1984 Motifs
by George Orwell

A motif is a recurring pattern or element of a story. A motif works similar to a symbol by calling attention to important elements of a story.

Prophetic Dreams

Winston dreams consistently come true in the novel. In addition to his dreams, Winston often has waking premonitions concerning his fate or the fate of others that are almost always correct.

Propaganda Contrasting Reality

Throughout the novel the Party uses propaganda directly contrasting observable reality. For instance, calling the section of the government engaged in torture the "Ministry of Love". This is an important motif because this phenomenon is employed by actual governments to redirect the thinking of the populace through the use of euphemism or outright lies.


The ubiquitous telesceens in the novel serve to remind the reader of the continual surveillance endured by the characters. Chilling parallels can be drawn to actual, modern practices by governments like those of the United States.

Allusions to Nazi Germany

Orwell wrote this novel near the end of World War II and makes numerous allusions to aspects of Nazi Germany.

Share on Pinterest