Below you will find four outstanding thesis statements / paper topics for 1984 by George Orwell that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in Orwell's 1984 and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements for offer a short summary of 1984 in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from 1984 by George Orwell, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: The Forced Repression of Natural Impulses in 1984
Nearly every aspect of the society presented in 1984 by George Orwell is controlled, including the most natural impulses of sex and love. The suppression of these innate urges is encouraged through a program instituted by various forms of media in society in 1984 by George Orwell that propagates mistrust so severe that even mothers and fathers cannot trust their own offspring—another supposedly natural bond and impulse. Throughout the novel there are many examples of oppression of natural reactions and they cause a number of problems, not just for the main characters, but for the society at large. For this essay, you could provide detailed examples of how natural impulses are stifled and what consequences there are.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: The Lack of Privacy and The Effect of No IndividualismPersonal privacy and space is never granted throughout 1984. Every person is always subject to observation, even by their own family members and friends. Furthermore, since Big Brother is always watching and the Thought Police are always on the lookout, it is impossible for any kind of individualism to flourish. For this essay you can look at the ways this occurs and how various characters attempt (successfully or not) to subvert it. Then move out to consider how this lack of privacy (and by proxy, individualism) influences individuals and society as a whole.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: The Role and Representation of Women in 1984
Although it's often considered to be an “easy” topic choice for a paper, examining the role of women would make for an excellent essay, especially since many of things that make women what they are in many novels (adhering to ideas of romantic love, sex, femininity, marriage, etc) are subverted by the totalitarian society. For this essay, look at the depictions of women, keeping in mind such issues as the Junior Anti-Sex League, Winston's Wife who is the “human soundtrack,” and others. All of the women or groups of women presented offer a very twisted view of all of the things typically associated with women in literature. Look at why this is and offer numerous examples.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: The Power of Words and Rhetoric in 1984
Rhetoric, words, and language have enormous power in this society. Consider the phrase, “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength” as well as the fact that the state of war and who it is with is constantly shifting. In this society (much like ours) reality is based on information and Orwell's novel, the information is all related by words. The power of language in this novel (just as in Animal Farm, another novel by George Orwell) is one of the most potent forces that exists and as a result, the state goes through great lengths to influence and control language. For this essay, find a number of examples of contradictory, misleading, or otherwise bad rhetoric and how it is used to manipulate the population. A good essay might include three examples and then use one paragraph for each to fully pick apart the language and discuss the effects it has.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #5: 1984 in Historical Context: How Current Events Shaped the Themes in the Novel
In some cases, it is not always feasible or worth it to consider too heavily the time period during which a novel was written. This is not the case in 1984. In fact, the historical context is of the utmost importance as the threat of totalitarianism, fascism, and domination based on skilled rhetoric was at the forefront of public fears during Orwell's time. Written in 1949, 1984 reflects the period as fascist empires were growing and the effects of others were becoming more clear with each passing day, such as was the case Germany. For this essay, make sure you include some biographical information about Orwell and what he witnessed during his lifetime and make reference to the many fascist regimes that are reflected in the novel.
* For an excellent article on the influence of the media on the society in 1984, click here *
Pynchon 1984 Intro
Thomas Pynchon : The road to 1984 From The Guardian, Saturday May 3, 2003George Orwell's last book, 1984 , has in a way been a victim of the success of AnimalFarm , which most people were content to read as a straightforward allegory about themelancholy fate of the Russian revolution. From the minute Big Brother's moustachemakes its appearance in the second paragraph of 1984 , many readers, thinking rightaway of Stalin, have tended to carry over the habit of point-for-point analogy from theearlier work. Although Big Brother's face certainly is Stalin's, just as the despised partyheretic Emmanuel Goldstein's face is Trotsky's, the two do not quite line up with their models as neatly as Napoleon and Snowball did in Animal Farm . This did not keep the book from being marketed in the US as a sort of anticommunist tract. Published in 1949,it arrived in the McCarthy era, when "Communism" was damned officially as amonolithic, worldwide menace, and there was no point in even distinguishing betweenStalin and Trotsky, any more than for shepherds to be instructing sheep in the nuances of wolf recognition.The Korean conflict (1950-53) would also soon highlight the alleged Communist practiceof ideological enforcement through "brainwashing", a set of techniques said to be basedon the work of I P Pavlov, who had once trained dogs to salivate on cue. That somethingvery much like brainwashing happens in 1984 , in lengthy and terrifying detail, to itshero, Winston Smith, did not surprise those readers determined to take the novel as asimple condemnation of Stalinist atrocity.This was not exactly Orwell's intention. Though 1984 has brought aid and comfort togenerations of anticommunist ideologues with Pavlovian-response issues of their own,Orwell's politics were not only of the left, but to the left of left. He had gone to Spain in1937 to fight against Franco and his Nazi-supported fascists, and there had quicklylearned the difference between real and phony antifascism. "The Spanish war and other events in 1936-7," he wrote 10 years later, "turned the scale and thereafter I knew where Istood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directlyor indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I know it."Orwell thought of himself as a member of the "dissident left," as distinguished from the"official left," meaning basically the British Labour party, most of which he had come,well before the second world war, to regard as potentially, if not already, fascist. More or less consciously, he found an analogy between British Labour and the Communist Partyunder Stalin - both, he felt, were movements professing to fight for the working classesagainst capitalism, but in reality concerned only with establishing and perpetuating their own power. The masses were only there to be used for their idealism, their classresentments, their willingness to work cheap and to be sold out, again and again. Now, those of fascistic disposition - or merely those among us who remain all too readyto justify any government action, whether right or wrong - will immediately point out thatthis is prewar thinking, and that the moment enemy bombs begin to fall on one's