Critical Evaluation - 1984.

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“1984” by George Orwell is a classic, beautifully written novel. Throughout, Orwell skilfully uses a wide range of techniques to help convey his themes and very strong messages. One of the main messages he projects heavily throughout the novel is a warning against the dangers of a totalitarian society which Winston Smith, the main character, is not at all in harmony with. The novel follows his tragic life in one of these brutal societies. The novel is set in a futuristic past. It is around 1948 and from the beginning we are told there is an intense war going on, one in which nobody is quite sure when it began or when it will finish or indeed if it is actually happening. Winston lives in Airstrip One, which we believe to be England which is part of Oceania: Britain, Australia, North and South America and southern portions of Africa. Oceania is at war with Eurasia at the beginning at the book but by the end they somehow have become their ally and always have been and go to war with Eastasia. In 1984 we are shown an element of urban decay on a very large scale all around the streets of London where Winston lives. There are crumbling buildings everywhere, the air is full of “gritty dust”, there is widespread hunger and poverty – even the rats on the streets were rumoured to attack children, it was said that “a woman daren’t leave a baby alone for two minutes”, the water and electricity available was very unreliable yet all of this decay is at contrast with all the extraordinary technology the government use to spy on its citizens. Even in Winston’s own flat where everything is The rundown of the city is a visual reminder of one of the main themes Orwell portrays very strongly throughout the novel, that totalitarian regimes are viciously effective at intensifying their power, but miserably inefficient at providing for their citizens. That they would rather go to the extremes to spy and keep their citizens in check rather than give them the basics that the...
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