Conformity in George Orwell's 1984

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 687 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Words: 687|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Role of Conformity in 1984
  2. The Effects of Conformity on Individuals
  3. Repercussions of Non-Conformity
  4. The Relevance of Conformity in Today's Society
  5. Conclusion

In dystopian novel 1984, the theme of conformity is prevalent throughout the narrative. The society depicted in the novel is one in which conformity is enforced by the ruling party, and individuality is suppressed. The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a symbol of resistance to conformity, as he rebels against the oppressive regime of Big Brother. This essay will explore the theme of conformity in 1984, examining how it is portrayed in the novel and its implications for society.

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The Role of Conformity in 1984

Conformity in 1984 is a tool used by the ruling party to maintain control over the population. The party enforces conformity through various means, such as surveillance, propaganda, and the manipulation of language. One of the most striking examples of this is the concept of Newspeak, a language designed to eliminate unorthodox thoughts. By controlling language, the party seeks to control the thoughts and behavior of the citizens, ensuring that they conform to the party's ideology.

Furthermore, the constant surveillance in Oceania serves to instill a sense of paranoia and fear, leading individuals to self-censor their thoughts and conform to the party's expectations. The telescreens, which are present in every home and public space, serve as a constant reminder that the party is watching, further reinforcing the need for conformity.

The Effects of Conformity on Individuals

In 1984, conformity has a profound impact on the individual psyche. The protagonist, Winston Smith, struggles with the pressure to conform to the party's ideology while also harboring thoughts of rebellion. His desire for individuality and freedom conflicts with the party's demands for conformity, leading to inner turmoil and a sense of alienation.

Additionally, the lack of individuality in Oceania leads to a sense of dehumanization, as people become mere cogs in the party's machinery. The suppression of personal identity and expression results in a society devoid of creativity and innovation, as individuals are discouraged from thinking independently or questioning the status quo.

Repercussions of Non-Conformity

In 1984, non-conformity is met with severe consequences. Those who deviate from the party's ideology are subjected to torture, imprisonment, or even death. The character of Syme, for example, is eliminated by the party for being too intelligent and therefore potentially dangerous. This serves as a chilling reminder of the fate that awaits those who dare to express independent thoughts or resist conformity.

Furthermore, the party's manipulation of reality through propaganda and historical revisionism makes it difficult for individuals to discern truth from falsehood, further inhibiting any form of non-conformity. The constant rewriting of history serves to erase any evidence of dissent, reinforcing the party's control over the narrative and discouraging individuals from challenging the status quo.

The Relevance of Conformity in Today's Society

While 1984 is a work of fiction, its themes of conformity and totalitarianism are relevant to contemporary society. In today's world, there are numerous examples of governments and institutions seeking to control the thoughts and behavior of the population, often through surveillance, censorship, and propaganda. The rise of social media and the digital age has also led to increased scrutiny and pressure to conform to societal norms and expectations.

Furthermore, the novel serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of sacrificing individuality for the sake of conformity. It highlights the importance of critical thinking, freedom of expression, and the preservation of personal identity in the face of oppressive forces. By examining the consequences of conformity in 1984, we are reminded of the value of independent thought and the need to resist attempts to suppress it.

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The theme of conformity in George Orwell's 1984 serves as a compelling exploration of the dangers of totalitarianism and the suppression of individuality. The novel portrays a society in which conformity is enforced through surveillance, propaganda, and the manipulation of language, leading to the dehumanization of individuals and the eradication of independent thought. Through the character of Winston Smith, the novel illustrates the psychological and emotional toll of conformity, as well as the repercussions of non-conformity. In today's society, the themes of 1984 continue to resonate, serving as a powerful reminder of the importance of preserving individuality and resisting oppressive forces.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Conformity in George Orwell’s 1984. (2024, March 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 17, 2024, from
“Conformity in George Orwell’s 1984.” GradesFixer, 15 Mar. 2024,
Conformity in George Orwell’s 1984. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jun. 2024].
Conformity in George Orwell’s 1984 [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 15 [cited 2024 Jun 17]. Available from:
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