What are three examples of foreshadowing in 1984?

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Foreshadowing occurs continually in this novel. Three examples of it are Syme's vaporization, O'Brien's grimness when Julia and Winston visit him in his flat, and the mention of the men who frequent The Chestnut Tree Cafe.

Winston, thinking about Syme's inevitable fate, ruminates on the cafe:

There was no...

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Foreshadowing occurs continually in this novel. Three examples of it are Syme's vaporization, O'Brien's grimness when Julia and Winston visit him in his flat, and the mention of the men who frequent The Chestnut Tree Cafe.

Winston, thinking about Syme's inevitable fate, ruminates on the cafe:

There was no law, not even an unwritten law, against frequenting the Chestnut Tree Cafe, yet the place was somehow ill-omened. The old, discredited leaders of the Party had been used to gather there before they were finally purged.

Syme frequents the cafe, which, along with his intellectual curiosity and passion for his dictionary work, foreshadows his disappearance. Syme is too intelligent and freethinking to survive long in Oceania. However, Syme's visits to the cafe, as well as the discredited party leaders, also foreshadow Winston's visits to the cafe after he is released from prison at the end of the novel. Winston remembers having actually seen the old rebels there, and what he says about them is a mirror of what will be his own end:

But also they were outlaws, enemies, untouchables, doomed with absolute certainty to extinction within a year or two. No one who had once fallen into the hands of the Thought Police ever escaped in the end. They were corpses waiting to be sent back to the grave.

At the end of the novel, we don't have to be told what will happen to Winston: the passage above has already explained it.

The lyrics of the Chestnut Tree song also foreshadow the way Julia and Winston will betray each other under torture:

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me

Syme's disappearance is foreshadowed not only by his visits to the cafe, but Winston's reflections that there is something:

subtly wrong with Syme. There was something that he lacked: discretion, aloofness, a sort of saving stupidity.

When Syme does disappear, we are not in the least surprised.

When Julia and Winston arrive at O'Brien's apartment, Winston notes that:

his expression was grimmer than usual, as though he were not pleased at being disturbed. The terror that Winston already felt was suddenly shot through by a streak of ordinary embarrassment. It seemed to him quite possible that he had simply made a stupid mistake. For what evidence had he in reality that O’Brien was any kind of political conspirator?

Winston should feel both terror and embarrassment. O'Brien's grim demeanor and Winston's correct thought that he has made a mistake both foreshadow the horror that is to descend on Julia and Winston.

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Orwell utilizes things from the past, fears, and dreams as foreshadowing in his seminal work, 1984.

Here, then, are three examples of foreshadowing:

  • Things from the past

1. Winston's purchase of a diary in a secondhand store in the prole district foreshadows his later arrest because if this diary is found, he will suffer the consequences. While there are no longer any laws making his act illegal, Winston could still be killed.

...if detected it was reasonably certain that it would be punished by death, or at least twenty-five years in a forced-labor camp. (I, Ch. 1)

In addition, Winston writes subversive thoughts in his diary, thoughts such as "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER." 

2. While visiting the shop of Mr. Charrington, where he purchases the diary, Winston sees a picture of St. Clements Dane. Along with the rhyme that Charrington partially recites, there is the ending rhyme whose final phrase foreshadows the defeat of Winston and Julia--"...here comes a chopper to chop off your head." Also, the picture itself later what covers the telescreen in their room where Winston and Julia meet and make love.

  • Fears and Dreams

Winston fears his impending death because he writes in his diary and because he engages in a love affair with Julia. 

Folly, folly, his heart kept saying: conscious, gratuitous suicidal folly! Of all the crimes that a Party member could commit, this one was the least possible to conceal. (II, Ch.4)

3. Winston is terrified of rats. When one pokes its head through a hole in the wall of their secret room, Julia throws a shoe at it. Winston asks her at what she pitched her shoe, and she tells him that it was a rat. "Rats!....In this room!" Winston exclaims in terror as he recalls a nightmare which includes Julia:

He was standing in front of a wall of darkness, and on the other side of it there was something unendurable, something too dreadful to be faced....(II, Ch.4)

This dream, of course, foreshadows Winston's torture in Room 101, and the cage of rats that O'Brien threatens to unleash upon him after his arrest. Winston is so terrified that he betrays Julia.

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I think one of the major examples you can think about and analyze is the use of dreams in this excellent, terrifying novel. A very important chapter for you to think about as far as dreams are concerned in Chapter 3, where Winston has a dream sequence concerning his Mother and Sister, but then also this dream moves on to include Julia:

The girl with dark hair was coming towards them across the field. With what seemed a single movement she tore off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside... What overwhelmed him in that instant was admiration for the gesture with which she had thrown her clothes aside. With its grace and carelessness it seemed to annihilate a whole culture, a whole system of thought...

This dream then clearly foreshadows their sexual relationship, and also the way that they are, by their actions, trying to "annihilate a whole culture" by rebelling in such a way and embracing their true human desires and passions. Of course, it is only later on that they find out how futile this attempt is.

There is one example of foreshadowing. Now have another look at the novel and see if you can find some more. Good luck!

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Foreshadowing happens when an author includes something in a story (a line, a phrase, and image) that gives a hint of what the eventual outcome of the story will be.

In 1984, there are many of these, at various points along the way. If you know the song that Winston is singing/trying to remember throughout the book, then that's one of them, because of the final line.

Others occur throughout the book, starting in the first chapter. Think of the slogan Big Brother is Watching You. He was watching Winston. Or the discussion of the Ministry of Love. The extra time spent describing this in the first chapter lets you know it will be important, and that Winston will eventually be part of the "official business" taking people inside.

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