October 6, 2008
George Orwell creates a dark, depressing and pessimistic world where the government has full control over the masses in the novel 1984. The protagonist, Winston, is low-level Party member who has grown to resent the society that he lives in. Orwell portrays him as a individual that begins to lose his sanity due to the constrictions of society. There are only two possible outcomes, either he becomes more effectively assimilated or he brings about the change he desires. Winston starts a journey towards his own self-destruction. His first defiant act is the diary where he writes “DOWN WITH BIG BROTHER.” But he goes further by having an affair with Julia, another party member, renting a room over Mr. Carrington’s antique shop where Winston conducts this affair with Julia, and by following O’Brien who claims to have connections with the Brotherhood, the anti-Party movement led my Emmanuel Goldstein. Winston and Julia are both eventually arrested by the Thought Police when Mr. Carrington turns out to be a undercover officer. They both eventually betray each other when O’Brien conducts torture upon them at the Ministry of Love. Orwell conveys the limitations of the individual when it comes to doing something monumental like overthrowing the established hierarchy which is seen through the futility of Winston Smith’s actions that end with his failure instead of the end of Big Brother. Winston’s goal of liberating himself turns out to be hopeless when the people he trusted end up betraying him and how he was arbitrarily manipulated. It can be perceived that Winston was in fact concerned more about his own sanity and physical well-being because he gives into Big Brother after he is tortured and becomes content to live in the society he hated so much. Winston witnesses the weakness within the prole community because of their inability to understand the Party’s workings but he himself embodies weakness by sabotaging himself by associating with all the wrong people and by simply falling into the arms of Big Brother. Orwell created a world where there is no use but to assimilate from Winston’s perspective making his struggle utterly hopeless.
Orwell shows the Party has taken strict measures in order to maintain the established status quo that suppresses the majority of Oceania. They have shaped and constructed history so that children grow up as servants to the party. Propaganda stating how rich and prosperous Oceania is the news of the day even though real conditions show buildings are dilapidated and resources are sparse. The standard of living in Oceania is way below contemporary situations in London and the United States. Those in the Inner-Party however have much more than the proles. Oceania in reality is a stratified society where the lines are clearly drawn. Winston himself is a low level Party member which inherently makes him jealous towards those who are above him. His disobedient mentality is probably a common dealing for the Party. Tele-screens are all over the place and act as a way to relay messages from the Party or surveillance against anti-Party acts. In order to prevent the exchange of ideas with people from other places the illusion of constant war is maintained. Every so often the Party changes which country we are going to war with but the main goal is to unify people against a common enemy. This helps keep the masses distracted away from the Party’s social and political control which is what is truly oppressive. When you can be abducted in night by a police force for writing in a diary you know you live in a regime where the government has too much control. Everywhere Winston turned he was subject to the constrictions set on him mentally and physically by the Party.
Winston visit’s the prole district which is a shady and wild. He is very distanced from them. The people there represent the lower sector of society and are...
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