Chapter 3: Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires


In literature, a vampire is not always the stereotypical suck-your-blood Count Dracula monster. Instead, the vampire analogy is extended to meaning any character that acts "toward their fellows in exploitative and selfish ways" (Foster 21). Exploitative and selfish ways.. a number of people/organizations in 1984 can relate to that! Let us list them:
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Be very afraid..

Julia: Sexually corrupted members of the Party in order to give her a feeling of rebellion and hatred against Big Brother
O'Brien: Played with Winston's trust, even enlisting him into the Brotherhood, and then ironically sucking his mind dry of any rebellious feelings
Charrington: Offered Winston and Julia privacy and safety in the room above his shop; Invaded the couple's privacy by placing a telescreen in the room; Appeared to turn younger after extracting the couple's freedom when he assembled the thought police
Big Brother: Exploits the lives of Oceania's citizens for the sole purpose of the immortality of the Party
Oceania / Eurasia / Eastasia: Drains the freedom out of the populations living in the captivity of the border regions in order to keep the war going and, furthermore, to prolong the lives of the three superpowers

According to the reasons that Charrington demonstrates his vampire similarities in this page about vampirism in 1984, all these characters / organizations above are, in fact, vampires. By this list, 1984 is clearly a horror story filled with monsters.

Chapter 5: Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before?

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Bring back memories, AP 11 students? Well it should. Yes, there is a Hester Prynne, from The Scarlet Letter, in 1984. In this case, Hawthorne's adultorous heroine is reborn as Julia. First of all, Julia relates to Hester in that both women sport a red/scarlet item. For Hester, she is forced to wear a scarlet letter A, a "symbol of shame for the rest of her life" as stated in this for essay, as the punishment given to by her fellow Puritans for committing adultery. In 1984, Julia wears a red sash to show her membership in the Junior Anti-Sex League. In a way, Julia is forced into this league due to pressure from the society created by Big Brother. In turn, just like Hester, Julia is turned into a symbol for the benefit of the government. They both are meant to keep the public in line. For Hester, her letter is meant to make people pity her for her sins. For Julia, her sash is meant to persuade fellow Party members to accept celibacy. The comparison does not stop here. Although, by first impressions, Julia does not seem like Hester, with her moral flaws, both women try to hide their sexual lives. Hester's secret is instantly compromised when she becomes pregnant with Pearl, but the father's identity remains to be revealed until later in the book. In Julia's case, she has had many sexual escapades that were thought to be undetected and her red sash proves a useful cover for her real sexual behavior, as described in this description of Julia. But yet again, her flaws were revealed to the government too later in the book, if not immediately, as her first sex partner may have ratted her out. This question will forever remain unanswered, though, as the thought police were known to capture criminals whenever it best suited them.Although many, many years apart, both women served as tools for their governments and stood for sexual rebellion.

Envoi: Life's a Game

At the end of 1984, Winston plays a game of chess in the Chestnut Tree Cafe. During his game, the telescreen announces a news bulletin about the war. This specific bulletin alerts the public about the fronts in Africa. While playing the game of chess, Winston pictures the Oceanic troops moving forward from the south to fight the Eurasian army in central Africa. With each move in his chess game, he imagines a stragetic advance or withdrawal of the Oceanic/Eurasian troops. Finally, Winston makes a tentative move. He imagines "a white arrow tearing horizontally eastward" (Orwell 242). The telescreens scream with trumpets. Victory! Oceania won! Oceania now controls Africa...
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1984 "Risk"


What does this passage infer about the war? It clearly relates it to the game of chess. Earlier in the novel, Winston proves many times over that the facts of the war are constantly being changed. Even the enemy changes routinely! By drawing clear distinctions between Winston's chess moves and the military advances, this passage points out the similarities of the two. More simply, it shows that the war is just a game. It makes the reader question whether the war is even real in the first place.

Although it isn't exactly chess, this passage reminded me of "Risk". In fact, "Risk's" map would be a very good analogy for the war in 1984. The governments of the world superpowers take it as a game. It isn't a serious war - it's just something to keep the citizens on their feet while the Inner Party lives comfortably on the suffering and slavery of millions. One month, Oceania may decide it's going to take over one border region. Maybe it'll fight for another region for a year or so. Maybe it'll even press the "undo" button and be in an alliance with Eurasia and fight to protect Japan. Who knows? It all depends on what the Inner Party thinks will get the Outer Party and the Proles more fired up for war and, in doing so, get distraced from what is really going on behind the scenes. Much like the symbols summary central's summary of 1984, Winston's chess game shows that no matter what the situation is, Big Brother controls the game and will always win.


~Big Brother's Music Video of the War~