1984 Review: Fan Favorites

Over the past two months, junior students in AP Lang worked on unit Society and Corruption to learn about fictional comparisons to real life from author George Orwell. Examining the writing strategies through the dystopian world of 1984, Mrs. DeMarco trains students to find Orwell’s intended connections and purposes. A poll was sent out to the students asking a variety of questions about their opinions on 1984.

Favorite character 

Students’ majority: Julia

“She’s so based and doesn’t care about anything i love her i feel her vibes” Leo Rael of Period 3 responds in the poll. 

Mrs. DeMarco: Winston

“Winston is the epitome of hope,” Mrs. DeMarco says, “like the desire to have better intentions even when you don’t know much better.” 

Favorite story arc 

Students’ majority: Rats arc 

“I like rats” 

“Bc rats obvi” 

“cuz rats”

Mrs. DeMarco: Torture/Rats arc 

“I’m a huge fan of what Room 101 turns out to be, like the fact that it suggests that for everybody it’s different and it’s like the embodiment of what you fear because that takes Big Brother and the Party to the next level–they’re not just scary because they have control, they’re scary because they know how to get inside of your head and use your worst fears against you.” She explains that the torture of Winston was needed to get to the conclusion: “I think it helped me get to the end because it proves that hope isn’t enough, but also there is hope that maybe if there are enough people, they can band together and there’ll be too many for the Party to quell. But I wouldn’t have believed that Winston would have fallen into the Party without the lead up by the torture and without the Room 101.”

Favorite Concept 

Students’ majority: The Party and Doublethink 

Mrs. DeMarco: Newspeak

“So English teacher of me to say Newspeak because I can see so many parallels between what Orwell was warning us against and what we see even in just abbreviations or just the way language has changed on TikTok … It kind of gets to what Orwell was warning us about with Newspeak–that Newspeak is the degradation of language by trying to make it shorter, simpler, easier, but in reality it just means we have less things to say.” 

Winston’s true love

From the results of the poll, O’Brien wins the spot as Winston’s true love by an overwhelming majority of 44.4%. 

“It’s O’Brien. Yes, I agree. O’Brien is his one true love,” Mrs. DeMarco says. 

Likable ending?

Students’ majority: No

Many students responded in the poll including words like “unsatisfactory,” “hopeless,” and even “boring” to express their discontent with the ending of Winston loving The Party. 

Mrs. DeMarco: Yes

“I loved the ending because the ending can be so many different things. It can be what you want it to be. It can be a message of hope that if there were 20 people like Winston they couldn’t stop them all. But it’s also that hopelessness that if we don’t do something now, we might live in a world that’s somewhat similar to 1984. So it’s like the combination of hope and fear and however you wanna view it.” Upon being asked if she likes open endings, Mrs. DeMarco responds, “It’s open but not so open that anything can happen. It’s not like you’re questioning what happens next. It’s that you can interpret the endings however you want. That’s what I think makes an ending good.” 

These entertaining aspects of 1984 allowed students to learn important lessons of trial and error, despair and hope. With this new information, students look at the world with a fresh and modern perspective.