Psychological Lens: 1984

“From error to error, one discovers the entire truth” (Sigmund Freud).

The novel 1984 was written by the famous author, George Orwell. In 1984, the protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith is faced with many pressures throughout his journey going against the government and its parties. The novel 1984 by George Orwell reveals the psychological hardships in Winston’s life by stating the importance of his varicose ulcer which flares up during his Acts of Rebellion that brought him electric shocks as a form of conditioning.

The novel 1984 Case Study

Winston has a varicose ulcer above his right ankle and it can be viewed as an indication of his consistent repressed humanity. Relating to psychology, repression is defined as a psychological defense mechanism that occurs when a person consistently pushes away a particularly painful or disturbing thought, memory, or desire in an attempt to keep his or her mind in a more pleasurable, less anxious state and humanity, according to the Collins Dictionary, is defined as people in general and the condition of being human. It is viewed that when Winston has disagreeable thoughts, he is pushing away his “repressed humanity”. Winston’s ulcer flares up and itches when he has internal conflicts about the political news, the rebellion, the government, and his dissent. In the quote “Moreover, his varicose ulcer had begun itching unbearably. He dared not to scratch it, because if he did so it always became inflamed”, it illuminates when Winston’s varicose ulcer begins to itch unbearably after he begins to write in his journal and has an internal conflict about the government and its parties in his mind. Through the quote “He had grown fatter, his varicose ulcer had subsided, leaving only a brown stain on the skin above his ankle, his fits of coughing in the early morning had stopped”, this indicates how Winston’s life and his varicose ulcer gets better when he continues to meet Julia at Mr. Charrington’s shop. Winston’s ulcer is an indication of repressed humanity because it is observed that the ulcer begins to flare and itch when he is about to write in his journal and when he has internal conflict about Big Brother and in addition to this, when he is with Julia, the ulcer gets better due to him living in a less repressed manner.