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1984 Literary Analysis Outline

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Literary Analysis Paper Outline

1. Which question will you be addressing? Write it here:

“Some novels and plays seem to advocate changes in social or political attitudes or in traditions. Which particular attitudes or traditions does Orwell wish to modify? Analyze the techniques the author uses to influence the reader’s or audience’s views. Avoid plot summaries.”

2. Write the question in your own words. This is a chance for you to “unpack” your essay question. Is there a particular angle that you will be pursuing? Do you need to define any key terms? Think of this as explaining the question to someone who is not as well-versed in literary analysis as you are.

In 1984, what social or political traditional is modified? Analyze the techniques that are used to influence the reader’s views.

I. Thesis Statement:

Orwell modifies the social and political traditions of today’s society in order to persuade the reader using strong imagery and word choice, setting, and lack of individualism.

II. Your first point:

The abundance of strong imagery and word choice throughout this book paints clear visions in the reader’s mind, influencing the reader to have a changed view on social and political traditions.

A. Example #1

“Never show dismay! Never show resentment! A single flicker of the eyes could give you away.” Page 36.

1. Briefly describe what you will say about your quote

This gives the image in the reader’s mind that even the slightest look in one’s eyes or face could give away a person, and it give the imagery that all the party members must be blank faced, or having hatred towards Goldstein, at all times.

B. Example #2

“A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture…” page 14

1. Briefly describe what you will say about your quote
This strong word choice in this quote paints the image in the reader’s mind of how the government is filing the party members with hate and violence.

C. Example #3

“The party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that event- it never happened- that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.” Page 34.

1. Briefly describe what you will say about your quote

This paints a picture in the reader’s mind of how the inner party could use people as a puppet in order to control the rest of the citizens.

III. Your second point:

Orwell’s use of setting helps persuade the reader to change their views on social traditions.

A. Example #1

“But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are mat work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother.” page 267.

1. Briefly describe what you will say about your quote

This sets the stage for a very dark, sterile, and emotionless life. It is appalling to the reader, and it sets the reader off of the idea.

B. Example #2
"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten." (1.5.23, Syme)

1. Briefly describe what you will say about your quote

This shows that the government is attempting to set the stage and mind of all the people in the
CONTROLS SOCIETY AND PEOPLE’S VIEWS/ATTITUDES IN THE BOOK

C. Example #3

“There were times when his nerves so forsook him that he began shouting for mercy even before the beating began, when the mere sight of a first drawn back for a blow was enough to make hum pour forth a confession of real or imaginary crimes.” Page 291

1. Briefly describe what you will say about your quote

This sets the scene of violence and fear, and what more, it is the government system that is putting this fear and violence into the citizens when they disagree with them.

IV. Your third point:

The lack of individualism effectively influences the reader to change their mind about social and political traditions.

A. Example #1
The Inner Party members wear black overalls, the Outer Party wears blue overalls, and Proles wear regular clothing.

1. Briefly describe what you will say about your quote
This constricts and conforms the party members, not letting them express any individualism to their appearance.

B. Example #2
The thought police

1. Briefly describe what you will say about your quote
The thought police are there to point out anyone that is thinking against the government, and they then have them vaporized. If anyone thinks or even dreams about being an individual, away from the party, the government subjects them to torture in order to brain wash them to be like everyone else.

C. Example #3
“Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard.’’ Page 9

1. Briefly describe what you will say about your quote
Winston, even in his own room, is never allowed the privacy to say/do what he feels or wants to. There are always people monitoring everything that the party members say/do.

V. What will be the “knockout punch” that you include in your conclusion?
1984 is a warning for the future, a warning for what a totalitarian government could really mean. (but more eloquent…)

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