Research Paper Guidelines
Based upon the novel 1984, select a topic that matches the novel’s overall theme.
Once you select at least 3 themes you are interested in,
- Sex, Love and Loyalty
- Reality Control
- Individual vs. collective identity
Conduct research using various scholarly databases to write a thesis statement and identify evidence to support it.
The Research Paper should be at least 4-7 pages that includes a
- Title Page
- Introduction (thesis included)
- APA STYLE
Nineteen Eighty-Four Love, Sex and Politics
Born Arthur Eric Wright, George Orwell is the author of the controversial Nineteen Eighty-Four published by Secker and Warburg in 1949. The book was his ninth and final book as he suspiciously died on his scot farm due to tuberculosis in 1950. The author’s works were surrounded by controversy in all his books and advocated for freedom and liberty, and based his characters in allegory and symbolism. The irony in his literary style seems hidden; however, the direct implications logically portray specific individuals in the description. In his novel 1984, Orwell addresses the limitations of the governments due to mass surveillance, liberty and freedom, and love. The novel further examines the political decree on truth and facts and the methodologies used to manipulate them to suit the convenience of the aristocrats, politicians, and authorities (Aaronovitch, 2013; UCL Orwell’s Archives, 2009).
The novel’s genre is social science fiction in a dystopian society. An undesirable society that is unsuitable for living in due to the lack of freedom and coercion, the worst part is the consequences impeded on the individuals who oppose the set oppressive laws. The story takes place in an imagined future, the same year as the novel’s title. The world has fallen into a dark pit due to the perpetual wars; citizens’ lack of privacy in their private lives, falsifications of the historical records, and the obvious political propaganda. As Airstrip One, Britain is a province of Oceania ruled by thought police employing party that persecutes independent thinking citizens. The party’s leader is big brother, who uses the influence of media to spread lies and distort information to the public, and ironically might be a façade. The protagonist of the novel is Winston Smith, a skillful party member who hates the party he works dreaming of rebelling against (Crouch, 2013).
The protagonist falls in love with a young attractive lady with whom he falls in love; the relationship was, however, forbade by the party as it disapproved colleague-relations. The couple talked over with O’Brien, a spy that later led to the couple’s capture and led to Smith’s broken spirit and loss of love to his beloved Julia. Smith is an editor in the Ministry of Truth for the party. His job description mandates him to rewrite history and revising old newspapers to underlie with the current visions of the party’s truth. The novel’s ideologies represent the essence of truth in the political lives and highlight the power of love despite the consequences that may surround it—the psychological consequences of totalitarianism and mass surveillance that strips away individualism and identity. Humans are wild spirits, and like animals, our instincts crave freedom when we realize we had been living like prisoners.
Love Sex and Loyalty
In the novel, Orwell depicts love from a different perspective. The leading cause of his marriage’s failure is the policy objective that tried erasing love for anything else other than Big brother and the Party. Winston’s marriage to Katherine eventually lost its spark, ultimately making it cold and damp, sadly ending in separation. The Policy is so strict that it fails to turn a blind eye to the party members’ occasional swinging rendezvous, such as Winston and Julia. Winston’s marriage is a failure to the party as it was not productive in terms of children; the party created situations and conditions that removed Katherine and Winston’s attachment, despite its members’ instincts to reproduce and therefore deems the destruction of marital love essential and significant than the Party. The love in spouses would produce more loyalty to the individuals as opposed to the government. The sexual act removed all sexual pleasure. It kept its focus on the members’ duties. It kept the aversion created hostility in the marriage, and the best Winston could hope for were the memories from his wife, which later stopped from being a painful one and morphed into a distasteful one. It was an improvement as it was a lesser pain over the agony that had been previously accustomed to (Reese, 2004).
Julia and Winston observe the sex and relations policies that caused a sexual hysteria and frustration that harnessed into a leadership-worship and war fever. The reason for the couple to perceive the sexual relations as political acts striking against the narcissistic Party. Winston’s sexual tension before the two began their affair and the sadistic fantasy to own Julia after wearing the red sash aroused resentment and dissipate after learning he could physically possess her. The reason for prohibiting sexual behavior is the conflict of interest in state loyalty, and Winston realizes that the Party would be torn apart. The Party’s alternative to heterosexual love is the leadership bootlicking and an overly emotional patriotic feel. After undergoing interrogation and torture, Winston betrays Julia, leading to him revering to Big brother and O’Brien (Orwell, 1949). When undergoing torture, Winston mentally conditioned O’Brien as the protector that looked despite knowing that he was the betrayer and responsible for his torture. The affection is deeply rooted and does not break even after the ill deeds (Reese, 2004).
Reality Control and Oppression
The government controls Oceania through its numerous surveillances of its citizens, enforcing terror, and spreading propaganda through media. Despite Oceania lacking any legislations and laws, the citizens are punished by the Party through torture, imprisonment, and discrimination due to the thoughts and actions that may cause problems in the future. The telescreens in every citizen’s screen are constant reminders that the government is always watching and observing. The citizens live in fear of being reported by anyone losing the trust of their family members and close friends. Oceania is psychologically and mentally controlled by fallacies that contradict historical data from the past. The chocolate ration was reduced, and the manipulation of the historical reference would prove the ration was more in the past, impossible. The unending job description of Winston and his fellow colleagues in the Department of records included the rewriting of constant change to comply with the party’s version of history. Any ideologies that did not conform with the party were translated or destroyed with a dialect of English that lacked the words to prevent potentially dangerous words that would provoke revolutionary thoughts (LitChart Editors, 2020).
The party subjects its psychological stimulus that overwhelms the mental capacity for independent thinking. The telescreens’ constant blasting propaganda is designed to making failures and shortcomings appear like triumphant successes. The telescreens are also masked as monitors and are equipped with an omnipresent sign that reads “big brother is watching.” The party does not respect family values and structures, encouraging the children to indulge in junior spying by brainwashing and reporting the disloyal individuals. The suppression of sexual desire that implies sex is meant for procreation of new party members alone. The frustrations and intense irritable individuals display extreme magnitudes of hate directed to the Party’s political enemies; the enemies invented them for this sole purpose (SparkNotes Editors, 2020).
The government does not limit to mind control as it also physically controls the citizens. The government is on constant watch for any prevalent signs of disloyalty. Winston is keen on irrelevant details such as facial twitches, which could result in an arrest. The nervous system becomes one’s, own enemy. The Party then forces people to go through physical activity to keep them at exhaustion states and brutal torture for the defying individuals. Winston concludes that nothing beats physical pain and that brimming emotions and moral convictions cannot overcome the magnitudes of the pain. Therefore, the Party controls the victims and convinces them that two plus two equal five (SparkNotes Editors, 2020).
The tool of oppression is used to maintain total control over the people in Oceania and maintain totalitarian power over the state. Winston creates a secret diary to rebel against the Party and Big Brother. However, all of this is in vain as Winston is still oppressed as it can never be shared with anyone and must remain hidden. The diary’s content has a repetitive line “down with big brother” that Winston writes subconsciously; Later, his neighbor Mr. Parson is arrested for uttering Winston’s subconscious creed. Winston also wrote for other people who shared this belief, and in a catastrophic turn of events, O’Brien was among them, who later tortured and finally broke Winston. The government had various mechanisms of oppression. Among them was the hate week’s two-minute hate where citizens are frenzied to working with the wars at which Oceania was involved, Eurasia or Eastasia. The former inner circle member, Emmanuel Goldstein, had detracted and led terrorist groups against the terrorist party. The hate week depicts the pictures to spread their propaganda. Among other forms were depictions of the red sash to symbolize the Junior Anti-sexual league. The party oversaw posting slogans that were meant to inspire fear and cause confusion, which further oppressed the state’s citizens. The slogans were “war is peace, Ignorance is strength and Freedom is slavery,” which were the core foundation of the Party’s creed in the Ministry of Truth (Crouch, 2013; Orwell, 1949).
Individual and Collective Identity
Individual identity is an individuals’ true self that has gradually formed over the years and attaining values, beliefs, and principles. Being true to oneself means being true to what each person holds dear and making the person relate and connect with everything in life, the good and bad experiences. Identity is the main compass that leads to the diversity and uniqueness we all have and leads to various human achievements. In the novel, the government’s practices of oppression and surveillance and forced loyalty conflict with Winston and Julia, and they decide to lead different lives in opposition to the government’s legislation.
The oppression makes the individuals and the collective citizens lose their identity as they lack the liberation to be what they would choose to be. The constant reminder in the slogan that ignorance is strength and freedom is slavery limited their mental thought processes, which led them to fail at seeing the bigger picture and the chains that had enslaved them; they had become sheep with a wolf posing as the shepherd. The totalitarian police and mass surveillance had led to the lurking doom and sadness to the individual and collective citizens who were in constant fear of defying Big Brother. In the bid to avoid torture, which is contradictory to Oceania, it had no rules governing it. They had been imprisoned, and none defied them due to the extreme fear of physical pain and vaporization. They were all conformed to the rules and lost their souls in the process, which led to them living vain and purposeless lives, dulled by lack of vitality.
Most readers often miss the end of the novel and insinuate that the book is a tragedy. The appendix contains chapter talks about the defeat of Big Brother, and its main contribution is the language itself in the future. English is the main language, and Newspeak is the Party’s alternative to replace the old speak. However, it does not happen, and the party’s abolishing act in art, literature, family, curiosity, and pleasure as newspeak was hard to translate into old speak. Orwell intriguingly exemplifies this as the Independence declaration. The people’s consent is respected and given the right to express themselves when the government fails to honor them, a future with freedom and a likely dissent (Frost, 2013). Orwell’s insight was courageous and admirable; he literary hid the allegations under ignorant allegories that led him to trouble with the authorities. The Appendix is the oasis of hope in ending the dystopian society in Oceania.
Aaronovitch, David (2013). 1984: George Orwell’s road to dystopia. BBC News. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21337504
Crouch, Ian (2013). So, Are We Living in 1984? The New Yorker. Retrieved https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/so-are-we-living-in-1984
Frost, Laura (2013). You probably didn’t read the most telling part of Orwell’s “1984”—the
appendix. Retrieved https://qz.com/95696/you-probably-didnt-read-the-most-telling-part-of-orwells-1984-the-appendix/
LitChart Editors (2020). Reality Control in 1984 by George Orwell. Retrieved https://www.litcharts.com/lit/1984/themes/reality-control
Orwell, George (1949). 1984. (PDF) Secker and Warburg Publishers. Retrieved https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/1984.pdf
Reese, James Robert (2004). 1984 and Love. Retrieved https://robertjamesreese.com/essays/1984-and-love
SparkNotes Editors, (2020). 1984 by George Orwell. Retrieved https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/1984/themes/
UCL Orwell Archives. (2009). George Orwell. Retrieved https://web.archive.org/web/20090227083521/http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/special-coll/orwell.shtml