How far does 1984 reflect the times in which it was written and how far was it a view of the future?
In this essay I intend to investigate experiences and historical events in Orwell’s lifetime. These events may have significantly influenced Orwell’s style, structure and theme, contributing to the political and artistic nature of his novel. I also intend to compare the contradictory interpretations of Orwell’s ‘message’. Did he intend 1984 as a warning, a prediction, or a historical novel?
Despite its critics 1984 has made a significant impression on the modern world. Its infiltration into reality television may not be a tribute Orwell would have appreciated but many of his terms and phrases have been used to highlight threats to social and personal freedom. I will use this as a basis to ascertain whether there are other aspects of Orwell’s novel that have become reality in the modern world.
1984 by George Orwell was written in1947/48. This era has been referred to as ‘The age of anxiety, the age of the lost generation’. (www.historyguide.org/europe/lecture10) It was a nightmare world where individuality was lost. The totalitarian states of the time, exercised complete control over the lives of their human subjects. The Great War (World War One) facilitated totalitarian regimes, simply because war has only one objective: victory. “Individuality is sacrificed for collectivism and freedom is restricted as governments reject liberal values”. (www.historyguide.org/europe/lecture10)
This mood of anxiety and conformity, is clearly illustrated in 1984; this is portrayed in the early pages of the novel and is maintained throughout.
Orwell cleverly uses his descriptive talent, to set the scene for his reader. At the very beginning of his novel ‘the vile wind, the swirl of gritty dust’ (Page 4) projects a negative image of life in 1984. The maintenance of these visual images is preserved and comparisons, between... [continues]
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