Irony of George Orwell’s 1984
“The irony of a dystopia is, nasty and brutish as they are, they generally start with the very best of intentions” -Author Unknown Through the backdrop of a falling apart world, George Orwell is able to paint an image of human life in years to come, if the society he lives in continues the track it is on. Using paradox in Orwell’s unique “1984” even more enhances the satirical nature of the book, and opens readers to a world of thought provoking subjects. Oceania, the strict dystopian Superstate of “1984”, drives many people consisting of Winston Smith to their snapping point, and lays the ground in which lots of paradoxical circumstances are born.
The main style of Chapter One handle Winston’s desire to write down his deeply felt ideas about the Celebration. The amount of paradox used in this chapter is abundant, and the thing in which sets the tone for the rest of the book. In the opening scene, Winston Smith is scared to open his journal because he is terrified of being “penalized by death, or at least twenty 5 years in a forced labor camp” (9 ). The irony of the situation is that the Party claims absolutely nothing to be illegal, as “there were no longer any laws” (9 ).
People of Oceania are constantly in fear of laws which do not exist. The fear of the unidentified is what is nagging at lots of people’s souls. In Oceania, there is always a constant threat of disappearing, with every thread of your presence pursued you are removed. Without stating a word, the Celebration has the ability to control the minds of numerous powerless residents, and cause them to live their lives in consistent fear. Many examples of situational paradox happen in the 2nd book of 1984. Winston leads the majority of his life friendless, feeling as no one comprehends him.
Near completion of book two, Winston finds confidants in O’Brien, Julia and Mr. Charrington. We experience the cheerful sensation Winston has when he recognizes he isn’t alone in his thoughts and sensations towards the Party. Together, they are conspiring to take Big Bro and everything he stands for, down. Paradoxically however, individuals who give Winston the most pleasure wind up causing him the most misery. By the last page of book two, Winston recognizes that Mr. Charrington, a male he trusts, belongs to the Thought Cops. Winston’s crave for attention is the straw that broke the camel’s back.
He is blinded by his desire for somebody to relate with him, although O’Brien says “Don’t deceive yourself. You did understand it-you have actually constantly known it” (239 ), when concerning his own involvement with the Idea Cops. To Winston’s understanding by the end of Book 3, Chapter One, Julia is the only person who is not betraying him. This is ironic in itself, as it is not seen commonly in our society or Orwell’s alike, that a young promiscuous twenty-something years of age woman is securing her thirty 9 years of age, frail, varicose ulcer-possessing fan.
The extreme use of paradox throughout “1984” is yet another method that even more boosts the satirical nature of this book. The use of situational irony, in which a character appears to be one way but then ends up the complete opposite, is highly prevalent in the character of Mr. Tom Parsons. Although a “fattish but active guy of disabling stupidity” (22 ), Mr. Parsons makes a terrific impact on the method the book is shaped. Seen as the best Party member, Mr. Parsons salutes Huge Bro every morning and takes pride is his children, whom are both members of the Spies.
Parallel to that of the Hitler Youth in Orwell’s time, the Spies are training children to become vessels in which only have the capability to enjoy Big Sibling, shop and report knowledge of odd adult behavior. It is paradoxical that even in the security of your own house, no one is safe. No matter the scenario, Winston was speechless when Mr. Parsons was tossed into the underground prison at the Ministry of Love, for murmuring obscenities about Huge Brother in his sleep. Ironic in the sense that Mr. Parsons would do anything for the Celebration, O’Brien and the guards would not budge.
Mr. Parsons was quickly eliminated to Space 101. It can be argued that Mr. Parsons was the Party’s biggest failure. Through the immense conditioning that the Celebration and Parsons himself, put him through, they still aren’t able to control his ideas. This example of paradox is one that leaves a sliver of expect the future. Mr. Parsons represents how propaganda and brainwashing methods are not 100% foolproof. His subconscious still holds on to his initial and true beliefs which are, as he dreams, “Down with Big Brother” (233 ).