Nineteen Eighty-Four is an interesting novel to interpret because it contains a number of different themes which are highly relevant in the world of today, even though the book is almost 70 years old. For example, the novel touches upon topics like surveillance, propaganda, totalitarian government, love and sexuality, nostalgia for the past, the importance of language and even philosophical questions about the nature of reality itself.
Some of these themes are presented through the central symbols featured throughout the novel. Many of these symbols gain multiple different meanings as the story progresses - for example, the nursery rhyme “Oranges and Lemons” starts out representing something positive, but ends up having very dark implications.
It is also important to consider the message Orwell wishes to deliver with the book. It is clear that the book is intended as a cautionary tale, but it needs some interpretation to figure out exactly what Orwell is trying to warn the readers about. In this context, it is also important to consider the historical periods that Orwell had recently lived through when writing the novel - such as the rise of the Soviet Union and the rise and fall of Nazi Germany.
You can find more detailed information about how to interpret the novel in the following pages.