1984

by: George Orwell

Themes

Most of Winston’s significant decisions can be interpreted as attempts to build a sense of identity. His decision to purchase a diary and begin recording his thoughts is an attempt to create memory and history. His decision to purchase the paperweight is driven by a desire to have something of his own that represents a time before the Party. Winston’s sexual relationship with Julia and their decision to rent an apartment where they can spend time together represent dangerous crimes in the world of 1984. In deciding to pursue a relationship with Julia, Winston asserts his independence and further establishes his identity as an individual who resists the Party’s control. Ultimately, though, Winston’s attempts to maintain his independence and create a unique identity are no match for the Party. Winston’s experiences in the Ministry of Love represent the complete disassembly and destruction of all aspects of his individuality. When he is returned to society he has lost all independence and uniqueness, and has become part of the Party’s faceless collective.