1984
1984
by George Orwell
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1984 Symbolism, Imagery & Allegory

Sometimes, there’s more to Lit than meets the eye.

Victory Gin, Victory Cigarettes

Discontented with his life, Winston turns to vices as a means of escape and self-medication. In Winston’s case, it’s alcohol and cigarettes. He drinks gin to sedate his paranoia, like t...

The Red-Armed Prole Woman

Winston sees this woman as a symbol of freedom. Party members never sing, but hearing her song through the window of his rented room fills Winston – and soon, Julia – with hope for the...

The paperweight, the old man in the prole bar, St. Clement's Church

The paperweight and St. Clement’s Church have SYMBOL written all over them. These items are remnants of the past that, because of the Party’s control, no longer have any basis in "reali...

The ubiquitously placed Telescreens

With their dual ability to blast Party propaganda and to view and hear the exact goings-on in a room, these telescreens are a visible symbol as well as the direct means of the Party’s constan...

Big Brother

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU. Scared yet? Big Brother is the face of the Party, the leader behind the great power. The best part is that we never come to confirm his actual existence. He might not e...

Emmanuel Goldstein

The ultimate symbol of opposition to the Party, we are not sure whether Goldstein actually exists. Publicly, he is known as a Party enemy, but he actually serves the Party’s purposes as a sca...

Julia's Scarlet Anti-Sex Waist Sash

This represents a citizen’s devotion to Party doctrine and Party cause. A symbol of chastity in the book, Julia’s sash actually represents her duality. A devout Party member by appearan...

Winston's Mother

Appearing only in his dreams and memories, Winston’s mother represents better, pre-Party days when life was safe and not quite so oppressive. As the novel progresses, however, we also come to...

The Place Where There Is No Darkness

This phrase first comes to Winston in a dream, when he imagines that this is where O’Brien wants to meet him. Heavy foreshadowing here, because he does indeed get here eventually – at t...

Winston's Varicose Ulcer Above His Ankle

A thing that swells and itches, and after you scratch it, flakes. Sounds gruesome, right? So is sexual repression. Have you noticed how the ulcer seems to bother Winston most in the mornings? How a...

Memory Holes

These were only briefly mentioned in the novel, but that doesn’t mean they are unimportant. Memory holes are those things in the ground that the Party insists any scraps of paper get tossed i...
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