1984 Reader's guide

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					Reader’s Guide for 1984
Mr. Plinsky

Day One, pp. 5 - 34
1. What is the main character’s name?

2. What are the three slogans of the party?

3. What city and country does the main character live in?

4. List and explain the responsibilities of the four ministries of government.

5. When does the story take place?

6. Who is the enemy of the people, and why is he considered an enemy?

7. What name is used to refer to the government?

8. What is “thoughtcrime?” Explain it.

9. What does the Party train children to do?

10. Explain one possible meaning of Winston’s dream about his mother.

11. What has happened to history in Winston’s world?
Reader’s Guide for 1984
Mr. Plinsky

Day Two 34 – 60

1. What point is Orwell making about history when he describes the ubiquitous habit of
   throwing every scrap of paper in the incinerator?

2. What is Winston’s job? Explain what he does, and why.

3. Why does his job not bother him, ethically?

4. What does it mean to be an unperson, and why does it happen?

5. How does Orwell describe the food and drink Winston consumes? What effect does
   he intend to provoke in the reader?

6. What is the party trying to accomplish by creating its own language, and changing the
   way people speak?

7. What incident does Winston recall in his diary? Why does he write about it?

8. Why does the Party want to eliminate personal intimacy and relationships?
Reader’s Guide for 1984
Mr. Plinsky

Day Three 60 – 87

1. How does Winston feel about the proles?

2. How does the party feel about the proles?

3. Whom did the party first revolt against? Why?

4. What has happened to most of the original revolutionaries?

5. What dangerous evidence did Winston once find? Why was it dangerous?

6. How does Winston react after the rocket-bomb explodes near him? Why is this
   reaction unusual?

7. Why does Winston go into the pub? What does he hope to learn?

8. What does the reader learn, which Winston doesn’t comprehend?

9. Why does Winston buy the glass paperweight?
Reader’s Guide for 1984
Mr. Plinsky

Day Four 87 – 122

1. What is Winston’s opinion of the girl(Julia) before she gives him the note?

2. How does he react to the note after he receives it? After he reads it?

3. What kinds of precautions do Winston and Julia take not to be caught when they

4. What is the significance of the thrush’s singing?

5. What is Julia’s attitude/philosophy toward the Party?

6. Describe Winston’s marriage.

7. What pleasures of the senses are mentioned in this chapter? What is Orwell’s point in
   mentioning them?

8. What do the church bells mean to Winston?

9. What does the coral paperweight symbolize to Winston?
Reader’s Guide for 1984
Mr. Plinsky

Day Five 122 – 147

1. What does the room above Mr. Charrington’s shop represent to Winston?

2. What is Julia’s theory about the rocket bombs?

3. What do we learn about Julia when Winston explains his concerns about what the
   Party is doing to history? What kind of person is she? What is she mostly concerned

4. Why does the Party world-view work best for unintelligent people?

5. Why does O’Brien say he wants to loan a dictionary to Winston? What does Winston
   believe is the real reason O’Brien wants to visit with him?

6. What does Winston remember about his family and his relationship with his mother?

7. What does Winston realize about love and loyalty as a result of thinking about his
   family and the proles?

8. How does Winston explain the difference between confession and betrayal?

9. How are O’Brien’s quarters different than Winston’s? What does this tell the reader
   about the inner party?
Reader’s Guide for 1984
Mr. Plinsky

Day Six 148 – 185 Answer these on your own sheet of paper, or on the back of this

1. Why does Orwell include detailed passages from Goldstein’s Book in 1984?
2. Notice that Orwell repeats the first paragraph of The Book on p. 152 and p. 166. Why
   would Orwell repeat himself in that way? What is the purpose?
3. What three classes of people have always existed? (p. 152)
4. In what ways have these three classes changed? (p. 152)
5. What is the purpose of war in the world of 1984?
6. What are the two aims of the Party?
7. What are the two problems with which the Party is concerned?
8. Why do all three superpowers forbid their citizens from associating with foreigners?
9. The governments of the three superpowers are alike in essence even though their
   forms of government have different names. Identify these similarities and explain
   why they exist?
10. What is the real "war" (p. 164) fought in each of the three governments? Your answer
   will explain the party slogan, "War is Peace."
11. What are the aims of the three social classes/groups? (p. 166-167)
12. What changes in the pattern occurred in the nineteenth century?
13. How did socialism change in the twentieth century?
14. Why are the rulers in the twentieth century better at maintaining power than earlier
15. What are the four ways an elite group falls from power? (p. 170-171)
16. How does the Inner Party make certain it will not fall from power? (p. 171-172)
17. How is a person’s class determined in the 1984 world?
18. What is doublethink and what is its purpose to the ruling class?
19. Why is the mutability of the past important to the ruling class?
20. Why will this ruling class live on while earlier tyrants fell?
Reader’s Guide for 1984
Mr. Plinsky

Day Seven 186 – 215

1. Where is Winston? How is he treated there and why?

2. Which of Winston’s acquaintances is in the same place and why?

3. What happens between the starving man and the chinless man?

4. What effect to the words "Room 101" have on the skull-faced man?

5. Who truly is O’Brien? What do he and Charrington have in common?

6. What sort of treatment does Winston receive on p. 198-200?

7. What is O’Brien attempting to teach Winston? (p.201-207)

8. On p. 209—211, O’Brien explains how the Inner Party avoids the mistakes of past
   totalitarian governments. State in your own words what O’Brien means.

9. What effect does the (painless) shock treatment have on Winston? (p. 212-213)

10. What questions does Winston ask O’Brien and what are the responses?
Reader’s Guide for 1984
Mr. Plinsky

Day Eight 215 – 245
1. According to O’Brien, what are the three stages in Winston’s re-integration, and
   which stage is he about to enter?

2. Who wrote Goldstein’s book? Is what the book says true? (Notice the answer in its
   entirety, p. 215-216)

3. Why does the Inner Party seek power and how does this reason differ from the
   reasons of the Soviet Communists under Stalin and the Nazis?

4. Explain the slogan, "Freedom is Slavery."

5. How does one person assert their power over another?

6. How will Oceania differ from all traditional utopias? (p. 220)

7. Why does Winston feel he is morally superior to O’Brien and how does O’Brien
   prove that Winston is wrong?

8. How does Winston’s physical appearance affect him?

9. What good thing can Winston say about himself at the end of this chapter?

10. How does Winston feel about O’Brien? Why?

11. How does Winston show that he is not entirely true to Big Brother?

12. What happens in Room 101 and how does this "cure" Winston?