* AdaptationDisplacement: Despite being credited as the TropeCodifier for dystopian fiction, Creator/GeorgeOrwell was inspired to write this novel after reading the [[UsefulNotes/{{Russia}} Russian]] novel ''Literature/{{We}}''. He also cited Arthur Koestler's ''Literature/DarknessAtNoon'' and Creator/JackLondon's ''Literature/TheIronHeel'', among others, as major inspirations.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Given that the Party's doctrine is that of Alternate Reality Interpretation, and that the viewpoint character is repeatedly {{mind rape}}d in the end, it can be argued that we don't know what really happens post-Room 101. All that can be trusted is what Winston sees with his own eyes up until the cage snaps shut.
** Also, since he doesn't leave Airstrip One, we have no clue as to the state of the world -- is Oceania real? Is it the entire world? Is there a Brotherhood after all? Nothing can be taken for granted, even the InfoDump book that pops up halfway through (''especially'' the book, given that one of the Inner Party members claims credit for its authorship, and hands out copies). In fact, it's a little bit of a stretch but we can't be exactly sure if the Party even controls all of the British Isle. Could be half of it, just [[UsefulNotes/{{Britain}} England]], or hell, maybe only London and its imminent surroundings. Which might explain the whole "running out of resources" thing.
** A common suggestion is that the 'scholarly' appendix on Newspeak is written in a manner that deliberately subverts this DownerEnding, given that it ''is'' written in the past tense... When 1984 was to first be published in [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates America]], the publisher wished to remove the appendix, but Orwell refused to have it published without, saying that the book would have to be reworked if such a large chunk was to be cut out. This incident, along with a few hand-picked statements of Orwell around the time the book was written, form the basis for including the appendix into the work.
** We explicitly never do learn if there's a Brotherhood or not. An alternate, admittedly optimistic interpretation would be that the Brotherhood did exist and that O'Brien was part of it, and that Winston and Julia's capture and death were in fact due to the latter's refusal to give up everything for the Brotherhood. Granted, that'd just make the Brotherhood no better than the Party. Or, alternatively, they just messed up somehow and got caught, and O'Brien couldn't say anything, because ''[[ArcWords Big Brother is watching]]''.
** Is O'Brien Big Brother, living as a Higher Party member ''and'' a Brotherhood leader, giving him the perfect alibi? Or is there no Big Brother at all, no single leader, with a group of mutually-controlled Higher Party members who doublethink the existence of a higher tyrant being the only tangible government?
** O'Brien lied about having written The Book. He wants Winston to feel completely defeated, that there is no organization out there that opposed the party. And having lied about it, he doublethinked himself into believing that he wrote it. In reality, the Book's denunciation of the Party's workings is too clear to have been written by somebody whose brain is addled by Newspeak. The real writers are still out there.
** The Ministries may actually be true to their names [[FromACertainPointOfView from a certain point of view]], and using The Party's way of thinking. The Ministry of Truth can be justified with doublethink, you may be able to consider the rations you are given by the Ministry of Plenty to be "plenty" from Big Brother's logic, the Ministry of Peace is justified through "WAR IS PEACE" and the Ministry of Love is where you learn to love Big Brother.
*** The Ministry of Truth ''manufactures'' truth as defined by the party. The Ministry of Peace makes a state of internal peace in Oceania by depleting resources.
** O'Brien is a cynical mid-level bureaucrat who doesn't actually know what The Party truly wants in spite of his villainous monologue that the Party is operating on DystopiaJustifiesTheMeans- perhaps he is just a broken pessimist who sees the world through JadeColoredGlasses and thinks that the only way for Big Brother to make any sense at all is if they are as pure evil as he claims, but in truth he is as much in the dark as everyone else; alternatively, perhaps O'Brien is just a {{Sadist}} who either doesn't know or doesn't care what the Party truly wants, he just wants to break Winston by painting the bleakest picture imaginable for him about Big Brother and its supposed intentions. Either way, by the end of the book, we still cannot say that we truly know what Big Brother wants, even if O'Brien seemingly spelt it out for us.
** The look on Winston's face when the film ends after a flashback of Julia mouthing "I love you", is he regaining his humanity after his time in Room101?
** Well, not so much a specific character but more the setting as a whole. As one comment on [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQxOKXEff4I this]] video put it, "One interesting thing about 1984 is that it's not entirely clear that Ingsoc actually exists outside of the British Isles. All the claims made about territory, about the endless wars, are the product of Minitruth propaganda. One character even hypothesizes that the bombs being dropped on London during the book are simply part of the effort to keep the Proles scared. For all we know, Airstrip One is just one giant North Korea, cut off and isolated from the rest of the world, the party projecting its illusions of grandeur and power onto a populace too broken and controlled to even know any better." Also, the beam coming from the eye in the picture up top could either be a spotlight to represent Big Brother watching you or a Doom Ray to represent their annihilation of society and those who oppose them.
** [[spoiler: Parsons]] in the Ministry of Love. Was he thrown in the same cell as Winston by coincidence? We don't know if he actually spoke out against the Party in his sleep. Was he then arrested purely to demoralize Winston? And seeing how people tend to not be who they look like at first, was he secretly working with the Though Police?
** We see all the other characters from Winston's perspective. He frequently informs us that various characters are stupid, but it's not hard to imagine that many of them are just better than him at keeping their heads down. His view of the proles as "distracted" by trivial matters falls somewhat flat when you remember that (by the standards of his society) Winston is a single, childless, middle-class man looking down on people who are struggling to feed their families.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p9_7xXlR0s Fascist, yes, but stirring]].
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcTP7YWPayU Sexcrime!]] ([[Music/{{Eurythmics}} doo, doo doo]], [[EarWorm boo boo~]])
* BrokenBase: The appendix. Does it imply a future where Big Brother eventually falls with its use of past tense, or is it just an out-of-universe quip that simply exists to explain to people on the other side of the fourth wall how Newspeak works?
%%Do not add any entries under Complete Monster without coming to the cleanup thread.
* CounterpartComparison: The book's themes has been compared to Creator/FriedrichNietzsche's philosophies and ''Literature/AlsoSprachZarathustra'', [[http://www.charis.wlc.edu/publications/symposium_spring03/thompson.pdf read here]] for a detailed essay.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: Entirely deliberate on Orwell's part to point how the methods of one's own "[[DesignatedHero good]]" nation are NotSoDifferent from "evil" nations.
* EarWorm: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6psBoDDJUo Oceania Tis of Thee]] from the 1984 film.
* FandomBerserkButton: Lots of people think this book depicts a society where you're under surveillance all the time. You aren't, not ''all'' of the time. You just don't know when you're being watched and when you aren't.
** There's also the misconception that ''everyone'' is watched and under the government's heel. Only government officials are watched; the 80% of the population that is the Proles are essentially "free" (hence the slogan "Proles and animals are free.")
** Though the latter misconception about Proles being spied on is not completely unfounded as it is stated that the Party finds the brightest and most troublesome Proles and eliminates them.
* FanWank: Much has been made of the Newspeak appendix being written in the past tense. Many think it points to the eventual fall of The Party (Creator/ThomasPynchon even supports this interpretation in an introduction included with some editions), but Orwell never confirmed nor denied it.
* FriendlyFandoms: There's a lot of overlap between readers of this and readers of ''Literature/{{Fahrenheit 451}}'', due to both books being about [[{{Zeerust}} then-future]] {{dystopia}}s and elimination of free thought.
* FunnyMoments: You probably wouldn't expect this, but there are a few moments.
** During the Two Minute Hate, Julia goes so berserk with rage, throwing her shoe at the screen, O'Brien stares at her in incredulity. Knowing what we learn later in the story, it's downright hilarious.
** Winston tries to have a smoke after returning home, only for the tobacco to fall out from the shoddy cigarette in the beginning of the 1984 adaptation.
--> '''Winston''': Bugger!
** The 1954 BBC adaptation has a notable one where O'Brien reads a sample of a porn novel in the Pornosec.
** The way the Thought Police taunts [[spoiler: Winston and Julia]] over the speaker when they get caught sounds outright cartoonish.
--> '''Thought Police''': While we're on the subject, here comes a candle to light up your bed, here comes a chopper to chop off your head!
* GeniusBonus: In the final scene when Winston is playing chess in the Chestnut Tree Café, he picks up a White knight from the board and contemplates a move. The arrangement of the pieces on the chess board suggests that he is considering the tactic of going around and hitting the opposing Black army from behind. Only minutes later, the telescreen announcer reports that the Oceanian forces had just defeated the Eurasian enemy in Africa by using the same tactic.
** Also, Winston's ulcerated ankle is a metaphor for repressed sexual energy.
* HarsherInHindsight: [[http://tinyurl.com/apydbda By 2007, Britain was home to more than 4.2 million CCTV cameras]] monitored by government or civil authorities. 32 of them are within 200 yards of Orwell's London flat, and at least four have a direct line-of-sight to his property, including direct views through the house's rear windows. These numbers have certainly increased since then.
** The totalitarian society the book describes has been more or less realized by UsefulNotes/NorthKorea, which managed to create a state similar to the condition of Oceania a few ''years'' after the book was published.
** One of the 3 super states in the book is the superstate of Eurasia, which practices the ideology of "Neo-Bolshevism" which, as per the themes of the book, is a totalitarian ideology disguising itself as a populist one. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Bolshevism As of now, there is an ACTUAL movement in Russia called National Bolshevism]] which not only sounds similar, but seeks to create a Eurasian super state led by Russia while maintaining a pseudo Communist government. They've been disowned by Marxists and Nationalists alike.
** Also, O'Brien's speech to Winston and Julia in his apartment.
** Plenty of people have commented on how the constant monitoring and citizens spying on each other makes Oceania look a lot like North Korea, but Winston's backstory also bears some disturbing similarities to the story of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_Dong-hyuk Shin Dong-hyuk]], the only person to ever be born in a North Korean labor camp (for either the crimes of his parents or grandparents, he isn't sure which) and escape. Shin claims to have turned in his mother and brother for execution when they tried to escape. He did this because he saw them as competitors for food, and was hoping the guards would let him eat a full meal for the first time in his life (to this day he says he doesn't know what "love" means, and his entire concept of "freedom" is based around being able to eat as much as he wants.)
** With a dose of RealitySubtext thrown in, Richard Burton was dying as the film was being made and his health was so bad that he had to wear support braces during rehearsals. It makes O'Brien's speech to Winston about the frailty of the flesh and the strength of the Party much sadder in the case of Burton and more terrifying in the case of O'Brien.
** The revelations in the 21st Century that Orwell himself [[http://www.openculture.com/2015/02/george-orwell-communist-list.html composed a list of suspected subversives]] for the Secret Service and collaborated with UK's secret service around the same time he finished 1984 has left many people noting that Orwell himself came to love Big Brother and approved some measure of surveillance on targeted citizens, [[PoliticallyIncorrectHero such as "anti-white" Paul Robeson]], Creator/CharlieChaplin and others who are potentially "jewish". Later revelations have likewise exposed that for all of Orwell's criticism of language creating propaganda and hiding the truth in 1984, he himself has a huge history of [[http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/19/orwell-s-big-fat-lies-his-diaries-reveal-problems-with-the-truth.html exaggerating and outright lying]] about some of the events he covered. As they say, WriteWhatYouKnow......
* HilariousInHindsight: It's briefly discussed that the Minitrue has a section dedicated to producing porn, which Julia works for. The porn is [[IKEAErotica barely considered sexual or erotic]], and is more SoBadItsGood than anything else. [[RuleThirtyFour Then the]] [[TheInternetIsForPorn internet happened]].
** So what does the future feel like, according to O'Brien? [[Radio/TheFrantics A boot to the head]].
** In the 1984 film adaptation, Creator/JohnHurt plays Winston, a man oppressed by a totalitarian government. 22 years later he plays Adam Sutler, the head of a totalitarian government in the film adaptation of ''Film/VForVendetta''.
*** And then, he played the role of '''''Big Brother''''' ''himself'' in a 2009 stage adaptation of this novel.
*** Come 2013 in ''Series/DoctorWho'', he regenerates into Creator/ChristopherEccleston. In the ''same year'', Eccleston provided the voice of Winston Smith in a BBC radio adaptation of the book.
*** Later in ''Film/{{Snowpiercer}}'', Hurt plays an elderly man in the lowest social class who later incites a revolution. Then, his character was revealed to be [[spoiler:[[TheMole cooperating with the antagonist]] the whole time, to ensure the planned StagedPopulistUprising among the lowest social class.]]
** The rat torture in the climax is reminiscent of a noticeably less scary scene from the extended cut of the 2006 ''Film/TheWickerMan'' remake, involving poorly CGI'd bees and Creator/NicolasCage {{ham|AndCheese}}ming it up.
* HoYay: Winston is ''pretty'' obsessed with O'Brien.
** To be fair, Winston was fairly certain O'Brien could get him out of HellOnEarth.
** The feeling can be seen as mutual, particularly after it's implied that O'Brien has been working on Smith as his "pet project" for seven years.
*** In the 1984 adaptation, Winston looked genuinely ''heartbroken'' after the reveal of O'Brien's role as TheMole. He later hallucinates about O'Brien, saying ''I love you'' to O'Brien, before he turns into Julia.
* ItWasHisSled: O'Brien is a government agent who tricks Winston and Julia into trusting him. Since he's the one who delivers the Party's messages to the readers, his betrayal is freely discussed as part of the greater debate on the themes of the story. Many modern introductions that display the characters freely spoil that he's the BigBad.
* MagnificentBastard: O'Brien. He's an AffablyEvil GeniusBruiser {{Chessmaster}} ManipulativeBastard who comes off as very charismatic even while he's torturing Winston and ensures the Party's endless victories against all [[LaResistance would-be rebels]].
* MarySuetopia: A Straw Dystopia, where one of the members of StateSec even thinks that The Party will last forever, despite that in reality, there obviously would be corruption, revolts, sabotage, and failures in surveillance system, inefficiency and crises of economics, lack of professionals and social lifts which will lead to failures in the work of state... The list can go on.
* MemeticMutation: This is the work that informs modern life, with "Big Brother" and "BigBrotherIsWatching You," "doublethink," "{{Unperson}}," "thought crime," and "thought police," and "Room101". While we're at it, there's the [[strike:the war with Eastasia]] Eastasia is our ally. We were always at war with Eurasia. Really, the government in the novel communicates to the public almost entirely through memes.
** Artifacts of the pre-Party times survive as memes too: "Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's..."
** "''1984'' was not an instruction manual!" is a common reaction to whenever a group is acting overly censoring.
* MetaphoricallyTrue:
** The names of the Ministries (Ministry of Truth, Ministry of Love, Ministry of Plenty, Ministry of Peace) can be perfectly true from The Party's point of view, rather than ironic. Minitrue doesn't falsify or lie, it corrects the past to show the new truth, which having been corrected has now always been the truth; Minipax maintains ''internal'' peace by continually waging ''external'' war; the goal of Miniluv is for everyone to love Big Brother and The Party; and Miniplenty is in control of Oceania's economy, which appears to actually be very strong but is directed almost solely towards creating weapons and large public gestures which do not actually improve the lives of the population but keep their minds occupied.
** Even the calculation "2+2=5" can become true, as the word "five" is just a signifier attached to a particular meaning. If you are brainwashed into ''knowing'' that the signifier word "five" actually refers to the concept we recognise as "four", then 2+2 can indeed = 5.
* MisaimedFandom: If you think Orwell was solely attacking DirtyCommunists (or, worse, liberals), you've missed the point. Fascist totalitarian regimes and religious theocracies can grow from other movements as well. The reverse is true as well.
** There are those who believe the novel is an attack on socialism, ignoring the fact that Orwell was a committed socialist.
** Some people consider the character of Emmanuel Goldstein to be a symbol of rebellion against tyranny because of his status in the book as a boogeyman for the Party. However, it's likely Goldstein was based on UsefulNotes/LeonTrotsky, whom Orwell considered not much better than the Communists he rebelled against.
** The novel is highly popular among LGBT groups who see the novel's portrayal of constant surveillance, thoughtcrime, and enforcement of ideology as a metaphor for heteronormative society forcing people to remain in the closet, with Winston and Julia's admittedly straight but forbidden romance a reflection of how they had to find love. Indeed Music/DavidBowie planned a musical adaptation of the novel (which eventually got worked into Music/DiamondDogs) that would focus on this aspect of the book. It's quite a shock to learn that Orwell was himself a lifelong homophobe and that at Eton he, as a Prefect, would rat out students he suspected of being gay.
* MisaimedMarketing: The extremely famous 1984 UsefulNotes/SuperBowl Ad for Apple Computers.
* MusicToInvadePolandTo: ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F43DqnMoWi0 Oceania, 'Tis of Thee]]'' from the 1984 film.
* NightmareFuel: Being one of the [[TropeCodifier codifiers]] of the Totalitarian {{Dystopia}}, it should be no surprise that it [[NightmareFuel/NineteenEightyFour has its own page]].
* OlderThanTheyThink: Many of the themes from ''Nineteen Eighty-Four'' appear earlier in Orwell's work. The idea of "the truth" being whatever the ruling elite says (including the specific example of '2+2 = 5')? Chapter Four of ''[[http://www.george-orwell.org/Looking_Back_On_The_Spanish_War/0.html Looking Back on the Spanish War]]''. [[LanguageEqualsThought Political jargon constricting thought?]] ''[[http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm Politics and the English Language]]'', and before that, his ''As I Please'' [[http://wintermute10.tripod.com/AIP-14.htm column]] for March 17, 1944. [[SpaceFillingEmpire The world being divided between a small number of super-states?]] He [[http://www.k-1.com/Orwell/site/work/essays/burnham.html cribbed it]] from James Burnham. History being an endless cycle of the "Middle" deceiving the "Low" in order to depose the "High?" Ditto. Doublethink, 'the power of holding simultaneously two beliefs which cancel out'? ''[[http://orwell.ru/library/articles/nose/english/e_nose In Front of Your Nose]]''. The aversion of EvilWillFail? Chapter Four of ''Looking Back on the Spanish War'', again. The working class (Proles) as the only hope against a totalitarian government, but also [[WorkingClassPeopleAreMorons very stupid and shallow]]? Chapter ''Five'' of ''Looking Back on the Spanish War''. The metaphor of a totalitarian government as a boot stamping on the face of humanity? From Creator/JackLondon's ''Literature/TheIronHeel''.
** The year 1984 itself was allegedly taken from [[http://arlindo-correia.com/101103.html a poem about a bad future written by Orwell's first wife]]. Before that, ''Literature/TheIronHeel'' had used 1984 as an important year in its setting, and Creator/GKChesterton's dystopian novel ''The Napoleon of Notting Hill'' was set in the year 1984.
* ParanoiaFuel: Almost certainly, the worst part of ''1984'' is that it's plausible.
* PraisingShowsYouDontWatch: Ironically, especially given how often just about ''any'' development in how the government works will be met with comparisons to ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'', according to a British survey it's also [[http://tinyurl.com/aon99n the book most people lie about having read]].
* SciFiGhetto: Many literature professors will get ''very angry'' if you call this "ScienceFiction," even though it's set in the future, with a level of surveillance impossible at the book's writing central to the plot and tone and the climax clearly relying on some sort of ultra-sophisticated psychological profiling.
** The otherworldly pyramid architecture of the Ministry buildings. While not necessarily containing an outright sci-fi element, their description evokes a futuristic, utopian feel.
* TearJerker: Has its [[TearJerker/NineteenEightyFour own page]].
* TrueArtIsAngsty: The book is considered one of the greatest ever written, and it's one of the most depressing ones you'll ever read.
* ValuesResonance: TheWarOnTerror created a world where government-enforced surveillance gets uncomfortably close to what Orwell wrote. Subverted in that the proliferation of video capture devices have been used ''against'' authority as well. Also, in that most Western democracies that practice heavy surveillance do not routinely engage in show trials against political enemies which result in mass public executions.
* TheWoobie: Winston and Julia, ''especially'' in the movie.