What traditions or attitudes in 1984 does Orwell aim to modify, political or social?

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Socially, it is clear that Orwell wants to modify the prevailing attitude to sexuality. Specifically, he wants people to have the freedom to have sexual relationships with whomever they choose. He also wants people to have complete control over who they marry. This is shown clearly by Winston's words as he and Julia have sex for the first time (at the end of part two, chapter two):

Their embrace had been a battle, the climax a victory. It was a blow struck against the Party. It was a political act.

This idea is also reinforced by the portrayal of the Junior Anti-Sex League earlier in the book. Winston's disdain toward the promotion of celibacy suggests that Orwell would like to see such puritanical attitudes eradicated.

In terms of politics, Orwell also promotes the freedom of speech. We see this through Winston and his diary. Although keeping a diary is not against the law, Winston knows that if caught, he will be imprisoned in the Ministry of Love—at the very least. When Winston finally gets the chance to express himself through writing, it is almost like a stream of consciousness as all of his pent-up, repressed thoughts are finally released. By creating this scene, Orwell advocates the right to express our political viewpoints without fear of violence.

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Orwell greatly feared propaganda, which was rampant in his time period, especially under Hitler and Stalin. Orwell worried that the "dumbing down" of thought, the repetition of lies, and the oversimplification of language—most typical of totalitarian regimes, but also filtering into democratic discourse—would make it impossible for people to have sophisticated ideas or to think rationally for themselves. The less people were able to think for themselves, he believed, the more likely they were to be swayed by propaganda and demagogues and the more likely to be enslaved, whether or not they realized it. Ultimately, Orwell believed that the dilution of language to propaganda would dehumanize the human race.

His book is thus an argument in favor of resisting slogans and oversimplifications. He satirizes Oceania's language of Newspeak, which tries to reduce language to the least possible number of words so as to reduce people's ability to think, fearing this dilution of language this would happen in Orwell's world. He wanted people to hang on to complexity, tradition, history, and human relationships so as to stay fully human, which to him, as 1984 illustrates, equates to remaining humane.

We see Winston transform from an angry, dehumanized person, whose initial impulse is to want to rape and harm Julia, to a compassionate human being under the influence of a caring relationship with Julia.

Orwell is advising us to change our society to put more emphasis on two items he believed essential to humanity's flourishing: diverse and complex thinking and meaningful, loving relationships.

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George Orwell, by writing a dystopian Juvenalian satire in 1984, does not give any modifications or ways to improve government.  There's no implicit message or hope or beauty or freedom in this book.

This kind of satire is attack-only.  His words are meant to destroy 1984s totalitarian government, not to tweak it.  You can't have Big Brother be reformed politically or socially.  He must be obliterated.  There's no conciliation, no qualification, no room for maneuvering.

Ironically, Big Brother wins against the individual.  That's Orwell's thesis.  There is only torture in this type of government.  It's not a subtle message.  There's no hope.  Period.

History, I think, has proved Orwell right.  Communism (and fascism) was a god that failed.  It took 50 more years though to topple, so many more individuals were tortured along the way.

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In my opinion, Orwell wants to change pretty much everything about the society in this book. I think his biggest concern is with the social system more so than the political system.  He does not appear to be concerned with trying to push electoral democracy.  Instead, he seems to want simple social and personal freedoms.

What Orwell seems to want to change in this book is people's ability to be normal people with their own memories, their own feelings, and real relationships with other people.  Orwell focuses on these things and has Winston long for these things more than for political rights.

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