The consequences of collective experiences on individual’s thoughts is highlighted in Orwell’s 1984 through Winston encounters in the midst of governmental and political oppression.
Rebellion is a dangerous act in the totalitarian society of Oceania. Winston is in constant struggle with holding his thoughts in, but when he does, it happens in ‘sheer panic.’ The ‘smooth creamy pages’ of his diary contrasts with Winston’s ‘overwhelming desire to possess it,’ showing that he is drawn to something beyond the harsh and drab world he inhabits. Winston shows a cautious freedom and defiance by using a diary as a place to keep his thoughts. He expresses his feelings about the party, stating ‘DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER” knowing that doing so is a crime.
During the two-minute hate scene at ‘one moment Winston’s hatred was not tuned against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary.” Orwell uses this vivid imagery to display the effects of collective experiences on individuals like Winston leading to his refusal to conform thus realises a deep hate for his society.
Winston initially rejects the collective experience through asserting his own idea whereas the Parsons and Syme’s embrace these experiences. This is shown in a Syme’s statement, ‘The destruction of words is a beautiful thing,’ which highlights the extent that the party has on society reflecting how individuals adopt the idea of one’s society and abandon their quest for knowledge.
Julia’s cynical approach towards propaganda and oppression by the party shows the affect of collective experiences, ‘I thought we’d always been at war with Eurasia’ and ‘Who cares? It’s always one bloody war after another.’ Julia rebels by being duplicitous, committing physical, sexual acts of rebellion and speaking openly and coarsely of her hatred for the party, but then is the perfect party member in public whereas Winston does this by his ‘formulation of thoughts.’
Thus, Orwell highlights the consequences of excessive control by authorities which may compel individuals to rebel, resist and uprise.


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