Discussion Topic

Critical questions about specific chapters of George Orwell's 1984

Summary:

Critical questions about specific chapters of George Orwell's 1984 could include inquiries about the significance of key events, character motivations, and themes. For example, one might ask how Winston's thoughts evolve in Chapter 1, or what the significance of the paperweight is in Chapter 10. These questions help deepen understanding of Orwell's dystopian vision and the novel's commentary on totalitarianism.

Expert Answers

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

What is a comprehensive question about Chapter 6 of 1984 by George Orwell?

I think that I would ask a question about Winston and his attitudes towards women in this chapter.

I might ask why Winston feels so much hatred and revulsion towards women and why the Party would want him to feel that way.  In asking this question, you could start to think about what the Party wants -- about how it is trying to dehumanize people and take away the emotions that normal people would feel.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What is a comprehensive question about Chapter 6 of 1984 by George Orwell?

I think that a question that would be applicable to the chapter would be to trace Winston's sense of distrust.  The chapter features a strong level of analysis as to how Winston sees the party as one that cannot be trusted in both public and private.  The threshold of revelation that talking in one's sleep would help to prove this.  Winston develops an intense mistrust of authority and keeping his diary is reflective of this.  The recollections of his wife as well as the mysterious condition of her disappearance also add to this mistrust of the government.  Through both external action and personal reflection, Winston reveals himself as a being that cannot transcend the lack of trust or faith within the governmental system which governs Oceania and I think that an appropriate question would be to examine this level of mistrust of the authority, of Big Brother.  It is a theme that is evident throughout the novel, but one that can be specifically explored in the chapter.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What is a thought-provoking question for Chapter 7, Part 2 of Orwell's 1984?

As Winston and Julia fall more deeply in love with each other and their relationship develops, Winston, in chapter seven of Part II, begins to have more memories of his mother and his childhood. Why do you think his relationship with Julia triggers these memories? What is the connection between his mother and Julia?

Winston also becomes less hate-filled as his relationship with Julia grows. He realizes, for instance, that for the first time, he does not despise the proles. He begins to see them as fully human, and he theorizes that they represent an old-fashioned form of humanity that does not exist in Party members. He think that, for the proles,

What mattered were individual relationships, and a completely helpless gesture, an embrace, a tear, a word spoken to a dying man, could have value in itself. . . .The proles had stayed human. They had not become hardened inside.

Do you believe that what Winston surmises about the Proles is true, or is he simply being sentimental? How can you support your opinion?

Finally, after Winston and Julia discuss their inevitable torture and death, Winston thinks:

They could lay bare in the utmost detail everything that you had done or said or thought; but the inner heart, whose workings were mysterious even to yourself, remained impregnable.

Based on a reading of the novel, do you believe this is true? Look particularly at the end of the novel, when Winston is in the Chestnut Cafe. Is there a part of himself that Winston has kept separate from the Party?

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What is a thought-provoking question for Chapter 7, Part 2 of Orwell's 1984?

There are a couple of key events in Part 2, Chapter 7, of 1984 that can be used to develop a thought-provoking question for discussion.

In this chapter, for instance, Winston wakes up crying because he has remembered the "last glimpse of his mother." This is very painful for Winston because he remembers that he stole his sister's share of the chocolate ration. Winston ran away from the house and never saw his mother again. It is worth considering why these repressed memories are suddenly coming back to Winston or how he connects these painful feelings to the Party's control of Oceania.

Additionally, in this chapter Winston and Julia talk about the inherent dangers of their relationship. They know, for instance, that if the Party catches them in this room, they will be tortured and probably killed. Consider how Winston and Julia distinguish between confessing to their guilt and betraying each other. Is Julia right when she says the Party cannot alter the way people feel about each other?

What you say or do doesn't matter: only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you—that would be the real betrayal.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on