Relishing in Relics: The Role of History in 1984 12th Grade

History has been, and always will be, a matter of perspective. Wars, for example, will be viewed and taught differently by each respective country involved. Some things will be written off and forgotten, while somewhere else they are made sure to be remembered. In George Orwell’s 1984, history is often falsified to benefit the government. However, while the past may not be accurate in the minds of the utopia’s citizens, the true past occasionally lingers in other forms. In this novel, the past is preserved in objects rather than in words, such as in a picture and a field.

Knowingly, the protagonist, Winston, alters newspapers and other various documents to rewrite the past in a way that protects the government and allows them to persist and continue running in their totalitarian ways. However, as he explores his world, he unknowingly stumbles across relics of the past that are unchangeable and keep alive a time before the world he knows. One thing Winston discovers is an old photo of a church called St. Clement’s Dane, to which, “It seemed vaguely familiar [to him]” (97). Even just the slightest recognition of an old building is vital because this is what triggers Winston’s mind to begin to ponder every small artifact he...

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