Uploaded by marnie on Nov 15, 1999
There is a reoccurring theme in the novel 1984, by George Orwell. The main character, Winston Smith is often fantasizing about his utopia, and dreaming about past events. In a world where everyone is controlled and everything is decided for you, Winston relies on his subconscious mind to maintain his sanity.
Winston works rewriting the past in a department for the Party. His memories of the past are usually the opposite of the Party's version of the past. Winston is very confused about whether or not he is losing his mind. His dreams reveal the reality of the Party and the truth of the past, enabling him to trust his own instinct of what is right and wrong, keeping it clear in his mind what the past was really like. In one dream Winston envisioned his mother and his baby sister sinking into a well or lowering off the side of a ship - he wasn't quite sure. He felt as if they were being sucked towards death. He knew they were sacrificing their lives for his own. Winston realizes "...that his mothers death, nearly 30 years ago, had been tragic and sorrowful in a way that was no longer possible" (Orwell 28). He believed that the feelings of tragedy, privacy, love, and friendship were things of past times. The memory of his mother's death saddened him because he knew that she had died loving him, all the while he was too young and selfish to love her back. The loyalty his mother had for him does not exist in 1984. There is only fear and hatred and pain.
Winston had another dream of the disappearance of his mother. He remembered a time of chaos and depression when he was about 10 or 12 years old. His father had disappeared sometime earlier. Food was scarce but his mother did what she could to comfort her children. Winston was always hungry, and that drove him to steal bits of food from his sister's plate. "He knew he was starving the other two, but he couldn't help it; he even felt he had a right to do it" (134). A chocolate ration had been issued and the family had a two ounce piece for the three of them. Winston, of course, demanded the whole piece. His mother responded by telling him not to be greedy. She gave him the majority of the piece...