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‘1984’ Essay Topics: A Set of Interesting Ideas

In this post, you will find essay topics, “1984” topics specifically, and your paper will be interesting if you use them. You can use them for free for any purpose: choose one of the presented ideas for your paper, or base your own ideas off of them. The essay topics about “1984” presented here are divided into categories so that you can find a topic for a particular type of paper.

1984 Essay Topics

Compare and Contrast 1984 Essay Topics

  1. Compare “1984” and “Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini.
  2. Compare and Contrast “Huckleberry Finn” and “1984.” How does reading “1984” help understand the themes hidden in “Huckleberry Finn”?
  3. Compare the ideas from “1984” by George Orwell and the communist party in China. Analyze the freedom of speech, class system, China’s child policy, punishment for wrong behavior, etc.
  4. Compare “1984” and the movie “Lives of Others” (2006). What similarities can you see? Analyze the plot and conflicts depicted in book and movie.
  5. Compare the movie “V for Vendetta” and the novel “1984.” What role does technology play in these two dystopian worlds?
  6. Compare “1984” and “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. Analyze these two novels from the point of Marxist theory.
  7. Compare and contrast “1984” and “Panopticism” by Foucault. Compare the themes, ideas, and motifs in both works. How does the society depicted in “1984” relate to the concepts of surveillance?
  8. Compare and contrast the political situation in North Korea and “1984.”
  9. Compare the ways authors portray female characters in “1984” and “Brave New World.”
  10. Compare and contrast “1984” and “The Giver” by Lois Lowry.
  11. Compare the movie or book “Hunger Games” and the “1984” novel. Think about ideas, themes, characters, and style of storytelling. How is a dystopian society seen in these two stories?
    Compare “The Shawshank Redemption” and “1984.” What is the main idea that connects these two books?
  12. Compare two dystopian works “1984” and the movie “The Truman Show.” What differences do the main characters have? Analyze the plot, themes, and motifs.
  13. Compare the text of “1984” and the movie “The Propaganda Game.”
  14. Compare the book “1984” and the article “Truth and Lies in the Age of Trump” (2016). Can we claim that dictatorship is among us? Add citations from “1984” and make research of credible sources about contemporary political situations around the world.
  15. Compare and contrast the influence of society in “Lord of the Flies” and “1984.” What other connection you can see in these books?
  16. Compare the book “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer and “1984.”
  17. Compare “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang and “1984.” Address mass manipulation and oppression.

1984 Essay Topics for Analysis

  1. How can the book “1984” be compared to today? What countries have the features of Orwell’s dystopia? How have Orwell’s political views influenced his works?
  2. Analyze the theme, setting, and the ways the author depicts characters in the context of his political predictions and point of view.
  3. Analyze the propaganda. How does a government achieve their goals using telescreens, government sponsorship, and associated media?
  4. What role does the Ministry of Truth play in the story? What does the government achieve with controlling the truth, writing and revising history? How does it influence society?
  5. Is it possible to organize a Thought Police nowadays? How does it influence patriotism and freedom of speech? Do we need such organization in our world?
  6. Big Brother: on privacy and surveillance.
  7. What role does language play in “1984”? How does language change throughout the novel? Who was responsible for that change? Are meanings of words constantly changing?
  8. Analyze the significance of the room above Charrington’s shop. How has the author changed its significance for Winston and the reader throughout the novel?
  9. Analyze the novel “1984” in the context of racial profiling.
  10. Analyze why the party in “1984” allows intellectual freedom only to the proles?
  11. Analyze the symbolism of dystopia used in the classic book “1984” By George Orwell.
  12. Analyze how oppression and fear contribute to rebellion in “1984.” Can the fear beat humanity?
  13. Analyze “1984” in the context of Carl Jung’s analytical psychology.
  14. Analyze the characters of Julia and Winston. Can they be considered as complementary characters? Discuss their views on morality, ethical views, political values, and thoughts about history.
  15. Analyze chapter 10 in “1984.” Consider the interior monologue thought police when they arrest Julia and Winston.
  16. Analyze “1984” referring to the theme of consumerism.
  17. Analyze the role of alienation in the following works: “1984” by George Orwell, Euripides’ “Medea,” and Sophocles’ “Antigone.”
  18. Select several characters from “1984” and analyze their engagement with the issues of identity, existence, and consciousness.
  19. How does the figure of Big Brother contribute to the story? Analyze Big Brother’s speech and its influence on society.

If you have chosen one of these topics, check out our guide on how to write an analysis essay in the proper sequence.

Argumentative: 1984 Essay Topics

  1. Can a society survive if it is based on hate and deception? What future does the society from “1984” have?
  2. Should art focus on political messages? Will it be able to communicate aestheticism? How is this situation depicted in “1984”?
  3. Describe how technology can be used in a wrong way. Base your opinion on “1984” and add citations to prove your point of view. How does Orwell’s “1984” relate to the modern technological world? Discuss betrayal, conformity, privacy, technology, and nationalism.
  4. Does “1984” help us understand more about the origins and popularity of national socialism, fascism, and other authoritarian movements in the 20th century?
  5. What power do common people have in the world of Orwell’s “1984”? How does Orwell treat the proles? What does Winston think about proles? Describe your point of view about Winston’s expression: “If there was hope, it must lie in the proles.”
  6. How does the dehumanization used in “1984” help the reader understand the moral sentiment collapse? What instruments does the author use to show the insidiousness of a repressive government?
  7. Disagree or agree with George Orwell’s statement in “1984” that all countries will eventually come to a totalitarian government.
  8. Describe how protagonists have developed over time. Have they become more complex? You can compare the characters of Macbeth and Winston Smith.
  9. Why has “1984” become a best-selling book again? Does our world have the same political issues as depicted in the book? Describe your understanding of the undying truth of Orwell’s dystopia.
  10. What is the significance of memory in “1984”?
  11. Which situations from the book “1984” have come true? What things were exaggerated and cannot come true? Use examples from reality and the text.
  12. Outline the social hierarchy of Oceania. How does this hierarchy support the Party and its goals?

Persuasive 1984 Essay Topics

  1. Why does George Orwell’s “1984” relate to prohibited literature?
  2. Are the political overtones the main reason for which “1984” was banned?
  3. Why was “1984” banned not only in the USSR but in some educational institutions in the United States?
  4. Why is “1984” especially important in modern society?
  5. How does “1984” demonstrate the change of humanity and history caused by communist parties?
  6. Why did China ban its citizens from reading “1984” and “Animal Farm?”
  7. How are the themes of nationalism, sexual repression, censorship, and privacy presented in “1984”?
  8. Did some scenes from “1984” disturb adults due to their similarity to the real events of the 20th century?
  9. How do the events in “1984” compare with current realities in Russia?
  10. Does modern society look like the one in “1984”?

What Preceded the Novel “1984”

This novel and many of its phrases have long become a household name. And dystopian stories, written by a great many both before and after George Orwell, are valuable pieces of literature for society. It was “1984,” however, that became the fundamental work that, in its own way, most accurately recorded the horrors of state machine crimes perpetrated by frantic propaganda.
Orwell himself fought totalitarianism in word and deed long before the novel “1984.” Memories of the Spanish Civil War formed the basis of Orwell’s book “Homage to Catalonia.” In December 1936, George Orwell arrived in Spain, where a civil war had just erupted, to fight on the side of POUM.

POUM is the workers’ party of the Marxist association which opposed Stalinist influence and fought with the nationalists. Orwell spent about six months in Spain, until he was wounded by a German sniper. The shot landed in the writer’s neck and, according to his recollections, many later said that only lucky ones survive such a wound.

Fighting Totalitarianism in “Homage to Catalonia”

However, Orwell himself had a slightly different opinion, and believed that if he were actually lucky, he would have been able to avoid such an injury. In July 1937, the writer returned to Britain. After recovering in a sanatorium in the county of Kent, he began work on the story “Homage to Catalonia,” in which he described his experience in fighting totalitarianism.

Since the beginning of World War II, Orwell again tried to get to the front, but his health condition – in 1938, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis – prevented him from going through a medical commission. Nevertheless, he fought against the Nazis: for two years he had his own program at the BBC broadcasting department, in which he fought German propaganda.

Dictatorship in “Animal Farm”

In 1946, Orwell published an essay entitled “Why I Write,” in which he said that almost all his work is directly or indirectly created to disrupt totalitarianism. One of the most striking works of this kind is his “Animal Farm” dystopia: using one farm as an example – where pets overthrew and chased away their owner – the author described a way in which the ideas of revolution transition from universal equality to the emergence of an even harsher dictatorship.

Orwell worked on “Animal Farm” from November 1943 to December 1944, and did not hide the fact that his tale was a satire on the revolutionary events in Russia in 1917. Orwell wrote his parable in a language that was the most understandable and easy to translate, especially into Russian: he had the hope that readers of the country that gave him so much food for thought would also read his story.

Facts About “1984”

Title of the Book

In the process of working on the book, its name was changed several times. The first working title was “The Last Man in Europe.” At some point, Orwell decided to put the year described in the book in the title. At first it was set in 1980. Then Orwell changed it to 1982, and eventually chose 1984.

The publisher was not thrilled of such a desire and insisted that the author choose a title that would give readers at least some idea of what the book is about. But Orwell was adamant and defended his position. By the way, until today it remains not quite clear why the author chose the year 1984 as the time of the action of his novel. The most common version says that the year 1984 is the mirror of the year the book was written: Orwell finished his work on the novel in 1984.

Influence of Yevgeny Zamyatin

It is believed that George Orwell had already worked on the main anti-totalitarian themes in his parable “Animal Farm,” and his subsequent novel “1984” had become only a more meaningful and detailed version of it. However, some researchers of the writer’s work suggest that “We,” a book by Russian writer Yevgeny Zamyatin, had a great influence on Orwell.

This dystopian novel is also devoted to the totalitarian state of the future and contains many parallels with the work of Orwell. The fact that Orwell was familiar with the work of Zamyatin is supported by the fact that in 1946, he was a reviewer of the English edition of the novel “We,” and Orwell’s own correspondence with the writer Gleb Struvel expressed great interest in this kind of literature.

Five Reasons to Read “1984”

  • Critics predicted J. Orwell’s novel “1984” would have a short life, but the “perfect dystopia” still strikes a chord in the minds of readers. Want to find the cause of its popularity? Then you need to read this book.
  • The world is changing not only in the present, but also in the past. Someone erases entire pages from the history of peoples and writes new lines in their place. Don’t believe this is possible? Then you need to read this book.
  • Do you want to see the very essence of the confrontation between the individual and the system? Are you ready to follow the protagonist to the limit of their abilities? Do you want to understand how love can be outlawed? Then you need to read this book.
  • Aren’t you afraid of the piercing gaze of Big Brother watching you from the cover of the book? Are you drawn by the search for meanings, encrypted in mysterious black and white illustrations? Then you need to read this book.
  • The book was written in very clear English. The author is interested in speaking plainly to the reader. Do you appreciate books that value lucidity? Then you need to read “1984.”

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