1984 Studyguide+Answers

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One: I, II, III

1. Who is the main character? Briefly describe the main character. The main character is Winston Smith. He is about thirty-nine years old.

2. What is the setting of the novel? Give the country and the city. The novel is set in and around London, which is the main city of Airstrip One, a province of the country of Oceania.

3. What are the three slogans of the Party? Write them the way they are shown in the novel. WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

4. What does the caption on the posters say?
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.

5. Name each of the Ministries and explain its function. Also include the Newspeak name for each ministry.
The Ministry of Truth, or Minitrue, is concerned with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts. The Ministry of Peace, or Minipax, is concerned with war. The Ministry of Love, or Miniluv, maintains law and order. The Ministry of Plenty, or Miniplenty is responsible for economic affairs.

6. What date does the main character record?
April 4th , 1984

7. Describe the two people the main character sees just before the Two Minutes Hate. Tell what he thinks of each of these people.
He sees a girl of about age 27 who works in the Fiction Department. She looks like the ideal young Party member. Winston feels uneasy and hostile whenever he sees her. The other character is a man named O’Brien. He is a member of the Inner Party and does some kind of very important work, although Winston does not know exactly what it is. Winston is attracted to O’Brien. He thinks O’Brien is someone he could talk to.

8. Explain the importance of Emmanuel Goldstein. Also describe the way his image looks. Emmanuel Goldstein is the Enemy of the People. He had been a leading member of the Party but then turned traitor. All crimes against the Party are attributed to his teaching. His image is shown on the telescreen and on posters to create hatred among Party members. He looks Jewish with fuzzy white hair and a goatee beard. His nose is long and thin. He wears glasses. He supposedly commands an army of conspirators called The Brotherhood.

9. Explain the importance of Big Brother. Also describe the way his image looks. Big Brother is the leader of the Party. He has black hair, a black mustache, and looks calm and powerful.

10. What crime does the main character commit? How does he do this? What is the punishment? Smith commits Thoughtcrime when he opens the diary and when he writes “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” in it. The punishment is vaporization.

11. What is the telescreen and how is it used?
The telescreen is a large screen that sends and receives images and sounds at the same time. Telescreens are in all workplaces and homes. The Thought Police regularly monitor them.

12. Describe thoughtcrime and give an example.
Thoughtcrime is thinking anything against the Party. Orwell describes it as “the essential crime that contained all others in itself.” Thoughtcrime could not be concealed forever. Eventually the Thought Police would get whoever committed thoughtcrime. Winston committed an act of thoughtcrime when he wrote in his diary.

One: IV, V, VI

1. What happens to the rewritten news articles after Winston puts them into the pneumatic tube? Why is this significant?
An edition of the Times is reprinted to include the revisions. Then the original edition is destroyed. In this way, the past is always kept up to date with the present. All predictions made by the Party are always correct.

2. Winston thinks that what he does is not forgery. What does he think it is? Winston thinks it is the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. The material has no connection with the real world.

3. What is Winston’s greatest pleasure in his life, and why is it so? His greatest pleasure is his work. He thinks he is good at the type of rewriting that he has to do.

4. Describe the aim of Newspeak and how it works.
The main aim of Newspeak is to narrow...
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