A Rhetorical Analysis on Nineteen Eighty-Four

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 2720
  • Published: March 18, 2011
Read full document
Text Preview

Nineteen Eighty Four: A Critical Essay on Rhetoric

Bereket Kifle
Composition 12 Honors

George Orwell employs the usage of different rhetoric throughout 1984.  The rhetoric differs from describing the human body and its struggle to survive to the different crimes and how the citizens felt about them.  Also, within 1984 lies a warning from Orwell: to eliminate the caustic consequences of a communist government.  While Orwell served as part of the Indian Imperial Police in Burma during the 1920s, he examined the faults of the communist government.  This phenomenon inspired Orwell to warn governments world-wide to stay on the right path to a safe and free rule.

Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Critical Essay on Rhetoric

Winston, sitting in an interrogation room, wondered to himself, “How did it come to this?”  The thoughts flowing through his mind when finding out that O’Brien was secretly working for Big Brother and the Party could have ranged anywhere from abhorrence to fear.  As Winston cries out for the torture to stop in Room 101, the reader cannot help but to try and feel his pain.  Even though Winston knew that this day would eventually come in his life due to his pessimistic and fatalist ways of thinking, one still receives pathos when reading over that section.  Also, logos is thrust into the reader’s mind when looking at newspeak and how it effectively controls the minds of most citizens of Oceania. These are only a few of many different examples of rhetoric, including ethos, logos, and pathos, sprinkled through the novel, 1984.             George Orwell, author of 1984, warned that governments, left unchecked, would rule their civilizations using techniques like those presented within his book.  The reigning leader in Orwell’s novel, Big Brother parallels a dictator whose decision of having ultimate control forces every citizen to either love him or fear him enough to follow the rules.  Orwell issues a warning against universal governments as he mingles a harsh future with the caustic reality, while also showing off different types of rhetoric along the way.

Orwell’s Use of Ethos
The clearest use of rhetoric is the audience to which the book is being written to, along with the exigence and purpose of the novel. When dictators tyrannize a nation, it establishes the perfect opportunity to rob its civilians of their pride and freedom, and Orwell does not want this scenario to play out in Europe. Orwell’s main purpose for writing this book was to display to the world the power that a small group of people has the possibility of controlling.  Within 1984, Big Brother strips his community to a dull minimum.  By reallocating wealth throughout Big Brother’s Oceania, more jobs are offered, which helps to stabilize poor income.  Money is given to poor families in order to better educate them and improve their health status.  Sure, that seems like a perfectly fine idea to execute when it comes to thinking about the economy today, but is that idea worth part of the price of freedom? Orwell’s problem that motivated him to write the book was the controlling government in place in Europe; he wanted to make sure something within his novel never occurred in reality, so he exaggerated and predicted the future if society continued to trudge on the same path. His economic plan, along with other ideas placed in the book, helped establish his credibility as an author.

The Usage of Pathos in 1984
In 1984, “Big Brother is always watching,” whether it is through the all-seeing telescreen or the Party (Orwell, 1949).  If Big Brother discovers hate statements towards him or any form of thoughtcrime, which is thinking Big Brother is wrong, escaping from the minds of the Oceania civilians, they mysteriously disappear.  Showing the fact that those trying to rebel just magically vanish instills fear in the rest of the society living in...
tracking img