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A Psychoanalytic Reading of 1984

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by

Ryan Gates

on 8 April 2014

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Transcript of A Psychoanalytic Reading of 1984

Being the protagonist of the novel, one would expect Winston to embody the ideals of the Ego.
Winston Smith
A Psychoanalytic Reading of 1984
In a modern, democratic society, Winston would be the Ego due to his role as an average working man.
Through the Reader's Eyes
Since Winston blatantly defies the government, the society in 1984 would see him as the id.
Through the Eyes of the Dystopia
The genius behind 1984 is that Orwell was able to successfully create a society in which the general mindset is the exact opposite of what the reader would suspect.
Oppositions
As the antagonist, O'Brien would be expected to personify the id. As in the case of Winston, what the reader thinks is the opposite of what the dystopia thinks.
O'Brien
Since O'Brien eventually betrays, kidnaps, and brutally tortures Winston both physically and psychologically, the readers would see O'Brien as the id.
Through the Reader's Eyes
O'Brien does torture and kidnap Winston, but it's all in the name of government preservation. Since he's protecting the ideals of the government, the society sees O'Brien as the superego.
Through the Eyes of the Dystopia
Full transcript