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1984

1984

by George Orwell

Rebellion Theme

1984 is all about rebellion. Winston starts a diary for rebellious thoughts. He then becomes concerned with grand-scale, organized resistance to the Party’s rule, and joins the Brotherhood. Julia contents herself with private acts of rebellion, by engaging in sex and wearing makeup. Either way, Winston and Julia are not content with conformity to the Party’s rule or principles. And the Party devotes substantial resources to detecting rebellion and subversion.

Questions About Rebellion

  1. How do Winston and Julia choose to rebel? How do they differ, and how are they similar?
  2. Rebellion through sex seems pretty customary, but rebellion by keeping a journal? Is the journal remotely effective? What about in the sense of a small, personal victory? In what ways is Winston guilty of the same lack of ambition that Julia is, as far as rebellious dreams go?
  3. How different is Julia’s private form of rebellion than Winston’s hopes for grand-scale rebellion?
  4. Are Winston and Julia rebels without a cause? Would that be a problem? What constitutes a legitimate cause for rebellion?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

As exemplified by the fact that the Party’s impossible doctrines drive Winston and Julia to engage in rebellious acts, an overly oppressive state power often causes rebellion by giving its constituents the very causes for rebellion. This is the Party’s fatal flaw.

Winston and Julia’s love for each other is a more dangerous form of rebellion than their sexual relations are.

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