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The Subconscious Mind In Orwell’s 1984

1008 words - 4 pages

If life is but a dream, do we ever wake up? Or are dreams just a fragment of our imagination? Do they hold any relevance to our inner most desires and thoughts? Revealing one's character or repressed feelings can be known by in our dreams. In the totalitarian society of the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, the main character Winston Smith relies on his subconscious mind to maintain his sanity.Winston works for the Party rewriting the past in a department called the Ministry of Truth. His memories of the past are usually the opposite of the Party's version. Winston finds himself confused about whether or not he is losing his mind. His dreams reveal the reality of the Party and the truth about the past, enabling him to trust his own instinct.Winston's first dream is in Part One, Chapter Three. He dreams of his mother and his baby sister sinking down away from him, in some way giving their lives so he could survive. He barely remembers his family. But Winston feels as though his mother's death was a particular tragedy that he is responsible for. This dream leads Winston to recall his family. He realizes that in those times if you loved someone, you loved them from the bottom of your heart, no matter what. If you had nothing else to give, you gave love. Contrasting that with the present day, current political events have begun to swallow up families as Ingsoc (or English Socialism) is taking over the nation. Winston recognizes that the Party persuades you to think that impulses and feelings are unimportant, ultimately robbing you of your power. Winston also realizes that the past can be erased. Individuals can vanish as he aware of working for the Party. "People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one time existence was denied and then forgotten." (Orwell 21) Winston had another dream about his family. It takes place in the glass paperweight that he purchased at an antique shop (Part One, Chapter Eight). He was a young boy and London was a disaster area of starvation, violence and unrest. His father disappeared and so his mother, baby sister and himself lived in poor housing with hardly enough to eat. Winston demanded more food even though his mother would automatically give him the biggest portion. One day there was a chocolate ration, his mother gave him three fourths of the piece and the rest to his sister. But Winston grabbed the piece from his sister and roamed around the town. When he came back a few hours later, they both had disappeared.Winston's dreams play an important role in unfolding needs and desires. Without expressing his needs and desires Winston would lose his mind and become vulnerable to the Party. Thus enabling the Party to control Winston entirely. His mother's reaction shows his relationship of love with the past and his longing for past times and...

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