[2015] Patty Commins (AP Literature): 1984

by debvo
Last updated 5 years ago

Language Arts
Book Reports

Toggle fullscreen Print glog
[2015] Patty Commins (AP Literature): 1984

Author: George Orwell

Point of View1984 is written in the third person limited point of view. The reader only hears from Winston's views.

Setting1984 takes place in "Airstrip One," an area in Oceania, a state consisting of the U.S., U.K., and allies. The novel takes place in 1984, although it was written in the 1940s.


Climax and ResolutionThe climax of the novel is when Winston betrays Julia in Room 101 by begging that the rats eat her instead of him. There is not much of a happy resolution. Winston gives in to the party and returns to society, but is unable to love Julia.

Winston Smith: Main character, an employee of the Ministry of Truth, dislikes and rebels against the Party, represents discontent with the government/rebellionJulia: Employee of the Ministry of Truth, dislikes the Party, has a love affair with Winston, also represents rebellionBig Brother: Mysterious, omnipotent leader of the Party - "Big Brother is watching you," represents totalitarianismO'Brien: An Inner Party member who Winston trusts until it is revealed that O'Brien is not a rebel as Winston thought - represents the PartyEmmanuel Goldstein: The leader of The Brotherhood, a rebellious organization the may or may not exist, represents revolution/rebellionMr. Parsons: An enthusiastic, naive citizen under the Party's rule, obeys all rules- represents the brainwash that comes with totalitarianism (until he is later turned into the Thought Police)


Plot Events/SummaryThe Party controls all aspects of the citizens' lives: exercise, thought, and manner of speaking. It is even considered rebellious that Winston buys and writes in a diary. Winston works at the Ministry of Truth changing historical records for the Party. It is here that he meets Julia, who he first considers attractive but dangerous. Julia gives Winston a note saying she loves him, and they begin to have a love affair.Winston and Julia meet with O'Brien, who makes it seem like he is also a rebel and gives them the Brotherhood's book. However, it turns out that O'Brien is not a rebel. Julia and Winston are caught by the Thought Police and are put through the tortuorous brainwashing of the Ministry of Love.In the Ministry of Love, Winston betrays Julia. After being released, he is brainwashed, tired, and no longer attracted to Julia.

Notable Text Structures1984 is written in three parts, representing three main phases in Winson's attitude toward the Party: disagreement, rebellion, and finally acceptance.

Major Literary DevicesIrony: Irony is a huge part of 1984. The names of the three ministries (Ministry of Love, Ministry of Peace, and Ministry of Plenty are great examples). The Ministry of Love actually deals with torture, the Ministry of Plenty actually deals with starvation, and the Ministry of Peace really deals with war. Euphemisms: Euphemisms are used very often in this book in the Party's doublespeak. Instead o giving the true meaning, doublespeak alters the langauge to control the citizens' thoughts (i.e. collateral damage really means civilian casualties).Symbols: One symbol in 1984 is rats. Rats are Winston's worst fear and represent a lack of privacy (rats are often associated with "tattling" and there were rats present when Julia and Winston were found out).

This other paradoxical statement is written by Winston in his diary when he realizes that the hope in revolution comes from the Proles. This means that unless the proles realize the issue with the government, they will not be able to rebel. And they will only be concious of the government's issues once they try to rebel and truly see the controlling manner of the government. In this manner, rebellion and revolution is essentially impossible.

This quote is thought of when Winston is in "treatment" at the Ministry of Love. He is making progress towards accepting the Party priniciples but suddenly thinks of Julia. This quote shows that people can reveal secrets without meaning to; there is realy no way to keep a secret safe in a totailtarian, thought-controlling society - especially one that involves violence and torture.

These paradoxical statements make up the Party's slogan. This shows the backwards thinking of the Party and how they believe that a state with more control and force results in a better society.

"For the first time he perceived that if you want to keep a secret you must also hide it from yourself" (Orwell 283).

"War is PeaceFreedom is SlaveryIgnorance is Strength"(Orwell 6).

"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious." (Orwell 74).


Theme #1In a totalitarian society, a person's freedom and ability to think for himself disappears.

Theme #2When a person who wants change comes into conflict with a controlling force in a situation in which mental and physical torture is involved, the change will likely not be able to take place.


    There are no comments for this Glog.