Symbolism in 1984

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell, Thought Police Pages: 3 (855 words) Published: August 14, 2007
George Orwell, in his dystopian novel 1984, includes many symbolic objects, themes, and characters. These symbols are important to a deeper understanding of the book and its purpose.
The language in 1984 is symbolic of the Party's manipulation of its members. The development of Newspeak, although seeming to improve the civilization, depletes thought, creativity, and individualism in its speakers. This represents the Party's main goal of brainwashing and taking complete control. The terms used for everyday objects are again ironic and symbolic of manipulation by Big Brother. The word Party suggests that it is familiar and fun, even though it is oppressive. Victory Gin, Victory Coffee, and Victory Cigarettes are truly low-quality. The Party uses these terms in an attempt to attract members and distort their thoughts. Even the term Big Brother blurs reality.

Posters are seen throughout London showing a man above the words "Big Brother is Watching You." The face on the posters is that of Big Brother, the face of the Party. He has a mysterious moustache and ever-watching eyes. Although one can never escape his gaze, the warmth and familiarity of his name suggests that he has an ability to protect. Winston, the main character of the novel, is not able to determine whether Big Brother actually exists, or if he represents the high-ranked rulers of the society. Big Brother sees everything.Even with Big Brother watching, Winston tries to reconnect with the past by wandering into an antique shop to purchase a paperweight. The glass paperweight with an interior of coral is a symbol of Winston's relationship with Julia. The coral seems protected by the glass, but it is visible and vulnerable. Orwell says, "The coral was Julia's life and his own fixed in a sort of eternity in the heart of the crystal." Winston shares his emotions with Julia and with her, forms a small, fragile world. Orwell also states, "It is a little chunk of history that they have...
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