1984 Essay Research Paper George Orwell has
1984 Essay, Research Paper
George Orwell has been a major contributor to anticommunist literature around the World War II period. Orwell
lived in England during World War II, a time when the Totalitarianism State, Nazi Germany, was at war with
England and destroyed the city of London. (DISC) “I know that building’ said Winston finally. It’s a ruin now. It’s in
the middle of the street outside the Palace of Justice. ‘That’s right. Outside the Law Courts. It was bombed in-oh
many years ago.’” (Orwell 83). The main character’s being reflects Orwell’s own life experiences as a citizen in war
torn England and how he uses this in 1984. George Orwell is famous for two major novels, which attack
totalitarianism. The first is Animal Farm a satire describing the leaders of the Soviet Union as animals on an animal
farm. The second novel is 1984 a story of dictators who are in complete control of a large part of the world after the
Allies lost in World War II. The government in this novel gives no!
freedoms to its citizens. They live in fear because they are afraid of having bad thoughts about the government of
Oceania, a crime punishable by death. By employing literary devices such as diction, foreshadowing, and
symbolism, Orwell composes a novel “1984″ which proves to be a gem in Orwell’s collection of novels against
totalitarianism. Orwell wrote 1984 as a political statement against totalitarianism.
Orwell’s word choice drives the plot of the story in that they introduce a new dimension, a world where everything
takes place in a modern controlled society. The phrase “Newspeak” was created by Orwell to describe a derivation
of the English language, which this new world uses to communicate, and to represent of authoritative dialogue
which takes place throughout the novel. (Meckier) Another phrase chosen by Orwell to illustrate the new controlled
society is “double-think”, a word which is part of the “Newspeak” language.. He chooses to use another made up
expression to further enhance the atmosphere which does not allow for an individual to “think twice” about what the
government expresses. “It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” (Orwell 5) Orwell
carefully selects the words for this sentence and chooses to introduce the story in the past tense, as though all things
have already occurred. This suggests that the narrator has already l!
ived through the actions that take place in this book and is only describing his memory. (Lawrimore) If Orwell had
written this book in present tense, the opportunity to foreshadow to such an extent would have been dramatically cut
down. In Orwell’s above sentence, the word “thirteen” is used as an alternative to “one” to describe the time. By
choosing to use the word “thirteen” Orwell portrays the society to be one which is altered and possibly of military
control. “I wanted to rape you and then murder you afterwards. Two weeks ago I thought seriously of smashing your
head in with a cobblestone. If you really want to know, I imagined that you had something to do with the Thought
Police” (Orwell 101). The choice of words here is so very descriptive that you, the reader, can actually feel the
atmosphere, which the characters dwell in. This exercises the belief that Orwell does indeed realize the power of
language and words, which should never be underestimated. (Lawrimo!
re) “The way something is stated can affect the connotation of the whole passage, and it is quite possible that
sometime, somewhere, it will be a bright, cold day in April and the clocks will be striking thirteen.” (Lawrimore)
Each statement Orwell makes in this novel symbolizes a great deal more than what its face value suggests for the
purpose of exhibiting his deeper, personal beliefs on totalitarianism. “It was a bright, cold day in April, and the
clocks were striking thirteen.” (Orwell 5) 1984 begins with a powerful first sentence, which provides many hints
about a demented society. This first sentence allows for the reader to make his / her opinions without further reading
any additional words. Orwell chooses to use the word “thirteen” opposed to “one” to possibly suggest a military like
society or even a world that is changing from old to new. (Lawrimore) A world with old traditions, ideas, and
thinking are slowly being replaced by new. (Lawrimore) Another symbol found in this sentence is “bright, cold day
in April.” It is quite unusual to have a cold bright, or “crisp”, day in April. Most often April is considered to be a
warm, wet month. Orwell implies that the seasons are mixed u!
p or the world’s climate is being controlled, possibly by computer or other means. (Lawrimore) This is yet another
reference to the totalitarinistic military society. Throughout 1984, Orwell portrays this society as being controlled by
a greater power, “Big Brother.” “It was in the middle of the morning, and Winston had left his cubicle to go to the
lavatory.” (Orwell 88) “?left his cubicle” symbolizes that the person is controlled much like a rat, where the victim
has no say in how to live or what life really is. The individual is disallowed to think for themselves and must obey or
be destroyed. Orwell believes so strongly against the totalitarianistic, utopian, perfect society where each and every
mind thinks and acts alike. The characters of 1984 never gain the knowledge of what is better in life since the
supreme authority never allows for one to excel.
Orwell uses symbols to represent his own experiences and beliefs regarding a controlling government. “Katharine’s
white body, frozen forever by the hypnotic power of the Party? Why could he not have a woman of his own instead
of these filthy scuffles at intervals of years? But a real love affair was an almost unthinkable event. The woman of
the Party where all alike. Chasity was so deeply ingrained in them as Party loyalty.” Orwell uses relationships to
represent another element of the ordinary life which the totalitarinistic government, “The Party,” takes away. For a
woman to make love to a man was punishable by death. The act of sexual intercourse was seen merely as a physical
action that was necessary at given intervals. Orwell infers that sex, part of everyday life, is controlled and pleasure,
desire, along with feelings are eliminated in this utopian civilization. It is true this allegorical story has an interesting
“surface” tale, it is necessary to look deeper!
into this work to thoroughly understand the author’s purpose. (Sedlak) What Orwell writes in words have a deeper
meaning within which can be seen in the year 1997.
In conjunction with the use of symbolism Orwell uses foreshadowing to hint at what the character will experience in
the future. As the first sentence of 1984: “It was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
(Orwell 5) George Orwell foreshadows a book about a world that differs greatly from that which we currently know.
(Lawrimore) “Big Brother is watching you, the caption beneath it ran.” (Orwell 5) Orwell frequently uses this
excerpt to build suspense and make the reader aware of life in totalitarinistic society. Orwell hints at someone or
something that oversees, later identified as the “Thought Police.” “Obviously the kind of encounter that had
happened this morning could not be repeated.” (Orwell 92) Orwell foreshadows that the meeting that occurred may
take place again bringing confusion and chaos into the plot. Again, Orwell suggests that the totalitarinistic society
disallow an action that took place. “The whole climate of thought !
will be different. In fact there will be no thought.” (Orwell 47) Orwell exhibits his view, which is that the individual
of a controlled society can and will not think for themselves. He foreshadows that the concept of thought is
diminishing and will soon be eliminated. For an individual to think for themself under control of “The Party” would
be breaking the law.
George Orwell had deep resentment against totalitarianism and what it stood for. He saw the problem of
totalitarianism in his existing world. He also understood how the problem could fester and become larger due to
instability in Europe’s economy after World War II. He purposely makes the story, 1984, unrealistic and blown out
of proportion to capture people’s attention and make them think maybe it wouldn’t be unrealistic in the near future.
With his deep resentment toward totalitarianism it became the focal point of his novels. George Orwell’s, novels
were directed toward against totalitarianism and for Socialism and what it stood for. (DISC)
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