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1984 Symbolism Analysis

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1984 Symbolism Analysis
Orwell uses many forms of symbolism in his novel 1984. Just a few of these symbols are the rats that Winston is afraid of, the diary where he keeps all his thoughts and feelings, and the gin that both Winston and other public figures turn to help control their emotions. Another notable symbol is the telescreen, which evokes feelings of dictatorship over the population, as they are constantly being watched for any signs of rebellion. Orwell’s symbols all point to the same general idea: the weakening of the ability to think for oneself.
Winston’s diary is an integral part of showing his rebellion against the Party. In this time, self-expression in any form was strictly prohibited. Even though it is not defined as a law, he knows that if he is
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This screen was unable to be turned off—“The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely” (Orwell 6). It was also listening to every word and analyzing the every move “The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made…would be picked up by it; moreover…he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched…It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time…You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was over-heard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized” (Orwell 6-7). This idea of being watched at all times controls how the people act because they are all so fearful of the government coming for them. The government does not have any concern for the privacy of the citizens, and will violate their rights as long as it benefits the Party. Since the citizens are always being watched over, they have certain things they turn to in order for them to keep their anxiety suppressed, if only …show more content…
Most people in the book would use the gin as an escape from what was happening around them. The gin helped them forget and suppress their feelings of anxiety. Winston hates the taste of gin, yet he still needs it. When he first starts drinking the Victory Gin in the beginning of the book, he describes it “The stuff was like nitric acid…in swallowing it one had the sensation of being hit on the back of the head with a rubber club. The next moment, however, the burning in his belly died down and the world began to look more cheerful” (Orwell 8). Winston does not enjoy his habit of drinking, but it helps him calm himself and look at the world as a better place than what it really is. It is obvious that he has a drinking problem because as soon as his gin wears off, he begins to feel depressed again “The gin was wearing off, leaving a deflated feeling” (Orwell 25). Winston is not the only one with this problem, however. Winston runs into many people throughout the book with the same habits, but one of the most memorable people was an old man he had met in a Tube station. The man was suffering from some grief, but he would hide it underneath his gin “He reeked of gin. It seemed to breathe out of his skin in place of sweat, and one could have fancied that the tears welling from his eyes were pure gin. But though slightly drunk he was also suffering under some grief that was genuine and unbearable. In his childish way Winston

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