Message

Warning against totalitarianism

George Orwell’s main intention with Nineteen Eighty-Four is to warn against totalitarianism. By describing the terrible reality that might result if we let politics move in a totalitarian direction, Orwell tries to show the readers that they must take an active stance and reject such developments.

This message is conveyed throughout the book, but it is perhaps made most clear in O’Brien’s disturbing monologue in Part III, when he talks about the future di…

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Warning against propaganda

Orwell also intends to show the power of state propaganda, which is meant as a warning about the importance of being able to recognise and reject such propaganda. Winston serves as the good example for most of the book, as he is one of the very few people in Oceanic society who somehow seems to have escaped its influence. He is focused on the importance of truth, so the amount of lies and manipulation that is involved in the Party’s propaganda machine seems particularly horrible to him, and he is usually able to see through it quite efficiently. Note …

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The importance of personal identity

Nineteen Eighty-Four also deals with the importance of personal identity. One of the most frightening aspects of the dystopian society Orwell describes is that it leaves extremely little room for people to ‘be themselves’. Because of constant surveillance and zero tolerance for people who do not follow the norms of the Party, i…

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