, and at last is made to see the world in the topsy-turvy, nonsensical way the novel describes; this becomes clear when he admits that he loves Big Brother.

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gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Winston Smith enters "Victory Mansions," yet there is no victory for him, and no lasting victory for anyone except Big Brother in the novel.

The Ministry of Truth dedicates itself to destroying truth.

Its slogans are deeply ironic.

The names of the other ministries are similarly ironic: the Ministry of Love handles torture.

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parama9000 | Student

The three slogans are in itself the ironies in the book. The names of the ministries are also ironies in a simplest form.

javiercito | Student

he was dead even before the novel started.  He had purchased the diary from a spy so he was pretty much done.

rivingo | Student

what you might want to add is the fact that Winston always thought O'Brien was exactly like him, he 'knew' that O'Brien loved the past as well, while O'Brien clearly doesn't as revealed in the last chapters of the novel