Motif Presentation for 1984

by Felicia McSweeney

The book 1984 by George Orwell is about the corruptness of collectivism shown through the lack of freedom, the constant monitoring, and the punishment of having rebellious thoughts.


  1. On page 69, the main character, Winston Smith, said "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows." And later in the book on page 239, he wrote in dust "2 + 2 = 5". This shows that through the torture he went through the inner party member, O'Brien, convinced him that anything the party told him was true even if it was obviously false, because the party can alter anything they want because they have the ultimate power to do so. This is an example of freedom because at the beginning of the book he could realize what was true and what was false, but towards the end after the Party got into his mind and told him what they wanted to be true. This relates to Anthem but vise versa, because in the beginning of the book Prometheus thought he himself was multiple people and he had to follow the will of his brothers, but towards the end of the book he realized he was an individual and could use his freedom to be his own self.
  2. On page 218, while O'Brien was torturing Winston and said, "'Freedom is Slavery'. Have it ever occurred to you that it is reversible? Slavery is Freedom. Alone - free - the human being is always defeated. It must be so, because every human being is doomed to die, which is the greatest of all failures." During this, the character O'Brien is trying to convince Winston that the Party - their society - is all powerful and immortal, but you cannot live in it while thinking people are their own selves. Soon after on page 222, O'Brien tells Winston, " If you are a man, Winston, you are the last man. Your kind is extinct; we are the inheritors. Do you understand that you are alone?" This quote relates to the previous because in the last one he said that if you are alone and free you are defeated because you will inevitably die, and later he said that Winston is all alone and that the Party members are immortal because they can control everything, including the past. This relates to Anthem because the council members told Prometheus that he was alive to serve his brothers and no such thing as individuality existed, and only the brotherhood and being a group.
  3. On page 149, O'Brien asked him, "You are prepared, the two of you, to separate and never see one another again?" He was referring to Winston and his partner, Julia. Winston answered "No." However, later in the book it was said, "He felt not love for her (Julia), and he hardly even wondered what was happening to her." The second quote is from after he was captured by the Party, and the first one was before. This quote shows that under different circumstances his freedom of thought was altered, and after he was captured his mind ran and he realized he did not love Julia, but only thought he did before because they were a passionate couple. This is practically the opposite of Anthem, because Prometheus and Gaea's love was conquering over all and they sacrificed many things for each other.



I would rate this book three out of five stars because while I enjoyed the book and overall message, it was a bit hard to get through at times. I would recommend this book to my peers.