1984 alot

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How old is Winston? What is a unique physical feature about him? Why might the author choose to include this?

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How old is Winston? What is a unique physical feature about him? Why might the author choose to include this?

Winston is 39 years old. He has a varicose ankle ulcer. Winston's varicose ulcer is an expression of his consistently repressed humanity: repressed emotions, actions, sexuality, etc. His ulcer is introduced on the first page and begins itching terribly before he begins his journal. Orwell continues to refer to the ulcer throughout the work, and it gets better when he's living in a more natural, less repressed manner with Julia.

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What image is present in Winston's apartment? What is the caption below it?

image: Big Brother; 1-meter wide caption: Big Brother is watching you

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What is a telescreen? What is it capable of doing?

Telescreens operate as televisions, security cameras, and microphones. They both receive and transmit information.

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What is the Party's slogan? How do these ideas seem contradictory?

WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH The words are antonyms and are paradoxical or ironic.

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What four departments control the government? What is interesting about their names and their corresponding functions in society?

The Ministry of Truth (Minitru) deals with historical Records. The Ministry of Peace (Minipax) wages war. The Ministry of Love (Miniluv) is basically the White House. The Ministry of Plenty (Miniplenti) plans economic shortages.

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What item did Winston buy in a junk shop in the slums? What does he intend on doing with this item? Why is this a risky thing for Winston to do?

Winston bought a diary and intends to write entries in it. Keeping a diary in 1984 Oceania is punishable by death, or at least 25 years in a forced labor camp.

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What is the Two Minute Hate? What does it consist of, and what is its purpose?

The Two Minute Hate is a show in which the Party's enemy, Emmanuel Goldstein, flashes across telescreens multiple times a day. It sparks fervent emotions among Party members and allows them to channel their hatred against enemies to the party or any form of dissent (emotional control).

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Who is the focus of the Two Minute Hate? Who does this person directly allude to in history? Can you think of any examples of this in today's world?

The focus of the two minutes of hate is Emmanuel Goldstein. He directly alludes to Leon Trotsky. Examples in today's world: Trump.

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Who is O'Brien and what is his role in the government? What happens between him and Winston that gives him hope?

O'Brien is a member of the Inner Party, he works in the department of Miniluv. Winston and O'Brien made eye contact. Winston felt that they were both thinking the same things. These thoughts are, however, largely dependent on a dream Winston had in which a man, similar to O'Brien, told him that they will, "meet in the place where there is no darkness."

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What are Winston's feelings toward Big Brother?

Remembering the O'Brien event, Winston unknowingly wrote "DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER." Winston hates Big Brother, but his emotions change (see: last line of the book).

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Who is at Winston's door? What does this person want?

Mrs. Parsons is at Winston's door. She asks Winston to unclog her sink.

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How long does it take for repairs to get done in this society? Why is this?

Repairs, except what you could do for yourself, had to be sanctioned by remote committees which were liable to hold up even the mending of a window-pane for two years.

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How is Parsons described? What is the role of a person like him in society?

A fat, obnoxious, and dull Party member who lives near Winston and works at the Ministry of Truth. He has a dull wife and a group of suspicious, ill-mannered children who are members of the Junior Spies

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Describe the Parsons's children. Why are they so dangerous?

The Parsons's children are members of the Spies and Youth League and are Party supporters. Winston said they were like lion cubs who will soon grow up to be man-eaters. Their indoctrination by the Party through the Junior Spies is representative of the next generation of blind loyalty to the Party.

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What additional news does the victory in India bring?

The victory in India brought may well bring the war within measurable distance of its end.

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Explain this quote: "Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull."

The only thing not shared or monitored by the Party were your thoughts still inside your head.

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How does one carry on the human heritage?

by staying sane

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What is a thoughtcrime?

thinking of anything that the Thought Police and the Party deems illegal (any dissent).

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During Winston's dream (in Part 1), what is happening to his family? Whose fault is this?

Winston's family was hiding underground. He said it was his fault because his family sacrificed themselves out of love.

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During Winston's dream (not the war one, the sex one), what does the girl with dark hair do? What part of this action does Winston enjoy?

The girl with the dark hair effortlessly takes off her clothes with one hand. What overwhelmed him was the gesture with which she had thrown her clothes aside. With its grace and carelessness, it seemed to annihilate a whole culture, a whole system of thought, as though Big Brother and the Party and the Thought Police could all be swept into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm.

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Why does Winston have such a hard time remembering his own family history? What is not available that makes his job more difficult?

Winston's memories have been wiped out because it was part of the past, before the Revolution. All past records and pictures and history are unavailable.

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How often is the Party at war with another country?

The Party is always at war. Oceania switches allies and enemies often, and is not usually at war with the same entity for very long.

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Define "doublethink."

the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously and accepting both of them

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What eerie thing happens during Winston's exercising in front of the telescreen?

The lady told Winston to reach further because he wasn't reaching far enough; it's creepy because she can see him through the telescreen.

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What does the Party do to the past? Give an example.

The Party eliminates the past. Winston knew some things about the past, but there was no evidence, e.g. his family's vaporization.

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What are the incinerators called? Why would they be called this?

Memory Holes They get rid of original copies.

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What department does Winston work in, and what is his job there?

Winston works in the Ministry of Truth. His job was to revise original copies and make new ones that would benefit the government. He usually writes in Oldspeak and then translates to Newspeak.

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What is the difference between materials given to the proles and the Party members? Why do you think they would do that?

.The Party members get significantly more and better quality materials. The allegiance of Party members is significantly more important than that of the prole, so appeasing any inherent materialistic desires of these people is necessary.

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What does Winston do in order to "rectify" an old newspaper article?

He invents a new person, General Ogilvy.

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Who is Syme? How is he described?

Syme is Winston's "friend"/comrade who works in the Research Department. He is short, has dark hair, and has large eyes.

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According to Syme, when will the Revolution be complete? Why do you think this is?

The Revolution will be complete when there will be a "perfect language" that everyone can understand (2050). By perfecting Newspeak, Thoughtcrime will cease to exist as there will be no language to express it, and there will be total and indeterminable loyalty to the Party.

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Why does our language have synonyms and antonyms? Why would Newspeak want to eliminate as many of these as possible?

Our language has synonyms and antonyms for the justification of words. Newspeak wants to eliminate as many all of these since there is no need for a word to contain the opposite of itself. Also, no more language = no more ThoughtCrime ;))

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Who does Winston claim will eventually become an unperson? Why? Who does he claim will never be killed? Why?

Winston claims that Syme will eventually become an unperson because he's too smart. He claims that Parsons will never be killed because he is active in Party activities and is vapid af.

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What does the Ministry of Plenty claim has happened with regard to production? How does this contrast to what really happened? Who believes it?

The Ministry of Plenty claims that they have exceeded all production goals. Winston knows that production didn't meet the stated goals, but production will always be reported far higher than expected and than is true.

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What is the most dangerous thing that would give your thought crime away?

The beating of your heart; you can't control it but it can give you away to the telescreen

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What did the Party attempt to do the act of having sex? Why would they do this?

The Party attempted to remove all pleasure from sex; eliminate the orgasm and reserve sex for procreation. They do not want anyone to feel love.

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Who is Katharine? What does Winston think of her?

Katharine is Winston's wife. Winston was thinking that she had the most stupid, vapid, and empty mind that he had ever encountered.

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When Katharine and Winston had sex, what was the thing that disturbed him the most about it? Why would this disturb him so much?

Katharine would clasp him against her. Winston had the feeling that she was simultaneously pushing him away with all of her strength. She would say that sex was their 'duty to the Party'.

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What does Winston do in the past (which he is writing about in his journal) that he deeply regrets and that deeply disgusts him?

Winston deeply regrets succumbing to the lust in prostitution.

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Who are the proles and why is there only hope in them? How much percent of the population are proles?

The proles are the working class of Oceania (proletarians). They make up 85% of Oceania's population.

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Why does Winston state that "If there was hope, it must lie with the proles."?

They don't know their power, there are so many of them that they're the only group that can overthrow. They aren't punished for associating with each other so an uprising would be feasible.

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How are the proles presented in the novel? What kind of people are they? How are they treated differently from the Inner and Outer Party and why?

Animalistic; the animals and the proles are "free". Lower class, thick accents. Stupid. They are cast out and are disregarded as people. No effort is made to indoctrinate the proles.

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Why is it easy for the government to keep the proles under control? What is the proles' primary concern? What means do they use to control them?

The government taught people that the proles were natural inferiors. The proles are equated with animals, in that the prole and the animals are 'free'. The proles' primary concern is working and producing children. The government removed proles that seemed like threats, and controls them by dropping rocket bombs on occasion to convey the illusion of war and to continue to instill fear.

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What does the children's history book claim the past was like? Who ran the world?

The children's history book claims that starving children worked for cruel masters. Capitalist men ruled the world. They always wore long black coats with top hats, with wicked faces and the ability to have sex with anyone they chose.

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What piece of evidence does Winston come across that proves that the past was fabricated?

Winston was at work and a newspaper clipping, describing the three men at a function in NY on the date that Rutherford, Aaronson, and Jones had confessed to being in Eurasia, came into his workplace.

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What does Winston do with the photograph?

After hiding it from the telescreen, he destroys the photo by putting it down the Memory Hole.

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Regarding the alteration of the past, what does Winston understand and what does he not understand? What do you think the answer is to the part that he cannot understand?

Winston understands HOW, but he doesn't understand WHY. WHY: Those in power will do whatever it takes to stay in power. 'Pure power' is why.

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Explain this quote: "if both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable - what then?"

The past and the external world can be manipulated and controlled, since the mind can be controlled and these two entities only exist inside the mind.

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Explain this quote: "freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows."

Winston thinks that if he can hold onto a truth like 2 + 2 = 4, then he has a foundation of reality and can resist the Party's attempt to instill in him lies.

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Do party members ever spend time alone? Explain.

No, unless they're in bed. They were not permitted to spend time alone for fear of original thought against the party.

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What is ownlife? Is this something that the Party promotes? Why?

Ownlife- individualism and eccentricity The Party doesn't approve of it, as it is not coherent with the ideals of the Party.

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Why is it dangerous for Winston to walk through the proles' slums?

There are frequent rocket bomb attacks. The Party can track/find him and deduce Thought Crime and condemn him to torture or death.

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What is a "steamer"?

The nickname for rocket bombs which are dropped on the proles. They are dropped often, as is suggested by the way in which the proles can detect their coming. These are most likely sent by Oceania itself to keep fear instilled in the Proles (due to "war") to continue to control the population.

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What is Winston wearing that makes him stand out to the proles?

The blue overalls of the Party, as well as nice shoes.

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What does Winston do to the human hand he finds in the gutter?

He kicks it to the side and continues walking.

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Why is it significant that the proles are arguing about the Lottery? Consider how this debate would aid in the Party controlling them.

The proles arguing about the Lottery is significant because it is something that the Party controls.

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How is the Lottery described? Do you believe this is similar to our lotteries today?

The Lottery is described as the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention.

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Why does Winston speak with the older prole who is in the pub? What information does he get out of him? Why is this somewhat devastating to Winston?

.The elderly proles were alive during the Revolution. And since the Proles were more freely reigned, they would actually be able to account of their earlier life candidly and truthfully. He can't get any information out of the man because he doesn't really answer Winston's questions.

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What item does Winston buy from the antique shop? Why would he want an item such as this?

Winston buys a piece of coral in a hemisphere of glass from the antique shop. He would want an item like this because it is something you rarely find in a world like they live in. This emotional connection is his first introduction to art and reminds him that there was something better in the past.

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What item is not in the upstairs home of Mr. Charrington?

There are no telescreens in the upstairs home of Mr. Charrington. (lmao)

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Who does Winston notice leaving Mr. Charrington's shop? What does he think about doing to her?

Winston notices the dark-haired girl from the Ministry of Truth while leaving. He considers bashing her skull in with the paperweight or the cobblestone. He thought she was spying on him so if she turned him in he would've been vaporized. This displays the element of paranoia in Winston.

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Before the thought police come to get you, what is the best thing to do?

commit suicide so you won't get tortured

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Explain this quote: "It struck him that in moments of crisis, one is never fighting against an external enemy but always against one's own body."

We are our own worst enemy

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What transpires between the girl with dark hair and Winston in the hallway? What does she give him? What does it say?

The girl with dark hair and Winston are alone in the hallway when she 'trips'. She gives him a piece of paper that says, "I love you."

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Why is Winston's life so difficult in the days following his receiving the note from the dark haired girl?

Winston tries to determine how to get in touch with the girl and can't get her off of his mind. He is very paranoid because:

  1. She might be an agent of an underground organization to recruit him. This was a fleeting idea.

  2. She could be part of the Thought Police.

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Where do Winston and the dark haired girl meet after work?

Winston and the dark haired girl meet in Victory Square after work.

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How often are foreigners seen in Oceania? Why would this be the case (i.e. what would the Party gain from this)?

Foreigners are not seen often in Oceania. The Party would gain nothing from foreigners, and this may even cause Oceanians to understand that life can be different and lead to dissent.

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How precise are the dark haired girl's instructions?

Julia takes complete control and outlines a plan for him to take a train from Paddington Station to the countryside.

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Even though there are no telescreens in the country, why is it still dangerous to speak freely?

It is still dangerous to speak freely in the country because the Thought Police could still capture you due to the microphones.

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What are Julia's feelings towards the Inner Party members?

Julia loathes the Inner Party members because they are power-hungry people.

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Julia says, "Always yell with the crowd...it's the only way to be safe." Does this statement contradict what she and Winston are doing? Is this a good way to live one's life?

This statement contradicts what Julia and Winston are doing because they are breaking Party rules. It is not a good way to win one's life.

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When Julia asks Winston what he thought of her before that day, how does he respond?

Winston states that he wanted to rape her and murder her. He thought she was a member of the Thought Police.

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What does Julia say when Winston asks, "have you done this before?" Why is Winston so happy about her response?

"Hundreds of times, well scores of times anyway", and all with party members. She's a player. He thought she was chaste before due to her Junior Anti-Sex League sash.

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In the context of the story, explain why Winston says" "I have purity, I have goodness! I don't want any virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones."

The reason Winston is so happy that Julia is not pure and virtuous is because that means she is different. She's not the brainwashed party member anymore. Winston is sick of everyone being the same. She likes that Julia is passionate and loves the act of love, not just Winston as a person. Winston is not used to that because all his former experiences with sex, either involve his wife Katherine who thought of it as a duty, or the prole prostitutes.

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Julia's act of ripping off her clothing is considered to be "a gesture by which a whole civilization seemed to be annihilated." Why is this act so power in the context of the society in which they live?

Julia's act of ripping off her clothing is considered to be powerful in this society because it is a rebellious act against the Party's strict sex regulations.

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How is Julia and Winston having sex a political act?

Their feelings were passionate rather than forceful. The Party only encourages sex to produce children so their sex was rebellious.

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What type of meetings do Winston and Julia typically have? Why are they so short?

Winston and Julia typically end up having sex. Julia then proceeds to leave casually. She is super involved in everything to appear like a good Outer Party member: i.e. Junior Anti-Sex League. They have sixty hour work weeks and their off-days don't coincide with one another. This is why they have to meet in short intervals and infrequent times.

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What did Julia use as a camouflage?

the Junior Anti-Sex League

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How is Julia described?

Julia enjoys working, is 26 years old, and not clever but very well adapted when it comes to machinery. a. Conniving (pg. 129 She obviously had a practical cunning which Winston lacked) b. Daring/Fearless (pg. 127 She's had sex hundreds of times, always with party members) c. Naïve (pg. 138 She was very young. She still expected something from life. She did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing.) d. Rebellious (pg. 138 She would not accept it as a law of nature that the individual is always defeated; rebellious from the waist down) e. Vivacious (pg. 139 Don't you enjoy being alive? Don't you like feeling: this is me, this is my hand, this is my leg, I'm real, I'm solid, I'm alive!)

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Does Julia think that the Party and therefore society will ever change?


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According to Julia, why does the Party not want you to engage in sexual activities?

During sex, you waste energy and don't care about anything afterwards. The Party wants you to have built up energy to put use for the Party.

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Describe Pornosec.

Pornosec is pornography created in the Department of Fiction and is only distributed to the proles. Only women in the Outer Party were permitted to work on it because it is more difficult to suppress the sexual desires of men.

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When did Julia have her first love affair?

Age 16, with a 60-year old member of the party member.

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What does Julia think of the Brotherhood?

She thinks it doesn't exist. She had never heard of the Brotherhood and refused to believe in its existence (pg. 134). Any organized revolt against the party would be bound to fail and is stupid.

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What is 'goodthinkful'?

This is Newspeak: naturally orthodox, and incapable of thinking a bad thought. Like Katharine or Parsons.

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What incident does Winston recall between himself and Katharine? What does Julia say he should have done? Does Winston agree?

Winston and Katharine got lost in the woods. When Winston saw flowers on the edge of a cliff and help Katharine. Julia says he should have pushed her over the edge. Winston doesn't agree. Julia is naive in thinking that pushing an inconvenient person of a cliff would solve anything.

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What place do Julia and Winston take as their new meeting point? Why is this set up so ideal?

The new meeting point is the room above Mr. Charrington's store. It is ideal because it lacks a telescreen.

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How is music constructed in this society?

Verisfactor created music in this society.A versificator is a machine that the music department uses to create lyrics for the proles without any human input.

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Julia shows up with groceries. Where did she get them?

She gets them from the Inner Party. She gets things like real bread, real sugar, and real coffee.

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Who is singing outside? How is this described?

A red-armed woman is singing outside. It is described as sweet summer air, very tuneful, and charged with a sort of happy melancholy.

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What do we find out that Winston is deadly afraid of?


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What does the paperweight represent? Describe it.

The paperweight represents " a chunk of history that they've forgotten to alter." It is a piece of coral in a hemisphere of glass. Winston likes it because it is worthless to the Party and is like a link to the past for him. It symbolizes the inability of disturbance of him and Julia while in that upstairs room above the antique shop. It is also symbolic of the Old Ways.

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Nursery rhymes are mentioned throughout the novel. What is Orwell pointing out by mentioning nursery rhymes so often?

These are links to the past, before the Revolution. Music is another form of beauty and human spirit which the Party members are unable to engage in.

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Who has vaporized? Why do you think he has vaporized?

Syme has vanished because he knew too much/was too smart

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What is the image on the newly created poster? What event is this poster for?

The newly created poster has a Eurasian soldier wielding a machine gun on it. The poster is for Hate Week.

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How are the proles acting because of this event? How do they normally act?

The proles were being lashed into patriotism. They are normally apathetic about war.

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Why would bombings become more frequent during Hate Week?

Bombings are more frequent during Hate Week because the Party is scaring the citizens and wants them to be as fervent about war as possible throughout the week.

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List 5 non-violent preparations being made for Hate Week.

  1. Songs were written

  2. Rumors were circulated

  3. New poster with Mongolian soldier

  4. Military parades

  5. Fake photographs were created

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List 3 acts of violence likely engineered by the Party for Hate Week.

  1. Rocket bombs

  2. Goldstein burned in effigy

  3. The old people with their house set on fire

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What is Julia's explanation for the bombings? Why would this happen?

Julia suggests that the bombs were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself.

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