There are two themes in 1984, one appearing early in the novel and the other
appearing in part three. The first theme is physical love.
At the start, Winston is alone and dreams of the intimate times he had with
his ex-wife and later on he remarks that he does not want to be with another
woman. Yet when Julia comes along, he is ensnared by her and consequently
never leaves her side except in public. Julia reminds him of what love feels
like and the power it has throughout part two. The effect she has on him is
evident after they are caught together and separated; he is back to his old
The other theme is psychological destruction. In jail, he is "rehabilitated"
from his personal thoughts to the controlled thinking of Big Brother. OBrien,
who is the one who tortured Winston, asked him, "What does two and two
equal?" and Winston would answer, "Four." This was incorrect
in the thinking of the government and thus representing personal thoughts
and so Winston was punished. Again and again OBrien would ask the same
question until one time, when Winston could not bear the pain anymore, he
answered, "Whatever you want. Two and two make five!" (p. 228) OBrien
was pleased with the answer and stopped with that method of torture. The crowning
point of Winstons rehabilitation is when he was placed in Room 101 and
faced with death. At this time, he erases his memory and lets it be filled
with the false ideas from OBrien.
This shows that control is in the hands of the people who have power. Winston
was made to think differently because he did not want to get punished.
The Political System:
The Party of Oceania poses about 19% of the whole population of Oceanias
mainland. Generally one could divide the Party into the Inner Party, which
is comparable to the communistic Nomenclature, and the Outer Party. Winston
Smith himself is a member of the Outer Party. The members of the Inner Party
hold high posts in the administration of the country. They earn comparable
much money, and there isn't a lack of anything in their homes, which looked
like palaces. The people of the Outer Party live in dull gray and old flats.
Because of the war there is often a lack of the most essential things. The
life of the Outer Party is dictated by the Party, even their spare time is
used by the Party. There are so-called community hikes, community games and
all sort of other activities. And refusing the participation at this activities
is even dangerous. The life of a Party member is dictated from his birth to
his death. The Party even takes children away from their parents to educate
them in the sense of Ingsoc. (you can find this also in the Communist future
plans)The children are taught in school, to report it to the police (Thoughtpolice)
when their parents have unorthodox thoughts, so-called "Thoughtcrimes".
After the education the Party members start to work mainly for one of the
four Ministries (Minipax, Minitrue, Miniluv, Miniplenty). The further life
of the "comrades" continues under the watchful eyes of the Party.
Everything the people do is targeted by the telescreens. Even in their homes
people have telescreens. Each unorthodox action is then punished by "joycamps"
(Newspeak word for forced labor camps").
The proles make about 81% of the population of Oceania. The Party itself
is only interested in their labor power, because the proles are mainly employed
in the industry and in the farms. Without their Labor force Oceania would
break down. Despite this fact the Party completely ignores this social caste.
The curious thing about this behavior is, that the Party calls itself a Socialistic
Party, and generally socialism (at least at the beginning and middle of this
century) is a movement of the proletariat. So one could say that the Party
abuses the word "Ingsoc". Orwell again had pointed at an other regime,
the Nazis, who had put "socialism" into their name. One of the main
phrases of the Party is "Proles and animals are free". In Oceania
the proles live in very desolate and poor quarters. Compared to the districts
where the members of the Party live, there are much fewer telescreens, and
policemen. And as long as the proles don't commit a crime (crime in our sense
/ not in the sense of the party - Thoughtcrime) they don't have any contact
with the state. Therefore in the districts of the proletarians one can find
things that are abolished and forbidden for the Party members. E.g. old books,
old furniture, prostitution and alcohol (mainly beer) Except "Victory
Gin" all of these things are not available for the Party-members. The
proletarians don't participate in the technical development. They live like
they used to do many years ago. To my mind the Party ignores the Proles, because
they pose no danger to their rule. The working class is too uneducated and
too unorganized to pose a real threat. So there is not really a need to change
the political attitudes of this class.
Newspeak is the official language of Oceania, and had been devised to meet
ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism. In the year 1984, there
is nobody, who really uses Newspeak in speech nor in writing. Only the leading
articles are written in this "language". But it is generally assumed
that in the year 2050 Newspeak would superset Oldspeak, or common English.
The purpose of Newspeak is not only to provide medium of expression for the
world-view and mental habits proper to devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all
other methods of thought impossible. Another reason for developing Newspeak
is, to make old books, or books which were written before the era of the Party,
unreadable. With Newspeak ,Doublethink would be even easier. Its vocabulary
is so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every
meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding
all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect
methods. This is done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by
eliminating undesirable words by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox
Generally Newspeak words are divided into three groups: the A,B(also called
compound words) and the C Vocabulary.
A-Vocabulary: The A-Vocabulary consist of the words needed in business
and everyday life, for such things as drinking, working, and the like. The
words of this group are nearly entirely composed of Oldspeak words, but in
comparison, their number is very small. Nevertheless the meaning of this words
is much more defined, and it allows no other interpretation.
B-Vocabulary: The B-Vocabulary consist of words which have been deliberately
constructed for political purpose. Without the full understanding of the principles
of Ingsoc it is very difficult to use and understand this words correctly.
The B-Vocabulary are in all cases compound words, and they consisted of two
or more words, merged together in an easy pronounceable form.
Example: goodthink - Goodthink means very roughly orthodoxy, or if
it is regarded as a verb "to think in a good manner". The infected
as follows: noun-verb goodthink; past tense and past participle, goodthinked;
present participle, goodthinking; adjective, goodthinkful; adverb, goodthinkwise;
verbal noun, goodthinker. The B-Words are not constructed on any etymological
plan. The words of which they are made up can be placed in any order mutilated
in any way which makes them easy to pronounce (e.g. thoughtcrime, crimethink
thinkpol, thought police). Many of the B-Words are euphemisms. Such words
for instance as joycamp (forced labor camp) or Minipax (Ministry of Peace
in charge of the army ), mean almost exact opposite of what they appear to
mean. Again some words are ambivalent, having the connotation good when applied
to the party, and bad when applied to its enemies. Generally the name of any
organization, building, and so on is cut down to a minimum number of syllables
and to a minimum of length, in an easy pronounceable way. This isn't only
in Newspeak, already other, especially totalitarian systems, tended to used
abbreviations for political purpose (Nazi, Comintern, Gestapo, ....). But
the difference is that only in Newspeak this instrument is used with consciousness.
The Party intended to cut down the possibility of associations with other
C-Vocabulary: The C-Words are consisting of technical and scientific
From the foregoing account it is very easy to see that in Newspeak the expression
of unorthodox opinions, above a very low level, is impossible. It is only
possible to say "Big Brother is ungood". But this statement can't
be sustained by reasoned arguments, because the necessary words are not available.
Ideas inimical to Ingsoc can only be entertained in a very vague and wordless
form, and can only be named in very broad terms. One could in fact only use
Newspeak for political unorthodoxy, by illegitimately translating some of
the words back into Oldspeak. For example "All mans are equal" was
a possible Newspeak sentence, but only in the same sense in which "All
man have the same weight" is a possible Oldspeak sentence. It did not
contain a grammatical error, but it expressed a palpable untruth i.e. that
all man have the same size, weight ..... The concept of political equality
no longer existed. In 1984, when Oldspeak is still the normal mean of communication,
the danger theoretically exists that in using Newspeak words one might remember
their original meanings. In practice it is not difficult for a person well
grounded in Doublethink to avoid doing this, but within a couple of generation
even the possibility of such a lapse would have vanished. A person growing
up with Newspeak as his sole language would no more know that equal had once
had the secondary meaning of "politically equal" (also free,....).
There would be many crimes and errors which would be beyond of the power to
commit, simply because there were nameless and therefore unimaginable. It
is to be foreseen that with the passage of time Newspeak words would become
fewer and fewer, their meanings more and more and more rigid, and the chance
to put them to improper uses always diminished. So when Oldspeak had been
once and for all superseded the last link with the past would have been severed.
Doublethink is a kind of manipulation of the mind. Generally one could say
that Doublethink makes people accept contradictions, and it makes them also
believe, that, the party is the only institution that distinguishes between
right and wrong. This manipulation is mainly done by the Minitrue (Ministry
of Truth), where Winston Smith works. When a person that is well grounded
in Doublethink recognizes a contradiction or a lie of the Party, then the
person thinks that he is remembering a false fact. The use of the word Doublethink
involves doublethink. With the help of the Minitrue it is not only possible
to change written facts, but also facts that are remembered by the people.
So complete control of the country and it's citizens is provided. The fact
of faking the history had already been used by the Nazis, who told the people
that already German Knights believed in the principles of National Socialism.