1984 Lit Analysis

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A Future of Oppression in 1984

George Orwell’s 1984 is a book about an average man and his troubled life in the year 1984. The story takes place not in the 1984 that we know to have come and past, but in sort of communist ruled era that Orwell originally portrayed in 1949. The book centers upon Winston Smith, a simple man who works for the Ministry of Truth, rewriting history as seen fit by the government, or as it is called in the novel, the ‘Party.’ 1984 takes place in the city of London, which is now located in a country called ‘Oceania’. The residents of Oceania are divided into three main social/economic castes; the ‘Inner Party’ (upper class government officials), the ‘Outer Party’ (middle class government workers), and the ‘Proles’ (regular citizens.) The inner Party rules over Oceania in a shockingly dark and oppressive manner. The Party controls every aspect of life for the residents of Oceania, and they do so in some arguably inhumane ways. Being that Winston is a member of the outer Party, he lives in what would be considered a middle class home. The apartment complex in which he lives is called ‘Victory Mansions.’ “… Victory Mansions were old flats built in 1930 or thereabouts and were falling to pieces…there was a smell of boiled cabbage and old rag mats common to the whole building…everything had a battered, trampled-on look…”(Orwell 20-21.) In the home of all Party members, including Winston, is a ‘telescreen’, “an oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror” (Orwell 2.) The telescreen can be compared to a modern day television, with some minor differences. The important difference being the equipment of a camera that sends everything it sees and hears back to the Party for screening. This meant that at all times, since the telescreen cannot be turned off, that every member of the Party was being watched and monitored. Orwell describes the pressure of constant surveillance through Winston’s point of view as such: “You had to live— did live, from...
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