Orwell’s Literary Strategy in 1984
Frequently, individuals and groups, in an attempt to produce a much better, more perfect, society, wind up developing just the opposite. This opposite is termed a dystopian society and is the subject of George Orwell’s novel 1984. In this novel, Orwell utilizes literary devices such as metaphor, importance and diction to advance his theme that totalitarianism, a dystopian society, brings psychological control for individuals under its control.
Orwell intends to develop a fearful and wary effect in its audience as they check out of the risks of totalitarianism. One way that this society keeps its individuals in line is by controlling the method they believe. This is achieved by controlling the language.
First, individuals are constantly bombarded with the paradoxical mottos War is Peace and Liberty is Slavery which keep individuals in line with the continuous warring state of government and their slavish loyalty to it. Furthermore, Winston’s colleague Syme excitedly reveals the process of eliminating words from the language in order to manage thoughts.
The outcome is called Newspeak, an uncreative way to express a newer, more compact language. The diction utilized in Newspeak is equally uncreative. Instead of the variety of words to reveal ‘good’ with its extensive array of connotations, just variations on ‘excellent’ are utilized, such as ‘ungood’ and ‘doubleplusgood’ depending on the belief. Naturally the ultimate purpose of this butchery of language is to manage the method the people think. Syme notes:
Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the variety of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime actually difficult, since there will be no words in which to reveal it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be revealed by exactly one word, with its meaning strictly specified and all its subsidiary significances rubbed out and forgotten (Orwell, Chapter 1, Part 5).
Through his usage of diction, or the paring down of diction, Orwell reveals the restrictions of thought and communication in the society. This serves the goal of emotionally manipulation of the people in order to keep them in line in this totalitarian society.
Another way that this society manipulates its people is through the consistent rearrangement and modification of history. While history is expected to be continuous, here, history is in a constant state of flux. Winston operates at the Ministry of Fact, which is really a metaphor for lies and manipulation.
At work, the main character’s job is to remove individuals who have actually ended up being vaporized and to change ‘truths’ as the government changes its mind about who the opponent is and what the provisions are. In an effort to escape his desolate presence, Winston leaves with his sweetheart Julia to the room over Mr. Charrington’s store.
He wondered vaguely whether in the abolished past it had been a regular experience to lie in bed like this, in the cool of a summer evening, a male and a woman without any clothing on, making love when they picked, broaching what they picked, not feeling any obsession to get up, simply lying there and listening to peaceful noises outdoors. Undoubtedly there could never ever have been a time when that seemed normal? (Orwell, Ch 2, Part 4).
This room at first represents security, joy and happiness to the couple, however it soon changes to horror as they are found and taken to the Ministry of Love. Here, paradoxically, people are tortured.
A last method which people are manipulated into giving in to the demands of totalitarianism is the through the ever present symbols of the party. Initially, the people can not miss out on the image of Huge Bro, the symbolic representation of the party who is constantly “viewing you”! This image is everywhere, impossible to miss.
Second of all, the celebration discovers person’s symbolic worries and uses them against them in the Ministry of Love. For example, rats represent to Winston the scaries of losing his mother. Therefore, the rats are the very thing which force Winston to give up his sweetheart and quit his own perceptiveness.
Further, the area which represents this supreme fear is Room 101. Here everybody’s biggest worry comes to life. This is also obvious in the symbolic equation 2 +2=5, which represents Winston’s last surrender to the celebration dictums. Winston’s reason for this can be found in the following: “Peace of mind was statistical. It was merely a question of discovering to believe as they believed” (Orwell Chapter 3, Pt. 4).
When a rebel is finally reintegrated into society, he must mold to the party’s every thought. The author makes this terrible truth obvious in Winston’s really last lines of the book: ‘However it was all right, whatever was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the triumph over himself. He liked Huge Sibling.” Winston had succumbed.
Totalitarian societies still exist today. Much of them run on the concepts that Orwell reveals in 1984. His use of diction, metaphor and symbol further the idea that these societies manage their people through psychological, even tortuous, manipulation. Just total obedience is accepted and guaranteed because “Big Sibling is Enjoying You!”
More Details About George Orwell’s unique 1984.