1984 Essay themes are quite a lot. As a writer, you have the option of exploring between a wide variety of highly-engaging, highly- controversial, and compelling topics to work on for your 1984 essay assignment. However, choosing which specific topic to work on can be difficult. Especially when you want to make an impression on your professor for better grades.
Regardless, you’re getting a chance to work on something interesting. Here are some of the 1984 essay prompts.
In the year 1984, the world’s population and all civilisation are significantly damaged following years of war, civil unrest, and revolution. At the time, Airstrip One, formerly Britain is a province of Oceania while Oceania is one of the three totalitarian states, which collectively rule the world.
Oceania is ruled by the ‘party’, which was formed under the ideology of ‘Ingsoc’. Leading the ‘party’ is a mysterious figure known as Big Brother. As a totalitarian regime, the Party stamps out any citizen who does not conform to the government. By using the Thought Police and intense surveillance, the regime can use devices such as the Telescreens -two-way televisions- to spy on its citizens.
Winston Smith, who is a member of the middle-class outer party, works at the Ministry of Truth. He is tasked with rewriting historical record by the ever-changing version of history as conveyed by the regime. Hence, all those who fall from favour with the Party, disappear with all proof of existence erased. Winston reads through past versions of history as the original documents are destroyed by fire, in the ‘memory hole’.
However, Winston secretly opposes the Party’s rule. He spends most of his time dreaming about a rebellion that would topple the Party from power. Thus, he makes the realisation that he is a ‘thought criminal’, which put his life and freedoms in danger.
One day, while he’s in a proletarian neighbourhood, he runs into Mr Charrington, who owns an antique shop. He buys a diary at the shop, which he uses to write his thoughts criticising the regime. At the same time, he uses an alcove to hide from the Telescreen in his room. In his journal, he also records his frustrations over a young woman, Julia, who maintains the novel-writing machines at the ministry.
While Winston is attracted to Julia, he also suspects her to be an informant. Moreover, he also suspects his superior, O’Brien, who is an Inner Party Official, is a secret agent working for the underground resistance movement known as the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is a group of revolutionaries formed by Big Brother’s most significant political rival Emmanuel Goldstein.
One day, while at work, Julia hands a note to Winston. In it, she is confessing her love for Winston. After that, Winston and Julia begin a love affair. More precisely, the love affair is contrary to the Party’s insistence that sex should only be used for reproduction. But, Winston realises that Julia also shares on his resentment of the party.
At first, the two would meet in outside town. Later on, they would rent a room, which is just above Mr Charrington’s shop. In the course of the affair, Winston remembers his family, which disappeared during the civil war. At the same time, he remembers his brief relationship with his former wife, Katharine.
Back at work, Winston interacts with Syme, who has been tasked with writing a dictionary for the revised version of English; Newspeak. During the conversation, Syme admits to Winston the real purpose of Newspeak. He claims that Newspeak has been designed to reduce the capacity of human thoughts. As a result of the admission, Winston suspects that Syme will soon disappear. Indeed, Syme disappears soon after, and no one acknowledges his absence.
A week later, O’Brien approaches Winston with a chance to join the Brotherhood. They arrange to meet at O’Brien’s Flat. At the meeting, both Winston and Julia are expected to swear allegiance to the underground movement. Afterwards, Winston receives a copy of the Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, by Goldstein, from O’Brien.
The book explains more about how the party maintains power. Moreover, Winston and Julia learn the true meaning of the party slogan and the concept of perpetual war. In addition to that, the book also argues that the Party may be overthrown, if only the ‘proles’ (proletarians) rise to fight against the regime.
Unfortunately, Mr Charrington, who owns the shop close to the rented flat where Winston and Julia had an affair in, turns out to be a Though Police agent. Hence, both Winston and Julia are arrested. They are later imprisoned in the Ministry of Love. What’s more? O’Brien admits to working with the party, in a sting operation to capture ‘thought criminals’.
Many months come to pass, as Winston remains in prison. He is tortured and brainwashed into curing himself by changing his perception of the Party’s rule. To illustrate the length at which the party goes to ‘cure’ Winston, he is forced to believe that ‘two plus two equals five’. In fact, O’Brien even admits that the Party is not interested in the greater good of the country, but the power. He offers Winston brief freedom before execution in exchange for unwavering loyalty for the Party.
But when he asks Winston if there’s anything that could be worse, he says that the party has not yet managed to make him betray Julia. Besides, Winston remains adamant and refuses to pledge allegiance to the party. Thus, he is transferred to Room 101, which is the final stage of re-education.
In Room 101, each prisoner’s worst fears are stored. With regards to Winston, he fears rats. O’Brien fits a considerable wire cage on his face. There are hungry rats on the cage. At this point, Winston shouts ‘do it to Julia’. Hence, Winston betrays his love.
After release, Winston and Julia meet in a park. As they share their experiences, they both realise that they underwent torture during imprisonment. Moreover, both of them betrayed each other. Hence, they both realise that they no longer felt the same for one another.
Indeed, the Party has taken away their love. Later on, as he is at a caf, during Oceania’s celebration over military victory in Africa, Winston realises that the party had successfully brainwashed him. Above all, he realises that he loved Big Brother.
There are many essay types which you can use to demonstrate your understanding of the book. For essay topics 1984, here are some of the most common types of essays, and how best to cover your content.
For Descriptive Essays, you would want to create content that creates a mental picture of each scene in the minds of your readers. Thus, ensure that you are adequately familiar with all the themes, characters, and setting of each scene. For instance, your descriptive essay should accurately describe,
The relationship between Winston and Julia.
The nature of the Party’s reign over the country.
The lifestyle of Oceania’s citizens under constant surveillance.
The portrayal of the underground movement and the struggle of recruitment.
If you’re working on a compare and contrast essay, then make sure you fully understand both subjects of your essay. Make sure that you accurately present the facts and provide supporting evidence for each claim you state on the essay. For example,
Compare and contrast the role played agents of the thought police,
Compare and contract Julia’s and Winston’s rebellion,
An argumentative essay requires you to have a good understanding of the content and subject of your essay. Hence, you’ll be able to efficiently represent a particular point of view in the best way possible. For instance,
Was Winston wrong to betray his love?
What does the emergence of O’Brien as a spy tell us?
Did Winston’s conversation with Syme directly lead to doom?
With narrative essays, you’ll be required to use your imaginative skills. For starters, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the story properly. Hence, you’ll be able to create a narrative that will quickly summarise the story in a short essay. Some narrative 1984 essays include:
Create an alternative ending to the story,
Narrate Winston’s path to destruction.
Create a story on the role of Big Brother in Oceania.
To write a successful 1984 essay, start by organising your thoughts. Take everything you have in your head and lay it down on paper. Use this knowledge to create the structure of your essay. Follow these steps:
Create an outline of essay topics 1984.
Include a thesis statement. The thesis statement should tell the reader what the essay is about. What are the main ideas of the essay? For instance, writing about Winston’s rebellion and his path to destruction. Or rather, the role of technology in Oceania and contradiction in the country’s governance.
Write the body of your 1984 essay. The body of the essay argues, explains, and analyses 1984 essay themes. Thus, start with the main idea as the introductory sentence. Next, include each supporting idea in the sentences that follow.
Include the introduction to the 1984 story, introducing the characters of the essay, and its setting. This part of your essay should grab the attention of your readers. Hence, begin with an attention grabber before introducing the reader to your 1984 essay topics.
Include a conclusion, where you’ll summarise the entire essay. The conclusion will bring closure to your essay. Hence, remember to sum up all your ideas. Ensure your conclusion is at least three to five sentences long.
Add finishing touches, including checking the small details in your essay. Check the order of your paragraphs, and the introduction of critical events in the essay. Finally, review the requirements of your essay and ensure you have met them all.
There are varieties of 1984 essay themes which you can choose to demonstrate your understanding of the book. For starters, ensure that you clearly illustrate the ideas in your 1984 essay. Also, narrate each scene and analyse the time between each scene accurately. Finally, use and show dialogue between characters in your essay correctly using familiar convention formats of dialogue representations.