Theme of Betrayal in the Novel “1984” by George Orwell

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Spencer Aksland
Mr. Dunne
English 12
October 4, 2012

In the novel “1984” by George Orwell the theme of betrayal is reoccurring throughout. We see different elements of betrayal in each part of this book. From the reader’s introduction into the society of Oceania. To the events leading up to the ultimate betrayal. The character that we see this world through is Winston Smith. His experience is meant to be that of the average party member. What he goes through could be the same as many others, giving the sense of how deeply betrayal is engrained into the world of “1984.”

In the first part of the book Winston Smith is introduced as a party member who has a slightly rebellious side. His world is full of telescreens, hidden microphones, and spies that show the government’s distrust of its citizens. They cannot say, do, or even think anything against the head political figure, Big Brother. The citizens of Oceania must stay on their toes at all times, even when in their own house’s. Children are hailed as “Child Hero’s” when they betray their parents and turn them in for thought crime. Winston lives in a world in which parents must fear the betrayal of their own children. Oceania is a society that promotes the division of families through fear.

In part two it is shown how one’s unrest will lead to their eventual act of rebellion under totalitarian rule. It starts with just the writing in a journal, a thought crime punishable by death. It wasn’t long before Winston found someone just as himself, Julia. They found ways in which to meet and canoodle. They give each other hope, happiness, and something to look forward to everyday. This bounds them to each other, gives them something to hold onto, they make a promise to not give the other up. They seemed to be in love, and love makes people do foolish things and take foolish risks, risks such as renting out a space for them to meet at. But what they didn’t know was that this was what the party was planning on....
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