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Symbols and Themes in 1984

Symbols and Themes in 1984

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1984 Literary elements - Themes and Symbols ( Big Brother is Watching You)

Storyboard Text

  • The Ministry of Truth
  • The names of these organizations/buildings are paradoxes; the Ministry of Truth changes the truth through propaganda constantly; the Ministry of Love tortures people; the Ministry of Peace is where wars are planned; and the Ministry of Plenty is a lie because the rations for the people are always running out. The Ministries hold the truth about the government: it is one big lie. These buildings are also used to help suppress any incidents of free thought or speech.
  • Big Brother represents the power of the Party, and the pinnacle of the propaganda machine. It is unclear whether or not he truly exists, since he never seems to age, and since readers are privy to what goes on at the "Ministry of Truth”. He is plastered on posters and on telescreens all over Oceania, and citizens are constantly reminded that “Big Brother is Watching You”, to control their thoughts and actions at all times.
  • Big Brother is Watching YOU
  • The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein
  • For Winston, Emmanuel Goldstein’s book represents hope, a potential way to revolutionize and overthrow this oppressive government and bring back free thought and personal independence. However, once Winston actually reads the book, he feels let down because he gets a history of how Ingsoc came to be, but he doesn’t get the why it came to be, or even what can be done about it. He thinks the book will hold the key, or some answers, to solving their current predicament.
  • ROOM 101
  • ROOM 101
  • Room 101 holds everyone’s deepest fear. For Winston, it is rats. Room 101 is where people go to have their spirits completely broken. When Winston is faced with a cage full of angry, hungry rats coming towards his face, he tells O’Brien to do it to Julia instead. With these words, he finally gives up all of his private loyalties, and dedicates himself fully to Big Brother. Room 101 represents the complete loss of free thought and speech of the people of Oceania.

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