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Study Guide
1984
George Orwell
Setting:

Characters:
Winston Smith –

Julia –

O’Brien –

Big Brother –

Mr. Charrington –

Syme

Parsons

Emmanuel Goldstein -

Chapter 1 - Sections I - II
Vocabulary:
sanguine –
amalgam –
specious –
inscrutable -
scrutinized –
tableaux –
ramifications –
truncheons
dissemble –
superfluous –
inimical –
inexorably –
euphony –
panegyric
Questions:
1. What are the implications of the telescreen being able to receive and transmit
simultaneously?

2. Describe Victory Mansions. Why is this name ironic?

3. What are the Four Ministries and their purposes? What are their names in
Newspeak?

4. Why is it impossible to get into or near the Ministry of Love, Miniluv?

5. What would the punishment be if Winston’s book, his diary, were discovered?
Why is it such a terrible thing for Winston to write in this book?

6. What are the official three slogans of the party, inscribed on the white
pyramid of the Ministry of Truth? What do you notice about this slogan?

7. What hope does Winston have about O’Brien?

8. Who is Emmanuel Goldstein? What purpose does he serve in government?


How does Winston sometimes feel toward Goldstein?

9. What “thoughtcrime” did Winston commit?

10. What amusements do the Parsons children enjoy?

11. What had Winston dreamed seven years ago?

12. In Oceania’s society, what is the only thing that can be counted as one’s own?
13. Why does Winston consider himself a dead man?

Chapter 1 – Sections III - V


Vocabulary:
Statuesque –
Multifarious –
Protuberant –
Palimpsest –
Orthodoxy –
Gesticulating –
Dace –
Pedantic –
Heretics –
Labyrinthine –
Repositories –
Queue –
Reverie –

Questions:

1. Describe Winston’s dream about his mother. Why did this dream affect
him so deeply? What do Winston’s memories of his mother symbolize?

2. Why doesn’t tragedy exist in Winston’s world?

3. What happened in Winston’s dream about the Golden Country?

4. What is Winston’s primary task at work?

5. According to the Party, has Oceania always been at war with Eurasia?

6. How is reality control an example of doublethink?


7. How does proletarian literature differ from that produced for Party
members?

8. Who is Comrade Ogilvy, and what does he symbolize?

9. Discuss Syme’s words, “Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” Are there important


concerns in our world to which you or other people are unconscious or
oblivious?

10. Why does Winston think Syme will be vaporized? Why does he think that
Parson’s won’t?

Chapter 1 – Sections VI – VIII


Vocabulary:
Debauchery –
Truism –
Aquiline –
Anodyne –
Groveling –
Flogged –
Pugnaciously –
Sinecure –
Benevolent –

Questions:

1. Who is Katherine? What is the only purpose of sexual relations in the Party’s
estimation?

2. With whom does Winston believe hope for the future lies? Why?

3. What small scrap of truth about the past had Winston once held in his hands?

4. What does Winston not understand about the Party’s destruction of the past?
5. What did Winston mean by writing, “Freedom is the freedom to say that two
plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows”?.

6. Who do you think dropped the rocket bomb?

7. How is the lottery in 1984 similar to lotteries today?

8. What item does Winston discover at the antique shop? Why does it appeal to
him?

9. What is appealing about the room above the shop?

10. Why is Winston fascinated with the proprietor’s thyme about the church
bells?

Chapter 2 – Sections I – III


Vocabulary:
Agitation –
Denounce –
Parenthetically –
Pretext –
Obeisance –
Infallible –
Extricate –
Puritanism –
Etiolated –
Demeanor –
Prosaically –

Questions:
1. Why was Winston’s concern for Julia a curious emotion?
2. Do you think Winston’s immediate trust of Julia is foolish? Is it justified?

3. Why is it so difficult for Winston to get in touch with Julia after he receives
her note? Why does he not just go up to her and talk to her?

4. Where did Winston finally receive directions to a meeting place from Julia?

5. Read the first paragraph of part II aloud. How has the tone changed?

6. Why do you think Winston admits his age, his wife, his varicose veins, and his
false teeth?

7. Why do you think Winston has little physical desire for Julia in the beginning?

8. How is Julia different from the orthodox Party member Winston had thought
she was?

9. Winston, “stopped thinking and merely felt”. How is this reaction out of
character for him?

10. Why is their final embrace “a political act” for Winston and Julia?

11. How far does Julia’s interest in Party doctrine go?

12. How does Julia explain the Party’s sexual puritanism?

Chapter 2 – Sections IV – VII


Vocabulary:
Inviolate –
Impregnable –
Spontaneously –
Palpable –
Synthetic –
Abyss –
Simian –
Febrile –
Flagrant –
Remonstrance -

Questions:
1. Do you think Julia is good for Winston? How has she changed him?

2. What is the permanent meeting place for the two lovers?

3. What surprises does Julia have for Winston in Part IV?

4. How do you think Julia got the Inner Party foods?

5. Reread the words to the song the prole woman sings. Why are they
significant? Why is her singing significant? How might the song title, “Only a
Hopeless Fancy” be a form of foreshadowing?

6. What fear of Winston’s is revealed?

7. What is the significance of the coral in the glass globe?

8. “The room was a world, a pocket of the past where extinct animals could
walk.” Explain what this means.

9. In Part VI, what long-anticipated event occurs?

10. Why does Winston have the sensation of stepping into a grave?
11. From his dream in part VII, what do we learn about Winston’s childhood, in
particular about his mother?

12. To what are the proles loyal?

Chapter 2 – Sections VIII – X


Vocabulary:
Formidable –
Fecundity –
Imposture –
Mutability –
Impassively 0
Hierarchical –
Irreconcilable –
Ossified –
Persiflage –
Empirical –
Avaricious –
Vilifies –
Gelatinous –
Indefatigably –
Livid –
Inimical -
Questions:
1. Notice the differences between O’Brien’s home and Winston’s. What does this
signify?

2. What is the purpose of O’Brien’s demands that Julia and Winston agree to do
so many unconscionable things if they are asked? What won’t they do?

3. Does it surprise you that Winston toasts the past?

4. Describe the picture in Winston’s mind when he asked O’Brien to complete


the rhyme.
5. What events took place that resulted in Winston having to work more than 90
hours in five days.

6. What is the book? Who is the author? Why does Winston have it?

7. What questions still remains in Winston’s mind after he closes the book?

8. What is behind the picture that was screwed to the wall?

9. To whom does the “familiar voice” belong? How much does he know about
Winston?

10. How is smashing the paperweight symbolic?

11. What is Winston’s last image of Julia?

Chapter 3 – Section I – III


Vocabulary:
Racketeering –
Bade –
Writhed –
Overt –
Posterity –
Copiously –
Sanctimonious –
Exaltation –
Bludgeon –
Lethargy –
Timorously –
Prevaricate –
Wantonness –
Solipsism –
Desultorily –
Emaciation –
Metaphysician –
Martyrdoms –

Questions:
1. Describe Winston’s cell.

2. Does Winston know how long he has been in the cell or what time of day or night
it is?

3. Would Winston use a razor blade to kill himself?

4. Why is Ampleforth in jail?

5. Why was Parsons in jail?

6. What do you think happens in room 101?

7. Did O’Brien come to Winston’s cell to save him? What do we know about
O’Brien?

8. What was the purpose of all the beatings Winston endured? Did it work?

9. What purpose did the group of Party intellectuals serve?

10. Who did Winston feel was directing his torture? Did he hate him for this?

11. What torture method does O’Brien use to try to get Winston’s mind to submit to
him? What one thing has Winston not yet done?

12. O’Brien eventually gets Winston to believe that his four fingers are five. What
has O’Brien proven?

13. When would O’Brien consider Winston cured?

14. O’Brien tells Winston that Julia betrayed him immediately. Do you believe him?
Are you surprised?
15. According to O’Brien, “Reality is inside the skull…nothing exists except through
human consciousness.” A common philosophical question related to this concept is,
“If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make any sound?”
Explain.

16. Winston tells O’Brien that civilization founded on fear, and cruelty cannot
endure. Do you agree with Winston or with O’Brien? What should civilization be
founded upon?

17. Why does Winston consider himself to be “morally superior”?

18. After Winston saw himself in the mirror, how did he feel?

19. What is the one event that Winston is looking forward to? Why hasn’t this
happened yet?

20. At the end of Section III, O’Brien is still not satisfied with Winston. Why?

Chapter 3 – Sections IV – VI
Vocabulary:
Torpid –
Carnivorous –
Capitulated –
Didactically –
Frivolity –
Baize –

Questions:
1. As Winston was allowed to heal, he escaped into what? What had he lost? From
the subject of his dreams, what do you know was still left in Winston?

2. What did Winston wake up shouting? Why did this horrify him?

3. How had Winston “retreated a step further”? What did he realize about his
secrets?

4. What, now, is Winston’s definition of “freedom?”

5. Do you think it was wise for Winton to admit that he hated Big Brother? Would
he have been sent to room 101 regardless?

6. What is in Winston’s room 101?


7. The climax of this story occurs in Section V. What is it?

8. Were you surprised that Winston was let out of prison? Why do you think that
O’Brien did not have him shot?

9. How has Winston’s life changed?

10. What does Winston now do with his memories?

11. In the brief encounter with Julia, how did she act?

12. What is the ‘final, indispensible, healing change”? What will happen to him
now?