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1984 - George Orwell
Transcript of 1984 - George Orwell
Pseudonym: George Orwell Date of Publication
Fiction Historical Information about the period 1949 marks the beginning of the Post-World War II Era.
American industries were booming.
European nations were in turmoil and were beginning to rebuild.
Cold war tensions are created and begin to escalate. Biographical Information about Author Eric Blair was born June 25th, 1903 in Bengal, India
He attended school in Eton, England and moved to Burma in 1922 to serve with the Indian Imperial Police.
When he returned to England, he opened a shop and began to write for magazines under the pseudonym George Orwell.
In December 1936, he went to Spain to report on the Spanish Civil War and ended up joining the Nationalist Army under Lenin.
He was hit by a sniper bullet and paralyzed. When he began writing Animal Farm, his writing style was now influenced by his experiences with the way communists behaved.
“1984” was Orwell’s final book.
“1984” was published in 1949, but Orwell died in 1950 of tuberculosis. Characteristics of the Genre Dystopian Literature
Some type of back story: esp. a war, uprising, overpopulation, etc.
A Hero: hero understands the state of society and has the knowledge to correct the situation, but no power to do so.
Happy Endings don't exist: the original problem of the story is usually left unresolved. The hero normally meets his/her downfall. Plot Summary Plot summary: The novel opens with the Protagonist of the story, Winston Smith. He lives in totalitarianismsociety where all actions and thoughts are monitored by the government. The hierarchy of society is broken intothe proles at the bottom, then the outer party, then theinner party, then Big Brother at the very top.
Winston has an uncer on his ankle that reacts to the stress in his life. It gets smaller in less stressful situations and grows when life gets hard for Winston.
He works in the Ministry of Truth, where he edits any document that does not favor the party. While most of the other party members simply comply to strict rules of Big Brother, Winston, for some reason, has the will to challenge the hold of the party on his mind. He begins writing in a diary, which is the beginning of his defiance of the party.
He keeps his defiance of the party silent, but wishes to make it public. He gains a partner in his defiance when Julia, a dark haired girl, gives him a note that says, “I love you,” (Orwell 108).
The two begin an affair together, and Winston even rents a room where they can be alone. On of the motifs in the story is the St. Clement’s song, Oranges and Lemons, and as the story progresses, more people are able to add lines to the song to complete it for Winston.
He believes that one of the members of the inner party, O’Brien, is part of the brotherhood, which is devoted to overthrowing the party. After he receives a note from O’Brien, he acts on a whim and meets O’Brien with Julia. O’Brien claims to be a member of the brotherhood and gives Winston a copy of Goldstein’s book.
After reading the book, Winston says “We are the dead,” (Orwell 221) and Julia replies. At that moment, they are both captured by the Thought Police. They are separated and taken to the Ministry of Love.
Both of them are subjected to extreme pain and torture. Winston’s torture is administered by the person he believed to be his savior, O’Brien. The torture ultimately makes Winston betray Julia and his mind now belongs to the Party. It takes time, but O’Brien finally breaks Winston.
After he is broken, he is released, but is no longer watched because he is not a threat to the party. He meets up with Julia, but the meeting is apathetic. They both admit to betraying each other and agree to meet again, but there is no emotion between the two.
At the Chestnut Tree Café, where Winston decides to go, he hears a voice singing “Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me—” (Orwell, 293) and be begins to cry, just as Rutherford did when he, Aaronson, and Jones were in the Chestnut Tree Café earlier. Style The entire book is written in Winston Smith’s limited third person point of view.
This allows the reader to have a thorough understanding of what Winston sees, how he feels, and what he thinks about.
Orwell's use of figurative language allows him to be able to portray a terrifying and bleak future. His sentences are direct and informative.
An appropriate amount of foreshadowing and adds to the suspense of the story to keep the reader engrossed in the novel. “And the bombed sites where the plaster dust swirled in the air and the willow herb straggled over the heaps of rubble; and the places where the bombs had cleared a larger path and there had sprung up sordid colonies of wooden dwellings like chicken houses?” (Orwell 3)
This passage itself has an example of a metaphor, simile and personification. The metaphor occurs in the phrase “sordid colonies” where Orwell compares the dwellings of the citizens to “sordid colonies.”
A simile occurs when Orwell uses the phrase “dwellings like chicken houses” where he compares their feeble dwellings to chicken houses using like. The bombs are personified when they are described clearing a path for colonies to spring up. “You know what is in Room 101, Winston. Everyone knows what is in Room 101.” (Orwell 260).
The concept of Room 101 alludes to different things in life. It can allude to a person’s worst nightmare; the thing they fear the most. It also alludes to a conference room at BBC Broadcasting House that Orwell hated. “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.” (Orwell 2)
This is a quote that reappears throughout the novel. It is an apostrophe because it makes Big Brother appear as if he is everywhere, keeping a constant watch, but he never actually appears anywhere in the novel. Memorable Quotes “Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death.” (Orwell 28) “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.” (Orwell 81) “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” (Orwell 248) “Sanity is not statistical.” (Orwell 217) “It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same--everywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another's existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same--people who had never learned to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world. If there is hope, it lies in the proles.” (Orwell 220) This quote was also made by Winston. It was written in his diary in the beginning of his defiance against the Party. It was his way of letting himself know that he was already dead and that there was no way to escape it. It was also the beginning of the sad realization that not even your thoughts were safe. There was nothing you could do to hide your hate for Big Brother without becoming one of the dead. This was also one of the quotes that Winston wrote in his diary. This quote oddly foreshadowed his torture. He claims that freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4 but in the end, he truly begins to believe that 2+2=5. This shows that freedom for him never truly existed. This may have been a contributing factor to the ending of the story, where he confessed to the Ministry of Love in order to obtain the only freedom that was guaranteed, death. This quote was made during Winston’s torture with O’Brien. This is one of the party slogans of INGSOC. Since the Party is in total control of everything, they control the present. Because they have this power, they also have the power to rewrite the past and make anything favor their existence. The quote established the link between the past and present and how they are dependent on each other. It also sets the tone of the origin of Big Brother’s power and why no one in the novel has a clear grasp on the past. Winston said this quote after reading Goldstein’s book. When he said this line, he foreshadowed part of his own torture later in the book. The quote basically meant that even if the entire world believes that 2+2=5, this does not necessarily make it true, and the one person that still believes that 2+2=4 is not necessarily crazy. The fact that he still believed that 2+2=4 made him sane, but in the eyes of the party, that defiance was what made him insane and imperfect in the eyes of Big Brother. This quote came from Winston’s thoughts. They represented Goldsteins’s last message. This quote described the true state of their society. It described the tactics that the government was using the keep the public repressed and how the containment of the public would ultimately lead to the revolution, but the only way the revolution could occur is if the proles became intelligent enough to rise up. Characters Name Role in the Story Significance Adjectives Winston Smith Julia O'Brien Mr. Charrington Ampleforth Syme Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford Emmanuel Goldstein Big Brother Winston Smith is the protagonist of the novel 1984. He is a frail and thin 39-year old man who works in the Ministry of Truth in Oceania. Throughout the novel, he dreams of starting a revolution against the Party. Winston Smith is extremely curious throughout the novel and he yearns to know why the Party runs things the way that they do. He also keeps a diary in which he writes “Down with Big Brother” when he realized that history was told through the Party which they lied about. Frail, Curious, Thin, Quiet, Intellectual Julia is a 26-year old dark-haired woman in the novel and her most prominent role is the fact that she is Winston’s lover. She also works in the Fiction Department at the Ministry of Truth. Julia helps Winston relax throughout the novel. She shows him that it is okay to have sex and whenever he is around her, he feels a sense of calmness. She is also the only person that Winston can truly trust who wants to bring down the Party. Beautiful, Enthusiastic, Loving, Dark-Haired, Comforting O’Brien is one of the most noticeable members of the Inner Party. He is also a very powerful man who was supposedly a member of the anti-rebels of the Party from long ago. O’Brien is the father figure for Winston and he is the one who conviences Winston into believing that a revolution against the Party is possible. Mysterious, Powerful, Graceful, Intelligent, Sophisticated Mr.Charrington is an old man who runs a store in the Prole district. He is actually around 35-years old and is a member of the Thought Police. Mr. Charrington is the man who originally sells Winston the novel. He is also the one who tricks Winston and turns him in because he is actually a member of the Thought Police. Old, Creepy, Cold, Bearded, Persuasive Ampleforth works with Winston at the Ministry of Truth and he is eventually arrested for thoughtcrimes. Ampleforth rewites Oldspeak Poems and he is arrested because he left the word “God” in one of his poems. Intelligent, Witty, Clever Syme is an intelligent man who works with Winston at the Ministry of Truth and he is eventually executed. Syme works on the Newspeak Dictionary and he is too smart for his own good. He suddenly disappears and we assume that he is killed by the Party. Knowledgeable, Interesting, Outgoing, Passionate Tom Parsons Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford are three men who were known as traitors and were later executed. Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford were Inner Party members who were eventually killed and Winston finds out that they were innocent. This makes Winston realize that the Party can lie about anything. Brainy, Respected, Classy Emmanuel Goldstein is the enemy of the Party. Emmanuel Goldstein is the author of “The Book” and he is used as the scapegoat to all of the Party’s problems. Aged, Hated, Evil, Enemy Big Brother is the all-knowing leader of Oceania. He completely dominates this land and he is everywhere “watching you.” Big Brother is the supreme ruler of Oceania. Winston says that he probably doesn’t exist and he will never die or grow old. All-Knowing, Loved, Observant, Respected Tom Parsons is a fat man who lives near Winston and also works in the Ministry of Truth. His children are members of the Junior Spies. Tom Parsons is imprisoned in the Ministry of Love after his own daughter turns him in for saying “Down with Big Brother” in his sleep. Overweight, Brainwashed, Obnoxious, Simple, Loyal Symbols Winston's Mother/Dreams - Winston's mother symbolizes dreams. Winston's mother symbolizes a time of freedom, happiness, and a time of the past. Winston has dreams of his mother a few times in the story. Julia - Julia symbolizes rebellion in its purest form. She commits acts in defiance to the party, though it appears when she does them she has her own agenda. Winston's Ulcer - The ulcer represents Winston's state of mind. The more stressed he is the more repulsive it becomes, or vice versa if things get easier on him. Significance The opening scene is taken in a theatre, showing the citizens of airstrip one being brainwashed. They're cheering for Big Brother and the thought police. They are taught to hate anyone that's an enemy or threat to the thought police or Big Brother. The significance of this scene is to show some of what Winston is up against. The closing scene was of a broken Winston and Julia sitting in a bar having a drink while talking about what they thought, felt, and told of the other while imprisoned by the thought police. The significance of this scene is that it shows that no matter how much someone tries to rebel, they WILL give in to the party and they WILL believe that they love Big Brother. In this society individuality can't exist. If there are any differences in a person, they will be targeted and dealt with immediately. Opening Scene Closing Scene Themes/Motifs The thought police try to liquidate that thinks differently from the party. It doesn't matter whether or not they're a threat. The party uses giant telescreens to spy on its citizens and brainwash them. Aside from the telescreens, the thought police also use the friends and family of everyone in the city to inform them of anything wrong people are doing. Power Hypocrisy and Character While the thought police capture, break, and kill people for crimes like doing drugs, stealing, and thinking differently, crime that they themselves are all guilty of in their spare time. Jane mentions this when she's in the forest with Winston. They put on a show for the people. They're all the same, though. Humans have an innate desire for conflicts, no matter how much they may try to act or say otherwise.
Peace can't occur without war. If two countries have a disagreement, they wage war. Whichever country that wins is the one that gets their way.
The more ignorant and less inhibited the people were, the stronger political power grew. Eventually, the party was able to simply take all the rights of its citizens. Keeping them drunk and ignorant helped this cause a great deal. The party keeps propaganda going in everyone's life constantly. This keeps them distracted long enough to just give up on independent thought and accept the party's beliefs while they're pelted with another. The party eliminates records of things that did happen and tell people lies of what else happens. It's like a game to them. War is Peace Ignorance is Strength Brain Washing Setting The story was set in Airstrip One City (London), in the year 1984.
In the city, the characters go to various parts, such as the forest or to work.
There was also a time when the characters went into a prison.
Whether or not that prison is in Airstrip One, however is unknown. Old AP Questions Choose a novel or play that focuses on a political or social issue. Then write an essay in which you analyze how the author uses literary elements to explore this issue and explain how the issue contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. - 2009 In Kate Chopin’s the Awakening (1899), protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to possess “that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions.” In a novel or play that you have studied, identify a character who conforms outwardly while questioning inwardly. Then write an essay in which you analyze this tension between outward conformity and inward questioning contributes to the meaning of the work. - 2005 Some novels and plays seem to advocate changes in social or political attitudes or in traditions. Choose such a novel or play and note briefly the particular attitudes or traditions that the author wishes to modify. Then analyze the techniques the author uses to influence the reader’s or audience’s views. - 1987 Vocabulary Remonstrance: an expression of protest, complaint, or reproof, especially a formal statement of grievances. (Orwell, 163)
When the city attempted to get rid of the park, my family and friends started a petition as a remonstrance to persuade the city to do otherwise.
Etiolated: to make weak by stunting the growth or development of. (Orwell, 119)
Steroids can etiolate a man’s physical appearance.
Forlorn: appearing sad or lonely because deserted or abandoned. (Orwell, 271)
When the little girl could not find her mother, her face showed forlorn.
Subtlety: so slight as to be difficult to detect or describe; elusive: (Orwell, 35)
Her smile is so subtle that you can barely see it!
Rendezvous: a meeting at a prearranged time and place. (Orwell, 78)
The rendezvous Senior Meeting is set for Dairy Queen on Tuesday.
Interspersed: to distribute among other things at intervals. (Orwell, 93)
We will intersperse these tiles according to an inch.
Jeering: to abusive vocally, taunt. (Orwell, 122)
The boy’s bully constantly jeered him for his intellectual tendencies in class.
Intermittent: alternately containing and emptying water. (Orwell, 276)
Over the past year, the intermittent Lake Lanier has been flooded and desiccated.
Nostalgic: the condition of being homesick. (Orwell, 293)
When the boy went away to college, he thought he would have so much fun but he ended up feeling nostalgia for the first month.
Erroneous: contained or derived from error; mistaken. (Orwell, 255)
The mixed signals that the girl received from the boy led her to erroneous conclusions.
Works Cited Orwell, George. 1984. New York: Signet Classic, 1949. 2-3, 28, 35, 78, 81, 93, 108, 119, 122, 163, 217, 220-221, 248, 255, 260, 271, 276, 293. Print.
"What Happened in 1949 inc. Pop Culture, Prices and Events." The People History. The People History Where People Memories and History Join, n.d. Web. 27 Sep 2011. <http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1949.html>.
Simkin, John. "George Orwell : Biography." Spartacus Educational. Spartacus Educational, n.d. Web. 27 Sep 2011. <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Jorwell.htm>.
"Dystopia: Characteristics of Dystopian Fiction." Museum of Learning. Discovery Media, n.d. Web. 27 Sep 2011. <http://www.museumstuff.com/learn/topics/dystopia::sub::Characteristics_Of_Dystopian_Fiction>.