Title of Abstract

Winston vs. the World

Submitting Student(s)

Amber Nelson

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Leslie Bickford, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

English

Abstract

When looking at the criticism published about George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four there is a significant lack of psychoanalytic analysis. There is an abundance of reader response and new historical approaches, answering the question, “Did Orwell’s prediction come true?” This inspired my article “Winston vs. the World,” where I take a psychoanalytic approach in my analysis of Orwell’s novel. I take a close look at the unconscious of the character Winston and how his actions are directly influenced by the resurfacing of his repressed past experiences. By focusing on key events in the book that trigger his actions of rebellion, I seek to prove that Winston is used by the Party as a control subject, observed to correct the flaws in the Party’s psychologically controlling system. Winston’s memories have been repressed deep into his unconscious, resurfacing because of outside triggers, and these repressed desires influence his actions of rebelling. The party acts as the Superego dictating Winston’s moral and physical understandings by using psychological conditioning and violence, while his uncontrolled reactions and suppressed desires characterize his id. Winston’s acts of rebellion and attempts to join the brotherhood display his ego trying to find a middle ground between it all. Unfortunately, the superego engulfs the other two as the Party takes control of Winston again. Although Winston’s unconscious seeks to assert his own individuality, the Party ultimately resets him again, placing him back into Oceania for further observation. I assess where the true power lies in Big Brother and determine it isn’t in the oppressive technology but in the mass paranoia that the residents of Oceania experience; therefore, using Winston, Big Brother is able to strengthen and fix the flaws in their system to avoid losing their power

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Winston vs. the World

When looking at the criticism published about George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four there is a significant lack of psychoanalytic analysis. There is an abundance of reader response and new historical approaches, answering the question, “Did Orwell’s prediction come true?” This inspired my article “Winston vs. the World,” where I take a psychoanalytic approach in my analysis of Orwell’s novel. I take a close look at the unconscious of the character Winston and how his actions are directly influenced by the resurfacing of his repressed past experiences. By focusing on key events in the book that trigger his actions of rebellion, I seek to prove that Winston is used by the Party as a control subject, observed to correct the flaws in the Party’s psychologically controlling system. Winston’s memories have been repressed deep into his unconscious, resurfacing because of outside triggers, and these repressed desires influence his actions of rebelling. The party acts as the Superego dictating Winston’s moral and physical understandings by using psychological conditioning and violence, while his uncontrolled reactions and suppressed desires characterize his id. Winston’s acts of rebellion and attempts to join the brotherhood display his ego trying to find a middle ground between it all. Unfortunately, the superego engulfs the other two as the Party takes control of Winston again. Although Winston’s unconscious seeks to assert his own individuality, the Party ultimately resets him again, placing him back into Oceania for further observation. I assess where the true power lies in Big Brother and determine it isn’t in the oppressive technology but in the mass paranoia that the residents of Oceania experience; therefore, using Winston, Big Brother is able to strengthen and fix the flaws in their system to avoid losing their power