1984 Literary Guide

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Newspeak, Literary technique Pages: 5 (1294 words) Published: April 20, 2015
1984 Literary Guide

Section One (pages 1-104)
Chapter I

1. What is the effect of the juxtaposition at the beginning of this section? 2. How is paradox involved with the descriptions of the government ministries? 3. How is paradox found in the description of Victory Gin?

4. What is ironic about the statement that “nothing was illegal since there were no longer any laws”? 5. Look at the syntax in Winston’s journal entry for April 4, 1984. What is the effect? 6. Describe how the Junior Anti-Sex League sash is an example of paradox? 7. How does O’Brien’s physical description contain contradiction? 8. Why does Goldstein’s influence never seem to decline? Why doesn’t the government capture him? 9. What are some techniques used on the telescreen to encourage the Party Members’ hatred of Goldstein? 10. What is the source of the power behind the hatred that the viewers feel? 11. Find and explain the allusion in Chapter 1.

12. Winston is sexually frustrated with Julia. How does the syntax reflect this? 13. Why does the Big Brother chant fill Winston with horror?

Chapter II

1. What is the rhetorical effect of the physical description of Mrs. Parsons? 2. What does the statement “We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness” mean? 3. How is it apparent that Winston is desensitized to war?

4. How does Winston’s descent into “thoughcrime” give his life more urgency?

Chapter III

1. Explain the significance of Winston’s dream in the saloon of a ship. 2. Explain the effect of the Shakespeare allusion in this chapter. 3. Why does the Party never acknowledge when it changes from fighting Eurasia to Eastasia? 4. During Winston’s descrption of doublethink, anaphora is used. What is the effect of this?

Chapter IV

1. What is the metaphoric meaning of the memory holes?
2. What is the effect of the oxymoron “armies of reference clerks?” 3. Why are people allowed to leave the Ministry of Love for a year or two before being executed for thoughtcrimes? 4. What is the effect of Winston’s inner debate over how to honor Comrade Ogilvy?

Chapter V

1. What is perhaps the most grotesque sign of the desensitization that has taken place in Oceania with regard to violence, in Syme and Winston’s conversation? 2. Is “ungood” clearer in meaning than “bad”? Why, or why not? 3. Explain how Newspeak is a metaphor.

4. How is Winston’s prophecy of Syme’s imminent disappearance ironic? 5. What is the effect of comparing the man from the Fiction Department to a duck? 6. Why is it ironic that the party puts forth the Aryan look (blond hair/blue eyes) as an ideal? 7. What is ironic about Parsons’ praise for the Ministry of Plenty? 8. How is humor used at the end of this section?

Chapter VI

1. Why is the memory of the prostitute so frustrating for Winston? 2. According to the Party what is the most harmful part of the sex act? 3. What has Winston come to want most about sex? What is significant about this?

Chapter VII

1. Why is it ironic that the proles get so outraged by a shortage of cooking pots? 2. What is ironic about the Party’s claims that, before the revolution, children had been sold into factories at age six? 3. Why are the Party’s statistics meaningless?

4. Can you identify the foreshadowing in this chapter?

Chapter VIII

1. What is the effect of the whiff of genuine coffee at the beginning of the section? 2. How is the Party interaction at the Community Center compared to a machine? 3. What, to the Proles, is a “serious piece of news”?

4. What is the effect of the old man’s complaint about the change from pints to half-liters of beer? 5. Why does Winston buy the coral?
6. Explain the irony behind Winston’s choice not to buy the picture on the wall.

Section Two (pp 105-224)

Chapter I

1. What is ironic (and humorous) about Winston’s thoughts when Julia hands him a note? 2. What effect does Julia’s note have on Winston?
3. What is significant about the statue of Oliver Cromwell?...
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