Unit 3: A Struggle for Freedom
Activity 8: Literary Essay
July 19th, 2013
In the book 1984 by George Orwell, there is a lot of symbolism that represents one major themes of the book. These symbols reflect the theme that a totalitarian government does not allow freedom. The goal is to control the thoughts, the hearts and the minds of the population. Those that are different are centred out to be changed and if they cannot be changed they are eliminated. Free thought is not free. The price for free thinking can be your life. Winston, the protagonist, is a free thinker who has rejected the norms of the totalitarian regime, but to survive he must pretend for a large portion of the book that he is in step with the rest of the population. The telescreen is the ultimate symbol of a totalitarian government. It dominates the lives of every person giving nobody a chance for privacy or free thought. Another symbol in the book is Big Brother. He is the face of the Party and the leader with the most power, however it is never determined in the book whether he exists or if he is a fictional figure head. Big Brother acts as the source of charity and well-being of the people but he is really your worst enemy. Winston is constantly troubled by the totalitarian regime and in order to find a release he has developed a love for Victory gin and Victory cigarettes. He drinks the gin to calm his nerves and to allow his mind to escape. He smokes the cigarettes to relax and to think of things to write in his journal. All combined the three symbols that represent the theme of the totalitarian government are the telescreen, Big Brother and Victory gin and cigarettes.
The telescreens are everywhere and they act as a symbol regarding the direct connection between a person’s activity and the Party’s knowledge of what you are up to. No one can escape the ever present surveillance....
Cited: Orwell, George. 1984. London: Martin Secker & Warburg Limited, 1949.
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