1984 - Character Development Requires a Conflict

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Totalitarianism, George Orwell Pages: 6 (2283 words) Published: April 5, 2011
1984 Essay – by Len Farag
In “1984” by George Orwell, the main character, Winston is in conflict in nearly every page of the book. He is in constant surveillance by the Party. He has also, as the text describes, had problems with his relationship with Katherine, in the past. With the rule of the Party, comes the constant control of the omnipresent, Big Brother. He controls everything, from living conditions to how much chocolate is allowed to be given to any member of Oceania. There is also the constant fear of betrayal. When considering these restrictions and frustrations placed onto Winston and every individual in Oceania, the statement: “A character in conflict is necessary to any text” is supported and evident in the text. Winston, no matter where he goes, is always being watched by the thought Police. Devices are used in Oceania, to monitor every action. Telescreens are devices, like televisions, that have cameras and microphones built into them. They cannot be shut off, except for ones issued to Inner party members, and they see everything. An example of this is when in part one, chapter three, Winston is doing exercise in front of the telescreen, when he is told to bend lower: ‘6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please! You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Lower, please!” This feeling of never being alone is really a reflection of George Orwell. Orwell, through this text, is showing his views and is stressing to anyone that reads this text, what it would be like if Stalin’s or Hitler’s rule continued and was perfected. He is showing that from his point of view, it would become as horrible as it is in the text he wrote. A technique that shows this and that Orwell used to stress his thoughts, is repetition: ‘Big Brother is watching you.’ This quote and use of repetition is well matched with the idea of constantly being watched. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can never escape the Parties watching eyes and therefore, the constant fear of getting caught by the Thought Police is always with you. This feeling is what the Party wants every inhabitant of Oceania to feel. This, they believe, will keep everyone from doing anything wrong. The idea that, the character in conflict is needed to give the text purpose is more and more established as the storyline progresses. What is the Party though and how do they affect Winston? The Inner Party is a single body of people that govern everything else. It comprises of only 2% of the population of Oceania. Their control is continuously expanding until the point where even thoughts will be completely controlled. The Party wishes to rewrite the English language until there is no way for a person to think against the Party and commit thought crime or to feel emotion other than what the Party wants, because there would be no words to formulate them. ‘It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.’ This phrase stated by Syme, goes to show how the Party supports this idea, to remove the range of possible thought and to keep narrowing it. It also impresses how their indoctrination is steadily growing. Even an intelligent man like Syme, cannot foresee the horrible future that will soon come to be, a future without words and independent thought. Winston is troubled by the thought that he will never be able to live a life of freedom. He recognises that if there were any chance of that happening, hope lies in the Proles. Since they comprise 85% of the population, they would have no trouble overthrowing the Party. The Brotherhood also is a group that Winston believes in. These two beliefs are the only things that give Winston hope. At the end of the text, when Winston is arrested, and indoctrinated, these hopes get crushed. Winston’s struggle against the Party is the basis of the entire text and this is again relative to the statement that the character and the conflict are essential to the flow of the text. How do the Party use relationships and sex as another...
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