In “1984” what are the Two Minutes Hate?

Updated 21 March, 2023
In "1984," the two minutes hate is a daily ritual in which party members gather to watch a video portraying enemies of the state, including Emmanuel Goldstein, a former leader of the party. The video is designed to provoke strong emotions of hatred and disgust in the viewers, who are expected to shout and scream along with the crowd. The purpose of the two minutes hate is to reinforce the party's ideology and control over its members.
Detailed answer:

In George Orwell's "1984," the Two Minutes Hate is a daily event that takes place in Oceania, the fictional dystopian society in which the novel is set. During this ritual, the members of the society are required to gather together in front of a telescreen and watch a film depicting the enemy of the state, Emmanuel Goldstein. The film portrays Goldstein as a traitor and a threat to the state, and viewers are encouraged to direct their anger and hatred towards him. The purpose of the Two Minutes Hate is to reinforce the state's message of hate and fear towards its enemies, as well as to create a sense of unity among the citizens through shared emotion.

In the novel, Winston Smith, the protagonist, despises the Two Minutes Hate, as he feels that it forces people to act against their true feelings and to participate in a collective hysteria that is manufactured by the state. The following passage illustrates Winston's thoughts during one of these events: "The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic."

The Two Minutes Hate is a powerful symbol of the state's control over its citizens' emotions and thoughts, as well as their ability to manipulate them for its own purposes. It serves to emphasize the novel's themes of totalitarianism, propaganda, and the dangers of a society that suppresses free thought and individuality.

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