Study questions will be taken from this long (sorry, but unedited) group:
Adapted from http://www.engdav.net/Notesfolder/12thgradenotes/1984_study_guide.htmStudy questions for 1984 by George Orwell
3 The story begins with the clock chiming 13. This manner of time repeats itself throughout Section One. How does this rendition of time contribute to the mood of the novel.?
4 Why does Winston hesitate to write in the journal? How does his initial foray reflect his true emotions/thought?
5 What is the Two Minutes Hate? How is it used?
6 Who is Goldstein?
7 Who is O'Brien?
8 How is the government portrayed? What is the significance of Big Brother?
9 List the different ministries and tell why their names are ironic.
10 How does Winston's writing of "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER" contrast with his initial scribbling in the beginning?
11 Who are the Thought Police and what is Thoughtcrime?
12 What three classes of people have always existed? (p. 152)
13 In what ways have these three classes changed? (p. 152)
14 What is the purpose of war in the world of 1984?
15 What are the two aims of the Party?
16 What are the two problems with which the Party is concerned?
17 Why do all three superpowers forbit their citizens from associating with foreigners?
18 The governments of the three superpowers are alike in essence even though their forms of government have different names. Identify these similarities and explain why they exist?
19 What is the real "war" (p. 164) fought in each of the three governments? Your answer will explain the party slogan, "War is Peace."
20 What are the aims of the three groups? (p. 166-167)
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT
What changes in the pattern occurred in the nineteenth century?
1 How did socialism change in the twentieth century?
2 Why are the rulers in the twentieth century better at maintaining power than earlier tyrants?
3 What are the four ways an elite group falls from power? (p. 170-171)
4 How does the Inner Party make certain it will not fall from power? (p. 171-172)
5 How is a person’s class determined in the 1984 world?
6 What is doublethink and what is its purpose to the ruling class?
7 Why is the mutability of the past important to the ruling class?
8 Why will this ruling class live on while earlier tyrants fell?
9 What other significant points do you notice?
10 How does the historical background of the novel affect your understanding of its prescriptive nature?
25 What sort of treatment does Winston receive on p. 198-200?
26 What is O’Brien attempting to teach Winston? (p.201-207)
27 On p. 209—211, O’Brien explains how the Inner Party avoids the mistakes of past totalitarian governments. State in your own words what O’Brien means.
28 What effect does the (painless) shock treatment have on Winston? (p. 212-213)
29 What questions does Winston ask O’Brien and what are the responses?
30 According to O’Brien, what are the three stages in Winston’s re-integration, and which stage is he about to enter?
31 Who wrote Goldstein’s book? Is what the book says true? (Notice the answer in its entirety, p. 215-216)
32 Why does the Inner Party seek power and how does this reason differ from the reasons of the Soviet Communists under Stalin and the Nazis?
33 Explain the slogan, "Freedon is Slavery."
34 How does one person assert their power over another?
35 How will Oceania differ from all traditional utopias? (p. 220)
36 Why does Winston feel he is morally superior to O’Brien and how does O’Brien prove that Winston is wrong?
37 How does Winston’s physical appearance affect him?
38 What good thing can Winston say about himself at the end of this chapter?
39 How does Winston feel about O’Brien? Why?
40 What final question does Winston ask O’Brien? (p. 225-226)
41 How is the Inner Party’s philosophy different from the Controller Mond’s philosophy in Brave New World?
1 How has Winston’s environment changed? What does he do with his time? How does he show his obedience to the Inner Party?
2 How does Winston show that he is not entirely true to Big Brother?
3 How does Winston feel about Big Brother?
What happens in Room 101 and how does this "cure" Winston?
1 What is the setting?
2 What is Winston’s job? (Look up "sinecure" if you don’t know it)
3 How did his meeting with Julia go?
4 How is it evident that Winston really is a different person?
5 What is happening in the last two paragraphs of the book?
THEMATIC DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1 How does the historical background of 1984 impact your understanding and appreciation of the novel?
2 In what ways can Winston be compared to Winston Churchill?
12 How are the actions of the children described by Winston?
13 How is Parsons described? Why does Winston have disgust for him?
14 What is the message Winston hears in a dream? What is meant by "no darkness?"
15 Why does Winston attribute this to O'Brien?
1 The dark haired girl is seen again. What is Winston's initial reaction at first sight of her? How does this change as soon as he sees her fall?
2 How does Winston's attitude toward the girl change from the time he receives the note until after he actually reads it? Why does he put himself through such torture just to read it?
3 What is the message on the note?
4 After he reads the note, Winston tries desperately to find the girl again. What are his fears, and which is his biggest fear? Why would he feel this way?
5 The dark-haired girl 'takes charge' of the relationship firing up between Winston and herself. What is the plan for them to meet (give both plans)? Why might she be the 'brains' of the couple?
6 What do their actions tell you about the unwritten 'rules' of the party?
7 Describe the actual place the two finally are supposed to reach for a liaison. How is its description different from the description of the rest of London?
16 What is the significance of Winston's dream about his mother and sister being down in a deep "saloon"?
17 What is the symbolism in the dark haired girl "throwing aside her uniform" in his dream?
What is revealed about Winston's job?
18 What does he know about the past?
19 What does the telescreen do that is unusual? What does the exercise instructor ask Winston to do?
20 What is INGSOC? What is Doublethink?
1 This part deals primarily with Winston's job. What, exactly, does his job require him to do?
2 Why does he take great delight in his job?
3 What does it mean by the doublethink: "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." (actually part III, pg 32, but relevant here)
pg46, last paragraph--How is Language an instrument of control? of identity?
1 How do the attitudes towards sex reflect the Party's attitudes toward personal relationships? Why are personal relationships a danger to the Political party?
1 This part concerns the proles and prominent party members. What does Winston write which resides in the proles?
2 What are the proles compared to in this section? How are they "free?" How is this contradicted?
3 Who are Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford (pg 65)? How are they a contrast to the proles?
4 Whom does Winston finally realize his diary is written for?
1 This part is a pivotal part for Winston. Why is he in the Proles' section of town? What risk does he run by being there?
2 There are many 'rules' not written down. What are a few of these rules, and what are the consequences for breaking them?
3 What question does Winston try to get the old man to answer?
4 Why do Winston's feet take him to the antique shop? What is the significance of the coral embedded in glass?
5 Winston's introduction to the room above the shop is the climax of the first Section. What does the room symbolize and how does it become Winston's obsessions?
6 The dark haired girl re-surfaces. What are the dangerous implications of her presence in the prole section immediately after Winston leaves the antique shop? Why do you think she pretends not to notice Winston?
7 More of the unwritten rules emerge at the end of part VIII. What are these rules? What is the place of "no darkness?" Why is it significant that this answer appear in this part?
How does the tone of the novel change in this chapter? How does Winston change as he walks through the woods?
8 When the two finally meet, why is Winston unable to accept a relationship with the girl? Why does he wait to learn anything about her?
9 What type of girl is Julia? She identifies Winston as someone who does not 'belong.' What does she mean by this? How does she herself fit this appellation?
10 On pages 103-104, Winston and Julia listen to a thrush sing. Why does this particular occurrence cause the passionate reaction in Winston? What do you think he means when he claims to want Julia to have slept with thousands of men? about the party?
Why would their act be labeled a "political act" on page 105?
1 How does the Party overshadow Winston's and Julia's relationship?
2 What is the "Golden Country?"
3 What feelings towards Katharine does Winston reveal in this chapter, especially at the edge of the chalk-cliffs?
1 What reasons does Winston give for renting the room. Since Julia agreed with such eagerness, does she concur with Winston's decision? What does the room represent to the two of them?
2 Winston describes his disappointment, even the verge of hatred, when Julia tells him she cannot make it one afternoon. (page 116) How is Winston's definition of love changing as his affair with Julia continues?
3 Julia gets some make-up. Winston is astounded when he first sees her. Why do you think he called her more "feminine?" Do you think he is changing his opinion of her as a statement of rebellion? Is he "falling in love?"
4 Why would the coffee and real sugar be such cherished luxuries to Winston and Julia? How do Winston's and Julia's actions reinforce their own disdain for the Party?
5 What fear of Winston's is revealed in this chapter?
6 Pg 124. Winston calls the room a paradise. He comments on the antiquity of it all. How is the room a paradise for him?
7 How does Winston's life improve in standards as his affair with Julia continues? Why?
8 What is Hate Week? Describe some of the preparations for Hate Week.
9 What evidence is given in this chapter to suggest that the war is not real?
10 Pg 127-128. Winston is disturbed by Julia's lack of enthusiasm when she discovers she is wrong about the war and the 'true' enemy. How does her reaction demonstrate a "Victory" of the Party?
11 What does Winston mean when he calls Julia "a rebel from the waist down?" How does the following explanation reinforce the last part of question 5?
12 pg 130. What is Winston's "expected message" in your own words?
13 O'brien coughs to get Winston's attention. Does the following dialogue seem genuine or acted on O'brien's part to you?
14 Does the conversation have the intended meanding Winston attributes to it? Explain. Could this chapter foreshadow some future events? What?
15 What is the "Thought crime" committed in this chapter?
16 pg 132. List the three steps Winston claims to make. To what end is he going?
17 How does O'brien behave towards Winston? Do you think he acts deliberately, as Winston does, to convey some meaning? Explain.
18 Winston spends a great deal explaining his last memories of his mother. What setting does this occur? Why would Winston believe that he had killed his mother?
19 How would you describe the state of the Party's control over the populace at this earlier time in Winston's life?
20 pg 137. What does the statement "The proles are human beings. We are not human," mean?
21 Even though Winston and Julia know that they will ultimately get caught, they still want to continue the affair. Neither seem to fear the confession, nor the subsequetn execution by gunshot. What does Winston identify as the ultimate defeat at the hands of the Party?
1 This is a very important chapter in the novel. Winston and Julia both pay a visit to O'Brien. What had they "done...at last?"
2 Give some examples of how the Inner Party members have 'forbidden' privileges denied to lower Party members such as Winston and Julia.
3 What hope is revealed to Winston on page141-142?
4 When O'Brien asks his questions, it is described as thought ist wre routin, or "a sort of catechism." What does this imply about the litany of the questions?
5 How does the oppositoin to Big Brother remain at large?
6 Pg 146. Reread the segment concerning Winston's briefcase. How do the actions of O'Brien, (and also the explicit instructions surrounding it) mimic those of the Party?
1 What happens on day 6 of Hate Week? How does the Party pull this off?
2 What are the titles of the chapters of "The Book" Winston reads? Where else do these titles exist?
3 Pg 153. Winston reads a lengthy portion of chapter 3. The war is given a definition. How is it defined? How does it relate to the "average man?" What does this suggest about the actual war in which Oceania is engaged?
4 Why does Orwell include detailed passages from Goldstein’s Book in 1984?
5 Notice that Orwell repeats the first paragraph of The Book on p. 152 and p. 166. Why would Orwell repeat himself in that way? What is the purpose?