Mass and balance

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4º Discuss the main themes in chapter I of 1984 and how these are further developed in the novel (make clear references to the text).

The chapter begins in on a cold in April of 1984 when the protagonist Winston Smith returns to his house (a dilapidated apartment building called Victory Mansions). In the staircase he sees an enormous face with the words BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.

The first chapters of the novel are used to develop and introduce the major characters and the main themes of the novel. One of the main goals are to control all the subjects, and to illustrate the extent of the control that government is able to exert.  Winston’s diary entry, his first overt act of rebellion, is the primary plot development in this chapter. The theme of psychological manipulation is present in the first chapter, as Winston’s grasping at freedom illustrates the terrifying extent to which citizens are not in control of their own minds. The telescreens in their homes blare out a constant stream of propaganda, touting the greatness of Oceania and the success of the Party in ruling it. Each day citizens are required to attend the Two Minutes Hate, an intense mass rally in which they are primed with fury and hatred for Oceania’s rival nations, venting their own pent-up emotions in the process.

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