1984 by George Orwell is a dystopian novel set in the fictional nation of Oceania. As the name suggests, Hate Week is a week long event with festivities, speeches, propaganda, and exhibitions all aimed at instilling fear and fomenting hate in the citizens of Oceania towards the nation’s enemies. Orwell makes it clear through his use of satire that he deplores Hate Week and what it represents. In some ways, he almost likens it to Nazi activities and festivities around their military during World War II. For instance, the preparations for Hate Week include organizing military parades, building effigies, circulating rumors, and faking photographs.
These are descriptions that conjure up images of Nazis goose-stepping through the streets of Berlin en route to their Propaganda Ministry, which would circulate the propaganda and hate posters of the various enemies of the state and even produce films in support of Nazi plans. In fact, Orwell explains,
Julia's unit in the Fiction Department had been taken off the production of novels and was rushing out a series of atrocity pamphlets.
By “a series of atrocity pamphlets,” the author implies a double meaning of the word “atrocity.” The posters would undoubtedly convey the atrocities that Oceania’s enemies commit and are likely to commit in the future. In addition, the use of the word also suggests Orwell’s view of the posters and other propaganda as atrocious.
At one point, Orwell discusses the musical element of Hate Week:
The new tune which was to be the theme-song of Hate Week (the Hate Song, it was called) had already been composed and was being endlessly plugged on the telescreens. It had a savage, barking rhythm which could not exactly be called music, but resembled the beating of a drum.
His use of the words “savage,” “barking,” and “beating” conveys his views of Hate Week and the supporting propaganda and jingoes that accompany it.
Ironically, after all the preparation for Hate Week, in which the focus will be Oceania’s enemy Eurasia and when “and the general hatred of Eurasia had boiled up into such delirium,” it turns out that
“Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally.”
Orwell uses satire here to mock Oceania and the fomenting of anti-Eurasia sentiment. He notes the easily fickle political winds that can change within the span of a Hate Week to make a former enemy an ally and a former ally an enemy.