Hate Week

Hate Week is a week of events that are designed to make the citizens of Oceania feel as much hate as possible towards certain enemies in George Orwell’s ‘1984.’ 

The Definitive Glossary for 1984

The objects of their hatred are Eurasia and Eastasia, and the men and women who make up the superstates, as well as Emmanuel Goldstein. It is celebrated in late summer. During this time, there are parades, speeches, lectures, and new videos shown to the public. New slogans are coined, and spread and new songs are put out. 

The citizens of Oceania are expected to participate, with gusto, in all the parts of Hate Week. This includes the daily Two Minutes Hate that occurs throughout the year. The various preparations are described in a list on page 186. The passage reads: 

Processions, meetings, military parades, lectures, waxworks, displays, film shows, telescreen programmes all had to be organized; stands had to be erected, effigies built, slogans coined, songs written, rumours circulated, photographs faked. 

Winston also notes that Julia’s department (The Fiction Department) was circulating “atrocity pamphlets.” 

Hate Week Definition

Hate Week is an operation put on Oceania’s government in order to increase the hatred the population feels. The hatred is directed at the two opposing superstates, Eurasia and Eastasia, as well as at Emmanuel Goldstein, the leader of the mythical “Brotherhood.” 

It requires a great deal of preparation on the part of the Outer Party members. Winston smith notes that: 

 Working hours had been drastically increased in anticipation of Hate Week. It was more than a month distant, but the enormous, complex preparations that it entailed were throwing extra work on to everybody.

The first mention of Hate Week appears on page 3, the first page of text in 1984. He is walking from the street into his apartment building. He avoids the elevator, knowing that it doesn’t work “at the best of times” and that right now, it certainly wasn’t going to. He thinks: 

at present the electric current was cut off during daylight hours. It was part of the economy drive in preparation for Hate Week. 

Before readers know precisely what Hate Week is, it’s made clear that it’s important enough to turn off the electric current to certain parts of the city. 

Examples of Hate Week in 1984 

Victory Mansion

Towards the beginning of the novel, Winston’s neighbor, Parsons, reminds Winston that he owes two dollars to fund their apartment’s decorations for Hate Week. Parsons says: 

For Hate Week. You know—the house-by-house fund. I’m treasurer for our block. We’re making an all-out effort— going to put on a tremendous show. I tell you, it won’t be my fault if old Victory Mansions doesn’t have the biggest outfit of flags in the whole street. Two dollars you promised me.

This is one of the many ways that the citizens of Oceania are meant to spend their money. Winston admits that he has a hard time keeping up with all the “subs” or subscriptions they are expected to pay. Later, Parsons brings Hate Week up again, talking about a: “a papier-mache model of Big Brother’s head, two meters wide, which was being made for the occasion by his daughter’s troop of Spies.” 

On page 187, Orwell provides more details in regard to the preparations Parsons was in charge of during Hate Week: 

Squads of volunteers, organized by Parsons, were preparing the street for Hate Week, stitching banners, painting posters, erecting flagstaffs on the roofs, and perilously slinging wires across the street for the reception of streamers. Parsons boasted that Victory Mansions alone would display four hundred metres of bunting. 

The Hate Song 

The Hate Song is a yearly composition created to celebrate Hate Week. It is played through the telescreens, ensuring that no one can get away from it. Orwell writes: 

The new tune which was to be the theme-song of Hate Week (the Hate Song, it was called) had already been composed and was being endlessly plugged on the telescreens. It had a savage, barking rhythm which could not exactly be called music, but resembled the beating of a drum. Roared out by hundreds of voices to the tramp of marching feet, it was terrifying. 

Even the Proles, he notes, had taken a liking to the song. The children next door to Winston played it endlessly. 

The Sixth Day of Hate Week 

On page 228, Orwell writes about the success of Hate Week. It has succeeded in rousing the hatred and discontent in the citizen’s hearts and channeling at the right sources, determined by the Party. It was at this point that the hatred was at its peak and that the Party could change the war. They announced that “Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally. “ No one in the government admitted that there was a change. It simply happened everywhere at once. Winston was taking part in a demonstration when the change occurred. 

A member of the Inner Party was on stage speaking, sometimes getting drowned out by the “wild beast-like roaring that rose uncontrollably from thousands of throats.” It was twenty minutes into the speech that a messenger hurled onto the stage and handed the man a message. 

Without skipping a beat, the names changed, and the crowd understood that Oceania was at war with Eastasia and not Eurasia. The crowd’s anger was then directed at the banners, convinced that Goldstein was to blame for the now wrong names. Orwell writes: 

There was a riotous interlude while posters were ripped from the walls, banners torn to shreds and trampled underfoot. The Spies performed prodigies of activity in clambering over the rooftops and cutting the streamers that fluttered from the chimneys.


What page is Hate Week on in 1984?

The best descriptions of Hate Week can be found around page 228 when Winston is at a demonstration and Oceania’s enemy changes in the middle of a speech. 

What is the new theme song of Hate Week called?

The theme song for each years’ Hate Week is known as the Hate Song. 

What is Winston’s role in Hate Week?

Winston and everyone else have to do extra work to prepare for Hate Week. Winston doesn’t take a huge role in the preparations around his apartment, but he does give money to help fund them. 

  • Big Brother: the leader of Oceania and the face of the Party. He’s desired as a war hero, inventor, and more. He may also not be real. 
  • INGSOC: newspeak for English Socialism, the governing system used throughout Oceania.
  • Doublethink: cognitive dissonance. Or the act of thinking two contradictory things at once. Or believing that the two things are true. 
  • Newspeak: the language used to diminish the range of thought in Oceania. 
  • Ministry of Love: responsible for brainwashing the citizens of Oceania. 

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