1984 Questions

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Chapter 1 Questions

Sections I-II
1. Describe Victory Mansions. Why is the name ironic? Victory Mansions, Winston’s home, is a smelly, run-down place with no electricity in the daytime and an inoperable elevatior. It is certainly no mansion. 2. Describe Winston Smith. Frail, blonde, 39, blue overalls, nervous, depressed 3. What kind of invasion of privacy exist in Oceania? The two-way telescreen, the Police Patrol swooping down in helicopters to peer in people’s windows, the constant fear of being targeted as an enemy by the Thought Police, the posters of Big Brother with reminders the “Big Brother is Watching You.” 4. What are the three slogans of the party? War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength 5. What are the four ministries and their purposes? The Ministry of Truth oversees news, entertainment, education, and the arts. The Ministry of Peace is in charge of war. The Ministry of Plenty is concerned with economic affairs, and the Ministry of Love enforces laws. 6. Why was it such a terrible thing for Winston to write a diary? It indicated that he was expressing thoughts not planted in his head by the Party. What does the account in his diary tell you about this society? They are completely oblivious to human rights. 7. What hope does Winston have about O’Brien? That he is intelligent and politically unorthodox; that he knows something about the Brotherhood. 8. Who is Emmanuel Goldstein? The enemy of the people and the focus of the Two Minutes Hate. What purpose does he serve the government? It gives the people a “traitor” to unite against, reinforcing their own witless devotion. How did Winston sometimes feel toward Goldstein? His heart went out to him. In what other ways was Winston’s hate channeled? Toward the girl with dark hair, who was pretty and sexless and seemed very orthodox. 9. What “thoughtcrime” did Winston commit? He wrote “Down with Big Brother” over and over in his diary. What happens to those arrested by the Thought Police? They are vaporized and their existence is forgotten. 10. What amusements do the Parsons children enjoy? They play “Thought Police;” they go to hangings, hikes, and drills with their youth group, the Spies. 11. What had Winston dreamed seven years ago? That O’Brien whispered to him, “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.” What do you think this could mean? 12. In Oceania’s society, what is the only thing that can be counted as one’s own? “a few cubic centimeters inside your skull.” To what does this refer? Thoughts. 13. Why does Winston consider himself a dead man? Because he is guilty of thoughtcrime, and he knows he will be found out eventually. Appendix

1. What is the purpose of Newspeak? To provide a medium of expression appropriate to the proper mental attitude of Ingsoc devotees, all unnecessary words are to be purged. 2. Into what three distinct classes are the vocabularies divided, and what are the purposes of each? A vocabulary, for everyday life; B vocabulary, compound words such as goodthink, crimethought, used for political purposes; C vocabulary, scientific and technical terms. 3. What happened to books written before 1960? Most were destroyed, but some were rewritten. Sections III-V

1. Describe Winston’s dream about his mother. He was high above his mother and sister, watching them drown in a sinking ship. Why did his dream affect his so deeply? He realized that his mother sacrificed her life for him; he realized that love, loyalty and depthj of emotion like his mother’s no longer existed, and that he was too young and selfish to ever have expressed his love for his mother to her. What do Winston’s memories of his mother symbolize? The past, when emotions existed. 2. Why doesn’t tragedy exist in Winston’s world? There can be no tragedy if there is no emotion and no privacy. In what way is tragedy an important part of our lives? We can “learn” from the tragedies that happen to...
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