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177 votes

Why does the Party allow playing chess in Orwell's 1984?

The party allows those things that take up time (in the company of others) and fritter away energy. Their ultimate goal is for the individual to have no life outside their work or simply burning up ...
Valorum's user avatar
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116 votes
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Why does the Party care to inform the people about the current war situation?

At the outset of the novel, the Party isn't playing a fair game, in which people need to be persuaded and may choose to comply or not. The Party largely has won. Their aim is never, ever to inform. It ...
Upper_Case's user avatar
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110 votes
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What was the ultimate objective of The Party in 1984?

O'Brien tells us explicitly: There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this, Winston—always there will be ...
Dale M's user avatar
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86 votes

In Orwell's 1984, why does 'the book' even exist?

We know that what makes the Party such determined in ruling is their wisdom in controlling 'ideas'. If you control 'any' idea including your opposition's, then who could ever overthrow you? I am ...
er-han's user avatar
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81 votes
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Is there an actual army in 1984?

There was an actual rather than "fake" war, so the implication of an actual army is a rational conclusion. Winston could not definitely remember a time when his country had not been at war, but ...
KorvinStarmast's user avatar
74 votes

Why does the Party allow playing chess in Orwell's 1984?

Here are some reflections: It's a game about war, and "War is Peace" All chess pieces have precise functions and privileges in the game. You follow the rules. You don't question them. A pawn is a ...
Professeur Dronte's user avatar
74 votes
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Why was Winston not afraid of being caught with Julia after he was released from Ministry of Love?

They have only released the two of them once they know they are broken and entirely loyal to the party and Big Brother. In theory Winston can do whatever he wants; in reality he is incapable of ...
Michael's user avatar
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65 votes

In Orwell's “1984,” what was the motivation of O'Brien, and other members of the Thought-Police, in spending so much time and effort on Winston?

There are a lot of sub-questions in this question. I will focus on the title-question, "What was the motivation of O'Brien, and other members of the Thought Police, in spending so much time and ...
Clara Díaz Sanchez's user avatar
63 votes

Why does the Party allow playing chess in Orwell's 1984?

Chess puzzles are not chess. White to play and mate in two moves, means: There are approximately 20 possible moves for white's first turn (depending on the chess puzzle). 19 of these are ...
Scott's user avatar
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58 votes
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How can Winston edit people's personal copies of books?

This is directly addressed in the novel. In short, Smith's job is to "correct" a wide range of printed materials, updating not only the facts of the articles and books, but also the language, ...
Valorum's user avatar
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51 votes
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Why does the Party allow playing chess in Orwell's 1984?

The real reason is that, of course, 1984 is inspired by the USSR. Many other stylistic and aesthetic elements mirror the USSR, chess (very popular in USSR) is one of these. Now, chess requires ...
user101856's user avatar
50 votes
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Why does Winston say "The more men you've had, the more I love you" to Julia?

Unrestrained sexuality is a threat to the order represented by the Party. This is explained in somewhat more detail in the next chapter: With Julia, everything came back to her own sexuality. As soon ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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47 votes

Why does the Party care to inform the people about the current war situation?

Upper_Case has written a great in-universe answer. I would like to add an out-of-universe perspective. Orwell was writing this in 1948 and he was in many ways talking about his own time. During WWII,...
Stig Hemmer's user avatar
46 votes

Is there an actual army in 1984?

Probably yes, but there is no way to know for sure. This is the answer to many, many questions in Nineteen Eighty-Four, and it is one of the major themes of the book. Anything that Winston Smith does ...
Buzz's user avatar
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36 votes

Why does the Party allow playing chess in Orwell's 1984?

TL;DR 1984 is an allegory of Communist Russia and chess has always been popular in Russia. From Wikipedia, quoting the author: [Nineteen Eighty-Four] was based chiefly on communism, because that ...
Accio_Answer's user avatar
  • 4,026
36 votes

Why does Winston say "The more men you've had, the more I love you" to Julia?

Purity and goodness were defined by the Party. Corruption – in this case exemplified by sex outside of a sanctioned marriage – was a symbol of rebellion against the Party, which is what Winston was ...
Michael's user avatar
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33 votes

What was the ultimate objective of The Party in 1984?

“A boot crushing a human skull forever.” They have achieved their goal of unassailable, eternal power and control. Their stranglehold on power will only become more cemented as the last generation to ...
Celestialgranturismo's user avatar
30 votes

In Orwell's “1984,” what was the motivation of O'Brien, and other members of the Thought-Police, in spending so much time and effort on Winston?

In addition to Clara Diaz Sanchez's excellent answer, there are several other elements of note: The society the Party strives for has an excess of productive capacity, along with a specific desire to ...
Upper_Case's user avatar
  • 3,088
26 votes

What was the ultimate objective of The Party in 1984?

I was taught in a Political Science class decades ago that the two goals of all politicians are to get elected, and get re-elected -- or alternatively, to gain and then retain power. Ingsoc has ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
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19 votes

Why does the Party care to inform the people about the current war situation?

The war simply serves one of the most important pillars of foundation of any dictatorship: a common external enemy and someone to blame for everything bad. To my knowledge, there has never existed a ...
Amarth's user avatar
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18 votes

How can Winston edit people's personal copies of books?

What I recall (from rereading the book a couple years ago) is that individual copies of anything other than newspapers are rare, and the habit of preserving newspapers or clippings is treated as ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
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17 votes

Is there an actual army in 1984?

Yes I believe there was an actual war taking place: "In one combination or other, these three superstates are permanently at war, and have been so for the past twenty five years", "It is a warfare of ...
JamieTheBastard's user avatar
17 votes

Why was Winston not afraid of being caught with Julia after he was released from Ministry of Love?

Once he screamed out for Julia to be tortured instead of him, they knew he was truly broken. He said earlier that he'd do anything, to anyone, to fight BB, except hurt Julia. After he screamed for her ...
Issel's user avatar
  • 281
14 votes

Why does Oceania not want to achieve victory over Eurasia and Eastasia?

The Party (and it's implied that the other two superpowers have similar forms of government, given how easily they switch alliances) wants total control over its population, and having an external ...
Keith Morrison's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

Why Are The 1984 Ministries In London?

It is not at all clear why the capital of the English-speaking mega-state of Oceania should have its capital in London. One can hazard guesses: Perhaps the major cities of the New World, or at least ...
Buzz's user avatar
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12 votes

Why Are The 1984 Ministries In London?

The most populous province is not necessarily the most important. London may be the capital of Oceania. The capital provinces of the USA, Brazil, and Australia are also not their most populous.
OrangeDog's user avatar
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10 votes

Why does the Party allow playing chess in Orwell's 1984?

The Party's efforts to remake society aren't finished yet; that's why Newspeak is still under development, and (according to O'Brien) other projects, like eliminating the female orgasm so women won't ...
JSmith125's user avatar
  • 117
9 votes
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Is Ender's game inspired by 1984?

No Orson Scott Card has said that he came up with the idea of the battle room when he was 16 and that he was trying to imagine how warfare would take place in the future. The basic idea of the battle ...
amflare's user avatar
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9 votes
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How do you compare two things in Newspeak?

You're almost there. "I like A better than B" would become "A is good, B is plusgood", leaving room for a third item that is "doubleplusgood". Or again, if you want a ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 702k
9 votes

Why does the Party care to inform the people about the current war situation?

In reading 1984 we very quickly learn that the Party subjugated the people not as a means to a goal, but instead that this subjugation was the goal. In the same manner, the Party did not suddenly ...
EvilSnack's user avatar
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