Physical setting

Overview

Most of the plot takes place in the city of London. How…

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London

London is part of Airstrip One (previously England or Britain, p. 34), a province within Oceania (p. 5). Oceania is one of three superpowers which are in control of the earth at this point in history, alongside Eurasia and Eastasia. We are told in an extract from ‘Goldstein’s book’ that “Oceania comprises the Americas, the Atlantic islands including the British Isles, Australasia, and the southern portion of Africa” (p. 193).

London is described in mostly negative terms. It is clearly a city dominated by pove…

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The countryside

The brief description of the countryside marks a very strong contrast to the description of London. It stands out from the rest of the book because it is descr…

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The room above the junk shop

Like the countryside, the room above the junk shop comes to represent a safe haven for Winston and Julia, a place where they can finally be themselves and enjoy their relationship without being disturbed by the outside world.

The room also ha…

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The Ministry of Love

The Ministry of Love is the headquarters of the police force (including the Thought Police), where both Winston and Julia are sent when they are caught at the end of Part II. At the beginning of the story, we get a brief description of what this heavily guarded complex looks like from the outside (which foreshadows the important role it will play in Part III):

The Ministry of Love was the really frightening one. There were no windows in it at all. [...] It was …

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A note on technology  

Compared to many other famous science-fiction stories, the level of technological advancement described in Nineteen Eighty-Four is surprisingly low, as Orwell’s main focus is to warn against the consequences of politicaldevelopments, not technological developments.  

Goldstein’s book also not…

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