1984 Study Guide: The following questions are more global in scope; they are also labeled by category. Use these questions to guide more globalized thinking about the novel. If you turn in a completed study guide, you could earn up to 5 points extra credit.
Questions – Part I
1. Language/Logic, Setting:
What does the opening sentence suggest about the book?
2. Irony, Language/Logic,
Character: The name "Winston" means "from a friendly
country. "Smith" is a common last name. From these names, can
you suggest a possible irony?
Language/Logic: What are the Party mottos? What is unusual about them?
4. Language/Logic, Theme:
What is Newspeak? What is its purpose? (A look at the Appendix might be
helpful here.) Why is it essential for the Party to rid the language of
synonyms and antonyms?
5. Language/Logic: Who is
Big Brother and what is the significance of his name?
6. Language/Logic: What is
“facecrime?” Why is it so easy to commit?
7. Theme, Irony/Paradox:
How does the Party control history? Why
8. Plot, Theme: Who is
Emmanuel Goldstein and how is he presented to the people of Oceania? What
is the probable significance of using the obviously Jewish name?
Questions – Part Two
1. Character: In what ways
are Julia and Winston alike? In what ways are they different?
2. Theme: Why does the
party permit couples to marry but discourage love?
3. Plot: O’Brien asks
Winston and Julia what they are willing to do for the Brotherhood. What
are they willing to do? What is the one thing they are unwilling to do?
What types of things does O’Brien tell them they might have to face as
members of the Brotherhood?
4. Irony/Paradox: Julia
tells Winston that even though the Party can torture a person and make him
say anything, they cannot make him believe it. How do you feel about this
statement? How easy is it to brainwash a person? Do you think governments
actually use brainwashing? Discuss.
5. Plot: Why are the three
superpowers always at war according to the Brotherhood’s handbook?
6. Plot, Irony/Paradox:
How are Winston and Julia betrayed?
Questions – Part Three
1. Character, Irony/Paradox:
How does Parsons feel about being imprisoned as a result of his own
daughter reporting him for “thoughtcrime?”
2. Theme, Plot: Before
Winston is interrogated, he sees many prisoners escorted off to Room 101.
From their reactions, he gathers the room is extremely unpleasant. What is
in Room 101?
3. Plot: When and in what
way does Winston betray Julia?
4. Plot: Why does
O’Brien say prisoners are brought to the Ministry of Love?
5. Plot: What happens to
6. Theme, Irony/Paradox:
How does Winston ultimately feel about Big Brother?