What is the significance of 1984 plot structure broken up into 3 sections?

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Three is a Magic Number:

  • 3 act structure: beginning (problems), middle (climax), end (resolution)
  • 3 geographical settings (Oceania, Eastasia, Eurasia)
  • 3 types of people according to Goldstein's book:

Throughout recorded time, and probably since the end of the Neolithic Age, there have been three kinds of people in the world, the High, the Middle, and the Low. They have been subdivided in many ways, they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude towards one another, have varied from age to age: but the essential structure of society has never altered.

  • The three slogans of the Party:
  1. WAR IS PEACE
  2. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
  3. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
  • 3 main characters (Winston, Julia, O'Brien)
  • 3 is often used as a literary device to provoke a feeling of unnaturalness, as twos are much more common in nature (limbs, hemispheres, eyes, etc).  We realize that O'Brien is third wheel, unnatural.
  • 3 verb tenses: PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE.  Winston has a hard time distinguishing one from the others.
  • The Party has rolled out nine "3 Year Plans"
  • 3 political prisoners (Rutherford, Jones, Aaronson)

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