1984 Themes

1984 key themes:

  • In 1984, Orwell illustrates the effects of totalitarian government through the figure of Big Brother, who watches over the citizens and maintains control over their behavior.
  • The oppression of free will is reflected in the inability of the citizens of Oceania to express their thoughts—their facial expressions and thoughts are scrutinized by Big Brother, even while they are sleeping.
  • The Party demands loyalty from the citizens at the expense of their ability to form individual bonds. Romantic love is discouraged and repressed, and Winston is betrayed by Julia, Charrington, and O’Brien. 
  • Orwell’s dystopian work serves as a warning: 1984 reflects a world in which in which jingoism, oppression of the masses, and limited language lead to tyranny. Orwell sought to inspire readers to work against these trends.
  • 1984 portrays the harmful effects of patriotism. Children in particular are encouraged to be obedient to the Party and to disregard their loyalty to their parents.


The Power of Big Brother
The sinister, mustachioed face symbolizing the Party's power is completely inescapable in...

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1984 Social Concerns / Themes

As his final and perhaps most significant literary work, Nineteen Eighty-Four is often perceived as the inevitable culmination of...

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