What are some questions from part 3 of 1984 (by George Orwell) that could lead to discussion and controversy?  

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Part Three of the novel covers the time from Winston's awareness that he has arrived under arrest at the Ministry of Love to the end of the novel.

O'Brien and the state release Winston from prison because they believe they have completely broken him. He is, as far as...

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Part Three of the novel covers the time from Winston's awareness that he has arrived under arrest at the Ministry of Love to the end of the novel.

O'Brien and the state release Winston from prison because they believe they have completely broken him. He is, as far as they are concerned, a mere shell of a man, with no spark of humanity left, mindlessly and abjectly devoted to Big Brother. Is this true? What evidence is there at the end, especially in Winston's memory of playing Snakes and Ladders with his mother, that he has kept part of his humanity intact? Does this qualify him as still human? Or did his betrayal of Julia truly break him?

Second, the novel posits the idea, beloved of totalitarians and later discussed by Hannah Arendt in her book On Totalitarianism, that power determines truth. If the state has enough power, O'Brien argues, it can make anything it wants the truth. We see this demonstrated when O"Brien makes Winston really believe two plus two equals five. However, does power really determine truth? If so, then why do absolutist or totalitarian governments have a track record of failure?

Third, O'Brien tells Winston that power is forcing a person to do something he doesn't want to do. He calls the vision of the Party a boot stamping down on a human face. What might this tell us about O'Brien's limits? Are there other forms of power? Although Orwell was not a Christian, and in fact, despised the way Christianity tried to control people, he was brought up in a Christian tradition. Christianity argues that love is the most powerful force in the universe and will triumph over hate. Could Winston be right when he looks at the simple bonds of love and family that the proles have maintained and says that will defeat the Party? Or do events in the novel prove him wrong?

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There are very profound questions one could ask of George Orwell's 1984 (with focus on part three). Here are multiple questions which will create discussion and bring out controversy.

- What is the meaning of "War is Peace?"

- What is the meaning of "Freedom is Slavery?"

- What is the meaning of "Ignorance is Strength?"

- If the purpose of torture at the Ministry of Love is not to obtain confessions alone, what is the true purpose?

- How effective is it to use a person's greatest fear against him or her?

- What is the significance of "two and two make five?" Are there any circumstances where this is actually true?

- Why must one be broken in order to find the truth?

- What is important about having a true belief, without any concerns or questions, regarding a group's ideology?

- Are there any problems with a group whose individual members fail to question anything?

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