In 1984, what are some examples of peer pressure?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

One of the earliest examples of peer pressure comes in Part One, Chapter One of 1984 when Winston and his colleagues take part in the Two Minutes Hate. In this daily ritual, Party members openly express their hatred towards Oceania's biggest enemy, Emmanuel Goldstein. Whether a Party member feels true...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

One of the earliest examples of peer pressure comes in Part One, Chapter One of 1984 when Winston and his colleagues take part in the Two Minutes Hate. In this daily ritual, Party members openly express their hatred towards Oceania's biggest enemy, Emmanuel Goldstein. Whether a Party member feels true hatred towards Goldstein is irrelevant (as in Winston's case). In fact, the Two Minutes Hate is more about fitting in with those around you so that, over time, this behavior becomes normal:

Of course he chanted with the rest: it was impossible to do otherwise. To dissemble your feelings, to control your face, to do what everyone else was doing, was an instinctive reaction.

Similarly, there is another example of peer pressure in the next chapter when Winston does some repairs for his neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Parsons. Through the Parsons' children, Orwell creates a situation in which Mrs. Parsons is forced to behave in a specific (and extremely orthodox) way for fear of being exposed to the Party by her own children:

With those children, he thought, that wretched woman must lead a life of terror. Another year, two years, and they would be watching her night and day for symptoms of unorthodoxy.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team