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Pat Swenson, CSUN - 1984
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Prof Pat Swenson

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

Elements of Fiction

Literary Theory

Myth & Archetype: The Hero's Quest

ProfPat's Main Page

ProfPat's Education Links

Department Information

Department of English

708 Sierra Tower
Phone: 818.677.3431

English Department Website

Liberal Studies Program

EA 100
Phone: 818.677.3300

Liberal Studies Website

1984 by George Orwell - Literary Discussion Guide



Winston Smith, Julia O'Brien, Big Brother

Mr. Charrington, Emmanual Goldstein

Parsons, Syme, Prole Woman


Person-against-self - an internal conflict of feelings.

Person-against-person - the typical protagonist vs. antagonist scenario.

Person-against-society - the protagonist battles against the larger organizations of society
(or a system of beliefs held by society).

Person-against-nature - the protagonist is threatened by a component of nature.


Dystopia: Totalitarianism, Absolute Power

Psychological Manipulation: Language as Mind Control (Newspeak, Doublespeak), Big Brother is Watching You, Giant Telescreens, Junior Spies & Junior Anti-Sex League

Physical Control: Party Watches Every Action, Twitch & Gesture, Mass Morning Exercises (the Physical Jerks), Long Work Days, Brutal Physical Torture

Control of Information & History: Rewriting & Control of Information, "Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

Use/Misuse of Technology


Big Brother, Glass Paperweight, St. Clement's Church, The Place Where There is No Darkness, Room 101, The Telescreens, Red-Armed Prole Woman


Urban Decay, Doublethink

The Party in Oceania

Party Slogans: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength

Doublethink: The Ministry of Plenty oversees economic shortages, The Ministry of Peace wages war, The Ministry of Truth conducts propaganda and historical revisionism, The Ministry of Love is the center of the Party's operations of torture and punishment.

Language Defines Man

Heidegger: Man does not speak language. Language speaks man. We are imprisoned by language when we associate words to symbols/images.

Marx: Communication is linked to power.