The Transformation Of George Orwell English Literature Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

In George Orwells novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith is the main character. He lives in London during the year 1984 where the government, also known as The Big Brother, watches everything you do through telescreens. The theme to this story would be; "Independent thought can be dangerous, because it leads to rebellion." Winston lives day by day among the people of his party but he does not feel safe working with them, nor does he like them. The government prohibits free thought, sex, and any expression of individuality. Winston illegally bought a diary to write down his free thoughts and criminal activities to take down Big Brother. The main quote the Big Brother uses repetitively is "WAR IS PEACE; FREEDOM IS SLAVERY; IGNORANCE IS STRENTH" (23). Also during the novel, Winston has sexual relations with another girl from another ministry. It is against the law to have relations with another member from another party. Later on in the story, Winston is thrown in jail and is tortured because the Thought Police found a black book that Winston received. In the black book it contains documents about the truth about Big Brother and so they put him

Middleton 2

in prison to be tortured. While Winston is in room 101, he was tortured by rats. After Winston was released, Winston was brainwashed and stops questioning the Big Brother party. Symbols, Conflict, and Allusions play a major within George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty- Four.

The Diary is one example of a symbol. It is a symbol of freedom and knowledge. Winston questions if Big Brother is really a person, or if he is even real. That is one of the reasons Winston buys a diary. The diary lets Winston go against the government law and record his feelings and his free intellect. One critic, Shumpei Fukuhara, states "His decision to keep a diary has a symbolic meaning, as a series of his subsequent actions mostly aim to regain the past, which is systemically controlled by the party." (25). In the Nation of Oceania there are four main buildings that support the Big Brother party. "The Ministry of truth, the Ministry of Peace, the Ministry of love, and the Ministry of plenty." (4). Winston works at the Ministry of peace. These buildings symbolize the different branches of the government. But they all work for one big group known as The Big Brother. The Big Brother sees and hears everything you do. The city has telescreens placed everywhere to watch you and to monitor you. As Orwell wrote, "The telescreens received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up…" (2). Big Brother is everywhere. The Big Brother acts like he is part of your family, hence "Big Brother", he is supposed to be there to look out for you and to protect you from harm. Big Brother is a symbol of the president. He is the leader of Oceania. The last major symbol used in Nineteen Eighty- Four is the "Victory Gin" (4) and "Victory Cigarettes." (4). The gin and cigarettes are a

Middleton 3

symbol of a way to escape from the Big Brother and from reality. As Orwell quotes in the book, "The next moment, however, the burning in his belly died down and the world began to look more cheerful." (4)

George Orwell uses conflict many times in many different ways in his famous book Nineteen Eighty-Four. One of the main conflicts Winston faces is person vs. society. An example of this type of conflict would be a quote made by Winston saying, "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows." (72). This quote means that if your government states you cannot state the simplest facts than you are not truly free. Also in this book one of the conflicts Winston faces is person vs. self. Winston is constantly looking for freedom and a way to become free of his party. When we look at Winston's Diary; we see many quotes Winston writes down behind The Big Brothers back. Winston tries to live in the past because the past to his is different than the present. As Winston writes in his diary "To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone- to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, From the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink- greetings." (24). Another quote Winston writes in his diary is, "If There is hope… It lies in the proles." (61). Proles are the lowest class of the party, or the outcast. There are three different classes that make up the Party: The inner party; the outer Party; and the proles. Winston is in conflict between man vs. self, because he wants to join the proles and he wants to be free and not under control of the Big Brother.

Middleton 4

George Orwell uses allusions in the book. One allusion Orwell uses is allusions to the future. Orwell doesn't allude to future references in the book; he alludes to the future of mankind. Nineteen Eighty- Four was written and published in 1948, but in the book, George Orwell uses the allusions to finger printing, satellite imaging, and I.D. cards. Also in the book, "Room 101" (209) alludes to a Guantanamo Bay. Because Winston had the black book and was put in Room 101 for going against the law, and he was tortured. Many people allude to this book when they talk about politics. For example, during the 2012 election, many politics said that this country is starting to become like 1984 by George Orwell. Orwell alludes to many famous poets in history. They are, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Geoffrey Chaucer, and George Gordon Byron. Orwell writes, "Winston woke up with the word "Shakespeare" on his lips." (27). Also he writes, "The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron- they'll exist only in Newspeak versions…" (46). Orwell alludes to famous historical figures like Julius Caesar and Charlemagne. Orwell writes "… He would exist just as authentically, and upon the same evidence, as Charlemagne or Julius Caesar." (42) George Orwell also alludes to the Times paper. As Orwell writes, "The reporting of Big Brother's Order of the Day, in the Times of December 3rd 1983…" (39)

In the conclusion of the book Nineteen Eighty-Four, shows the struggle of Winston Smith for the longing to live in the past. As one critic, Brnard Crick, states "Having the memory of his childhood taken away, Winston suffers from the lack of his own knowledge about his past life which means he doesn't really know his own identity." Winston is symbolically attached to his diary, which lets him write down everything on

Middleton 5

his mind. One anonymous critic writes, "Winston feels he must put these thoughts down on paper or they will be forgotten forever." Also, as Thomson Gale states, "Orwell's commitment to the idea that the individual must struggle constantly for freedom from tyranny of any kind- physical, political, or spiritual." Orwell uses many symbols because he wants the reader to refer to things that might be more commonly recognizable to people at the time. Also Winston has to overcome many conflicts such as person vs. society and person vs. self. Conflict is used because people face conflicts all the time in real life situations on a daily basis. As Shumpei Fukuhara says, "The control of the human mind results not only in the rule of reality but also that of history."(31). Last Orwell uses many allusions to World War II. Orwell wrote this book after the war ended. Orwell also fought in the Spanish war.