1984 theme of the individual vs collective identity Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 1984 theme of the individual vs collective identity Deck (11):

What does Orwell suggest is a major way that totalitarian regimes stay in power

One way a totalitarian regime seeks to stay in power is by denying human beings their individuality, eradicating independent thought through the use of propaganda and terror.


Winston's attempts to remain an individual

Through 1984, Winston tries to assert his individual nature against the collective identity the Party wishes him to adopt. He keeps a diary, engages in a sexual relationship, and insists that his version of reality is truth, as opposed to what the Party says.Instead of participating in social groups, he wanders the prole areas alone and seeks solitude in his apartment, engaging in behavior the Party calls ownlife and considers dangerous.


What is the party's aim in torture

The years of torture are designed to destroy Winston's ability to think unorthodoxly. Before he enters Room 101, he is able to see that to die hating the Party is freedom, but by the end of the novel he is no longer capable of this. In order to save himself from rats, Winston does the one thing he can't forgive himself for, he betrays Julia and in doing so relinquishes his own morality and self-respect.


indifference quote

"When once you were in the grip of the Party, what you did or refrained from doing, made no difference. Whatever happened you vanished"


Indifference quote analysis

Winston feels resentful of the way that the Party has made his emotions insignificant. The statement emphasises the fact that individual identity is completely dissolved in the world of 1984 . It is impossible to have any individual autonomy, as the only possible modes of behavior––obedience or rebellion––both ultimately result in being subsumed back into the Party. 


Crimestop quote

"Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity."


Crimestop quote analysis

Orwell shows that the suppression of rebellious thoughts equates to the suppression of thought in general. The result of this suppression would be a completely numb and idiotic population. This passage shows why Syme was vaporised, despite his obedience, Syme's intelligence meant the Party viewed him as dangerously far from the ideal of crimestop, and thus felt that he represented a threat. 


Induced selfishness quote

"You want it to happen to the other person. You don't give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself."


induced selfishness quote analysis

They are unable to forgive themselves. They are haunted by the memory of their own selfishness which results in obedience. This highlights a paradox within the consequences of torture; the moment when "all you care about is yourself" becomes the moment when you lose your sense of self forever. Orwell thus implies that what gives people a sense of personal identity is in fact the ability to care about things other than themselves. 


Luv BB quote

"He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."


Luv BB quote analysis

In the final paragraph he regrets all the time he spent struggling against the Party, and feels relieved that he now loves Big Brother. Winston's total surrender to the Party highlight the fact that he is not the same person as he was at the beginning. His ability to think and feel autonomously has totally disappeared, and he is now simply a vehicle of obedience to the Party.