George Orwell

George Orwell has been a major contributor to anticommunist literature around
the World War II period. Orwell lived in England during World War II, a time
when the Totalitarianism State, Nazi Germany, was at war with England and
destroyed the city of London. (DISC) “I know that building’ said Winston
finally. It’s a ruin now. It’s in the middle of the street outside the Palace of
Justice. ‘That’s right. Outside the Law Courts. It was bombed in-oh many years
ago.'” (Orwell 83). The main character’s being reflects Orwell’s own life
experiences as a citizen in war torn England and how he uses this in 1984.

George Orwell is famous for two major novels, which attack totalitarianism. The
first is Animal Farm a satire describing the leaders of the Soviet Union as
animals on an animal farm. The second novel is 1984 a story of dictators who are
in complete control of a large part of the world after the Allies lost in World
War II. The government in this novel gives no! freedoms to its citizens. They
live in fear because they are afraid of having bad thoughts about the government
of Oceania, a crime punishable by death. By employing literary devices such as
diction, foreshadowing, and symbolism, Orwell composes a novel “1984”
which proves to be a gem in Orwell’s collection of novels against
totalitarianism. Orwell wrote 1984 as a political statement against
totalitarianism. Orwell’s word choice drives the plot of the story in that they
introduce a new dimension, a world where everything takes place in a modern
controlled society. The phrase “Newspeak” was created by Orwell to
describe a derivation of the English language, which this new world uses to
communicate, and to represent of authoritative dialogue which takes place
throughout the novel. (Meckier) Another phrase chosen by Orwell to illustrate
the new controlled society is “double-think”, a word which is part of
the “Newspeak” language.. He chooses to use another made up expression
to further enhance the atmosphere which does not allow for an individual to
“think twice” about what the government expresses. “It was a
bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” (Orwell
5) Orwell carefully selects the words for this sentence and chooses to introduce
the story in the past tense, as though all things have already occurred. This
suggests that the narrator has already l! ived through the actions that take
place in this book and is only describing his memory. (Lawrimore) If Orwell had
written this book in present tense, the opportunity to foreshadow to such an
extent would have been dramatically cut down. In Orwell’s above sentence, the
word “thirteen” is used as an alternative to “one” to
describe the time. By choosing to use the word “thirteen” Orwell
portrays the society to be one which is altered and possibly of military
control. “I wanted to rape you and then murder you afterwards. Two weeks
ago I thought seriously of smashing your head in with a cobblestone. If you
really want to know, I imagined that you had something to do with the Thought
Police” (Orwell 101). The choice of words here is so very descriptive that
you, the reader, can actually feel the atmosphere, which the characters dwell
in. This exercises the belief that Orwell does indeed realize the power of
language and words, which should never be underestimated. (Lawrimo! re)
“The way something is stated can affect the connotation of the whole
passage, and it is quite possible that sometime, somewhere, it will be a bright,
cold day in April and the clocks will be striking thirteen.” (Lawrimore)
Each statement Orwell makes in this novel symbolizes a great deal more than what
its face value suggests for the purpose of exhibiting his deeper, personal
beliefs on totalitarianism. “It was a bright, cold day in April, and the
clocks were striking thirteen.” (Orwell 5) 1984 begins with a powerful
first sentence, which provides many hints about a demented society. This first
sentence allows for the reader to make his / her opinions without further
reading any additional words. Orwell chooses to use the word
“thirteen” opposed to “one” to possibly suggest a military
like society or even a world that is changing from old to new. (Lawrimore) A
world with old traditions, ideas, and thinking are slowly being replaced by new.

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(Lawrimore) Another symbol found in this sentence is “bright, cold day in
April.” It is quite unusual to have a cold bright, or “crisp”,
day in April. Most often April is considered to be a warm, wet month. Orwell
implies that the seasons are mixed u! p or the world’s climate is being
controlled, possibly by computer or other means. (Lawrimore) This is yet another
reference to the totalitarinistic military society. Throughout 1984, Orwell
portrays this society as being controlled by a greater power, “Big
Brother.” “It was in the middle of the morning, and Winston had left
his cubicle to go to the lavatory.” (Orwell 88) “…left his
cubicle” symbolizes that the person is controlled much like a rat, where
the victim has no say in how to live or what life really is. The individual is
disallowed to think for themselves and must obey or be destroyed. Orwell
believes so strongly against the totalitarianistic, utopian, perfect society
where each and every mind thinks and acts alike. The characters of 1984 never
gain the knowledge of what is better in life since the supreme authority never
allows for one to excel. Orwell uses symbols to represent his own experiences
and beliefs regarding a controlling government. “Katharine’s white body,
frozen forever by the hypnotic power of the Party… Why could he not have a
woman of his own instead of these filthy scuffles at intervals of years? But a
real love affair was an almost unthinkable event. The woman of the Party where
all alike. Chasity was so deeply ingrained in them as Party loyalty.”
Orwell uses relationships to represent another element of the ordinary life
which the totalitarinistic government, “The Party,” takes away. For a
woman to make love to a man was punishable by death. The act of sexual
intercourse was seen merely as a physical action that was necessary at given
intervals. Orwell infers that sex, part of everyday life, is controlled and
pleasure, desire, along with feelings are eliminated in this utopian
civilization. It is true this allegorical story has an interesting
“surface” tale, it is necessary to look deeper! into this work to
thoroughly understand the author’s purpose. (Sedlak) What Orwell writes in words
have a deeper meaning within which can be seen in the year 1997. In conjunction
with the use of symbolism Orwell uses foreshadowing to hint at what the
character will experience in the future. As the first sentence of 1984: “It
was a bright, cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
(Orwell 5) George Orwell foreshadows a book about a world that differs greatly
from that which we currently know. (Lawrimore) “Big Brother is watching
you, the caption beneath it ran.” (Orwell 5) Orwell frequently uses this
excerpt to build suspense and make the reader aware of life in totalitarinistic
society. Orwell hints at someone or something that oversees, later identified as
the “Thought Police.” “Obviously the kind of encounter that had
happened this morning could not be repeated.” (Orwell 92) Orwell
foreshadows that the meeting that occurred may take place again bringing
confusion and chaos into the plot. Again, Orwell suggests that the
totalitarinistic society disallow an action that took place. “The whole
climate of thought ! will be different. In fact there will be no thought.”
(Orwell 47) Orwell exhibits his view, which is that the individual of a
controlled society can and will not think for themselves. He foreshadows that
the concept of thought is diminishing and will soon be eliminated. For an
individual to think for themself under control of “The Party” would be
breaking the law. George Orwell had deep resentment against totalitarianism and
what it stood for. He saw the problem of totalitarianism in his existing world.

He also understood how the problem could fester and become larger due to
instability in Europe’s economy after World War II. He purposely makes the
story, 1984, unrealistic and blown out of proportion to capture people’s
attention and make them think maybe it wouldn’t be unrealistic in the near
future. With his deep resentment toward totalitarianism it became the focal
point of his novels. George Orwell’s, novels were directed toward against
totalitarianism and for Socialism and what it stood for.


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