1984 Questions and Answers
by George Orwell

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In 1984, what values of society are revealed through Winston Smith's alienation?

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Winston Smith's alienation occurs as a result of the overwhelming control of the party. To truly connect to other human beings, it is necessary both to have some sense of self and for the person you're interacting with to have the same, because personal connection comes, in part, as we reveal these selves to each other, and while they grow and change through a relationship. In the world under Big Brother, everyone must portray themselves as the people they are expected to be, and discovery of self is explicitly discouraged in order to create people who are identical and controllable, so no one has any sense of self to reveal and, even if they did, they would be punished if they let it slip. This means that human interaction never creates real connection, and this is incredibly alienating.

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As someone with a strong streak of independence, Winston Smith is inevitably alienated from the totalitarian society in which he lives. For this is a society in which everyone's expected to act, dress,...

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