Themes

Totalitarianism

One of the main themes of Nineteen Eighty-Four is totalitarianism, as many sections of the book are focused on describing ‘the perfect totalitarian…

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Surveillance

Nineteen Eighty-Four is heavily focused on the theme of government surveillance, as it takes place in a society where citizens are watched constantly.

In the novel, this is particularly seen through the government’s use of th…

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Propaganda

Orwell’s novel is also focused on the power of government propaganda.

The Ministry of Truth is described as an extremely efficient propaganda machine, specialised in producing fake news reports and media designed to control the population’s thoughts. They even have strategies for altering existing propaganda - recalling books and altering records whenever it becomes necessar…

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The nature of reality

The novel also contains a philosophical theme about the nature of reality itself. Winston clings to the idea that reality exists outside of what human beings might believe, but the Party’s rule is based on the belief that reality depends on …

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