The novel 1984 by George Orwell is based on life in a territorial society. We find as a reader that society in which all individuals have to tolerate all contradictions no matter how its implications, if they are to survive. The personality of individuals is reduced to loyalty to authoritarians that control the meaning of language. Personal judgements and morality are disallowed. It is also the decider to what is right and what is wrong based on the absolute power over all feelings, thoughts and behaviour. The aim is to filter these feelings and replace them with party related feelings.
Which in terms means neutral feelings. It is not mentioned in the novel what the’s intentions are to do. This is mainly because no one has the courage to ask questions or to behave as an individual and to express their own personality. Even keeping a diary is prohibited in Orwell’s 1984. Through out the novel there is a major theme of poverty. To create a feeling of poverty, Orwell uses visual and sensual imagery. This then leads to the feelings of corruption and decay. The state seems to be rotting and therefore the reader is repelled. There are war posters and boarded houses.
Which resemble the picture of redundancy. There are many references to dust and dirt within the first few chapters of the novel. ‘Maze of barbed wire entangled, steel doors and hidden machine guns nest’. The language reflects a distorted society. Its makes the reader feels uncomfortable. It arouses imagery of war scenes. The distortion language leads to the destruction of thoughts. It restricts the human mind to openly say and feel what they want. The thoughts and feelings are based around the party’s aims and mottos. Therefore instead of having individuals in society it seems as thought it’s all in monochrome.
The character of Winston shows that he is incapable of rebelling physically therefore rebels mentally and expresses though writing in a diary. Mentally Winston is a very strong character as in his dream of a perfect world gets rid of all the restrictions. The language becomes peaceful and tranquil. The natural imagery becomes an escape from reality. There is heavy aural language and onomatopoeia. The imagery of dust is replaced with freshness. There is a theme of spring/summer time. Winston wakes from his dream and the word ‘Shakespeare’, comes to his lips.
This shows the tranquil and beauty of the language therefore the dream. The destruction of words forms the Ingsoc. This exploits words and uses double meanings. The official language that reflects reality is called ‘Newspeak’ and ‘double meanings’. In reality contradiction is just accepted as the mysterious ways in which God works. Power of the newspeak penetrates deeply into lives of most people that it is accepted as the natural role of the unconscious mind and the power of the symbols over the unconsciousness. There are some parallels between Ingsoc and philosophy about the spirituality and religion today.
We notice increasingly that the belief of spirituality is the development of the psychological sophistication. This says basically says that the contradictions is the innate in the laws of the universe. Very few people are aware of the laws and what they stand for. The powerless characters reflect Distopia. Taking Winston for instance. He is oppressed by society therefore he hasn’t got the position to say anything. What he says wont make a difference. He is just an ordinary person. He’s not satisfied with the party, yet he doesn’t do anything to rebel against it.
This shows that he is totally helpless. He commits crimes such as having a love affair and keeping a diary just to test the limits of the party’s power. Although he rebels he is absorbing the ideas of the party, as he plays right into the hands of O’Brian’s campaign. He knows that g=he is eventually going to get punished but doesn’t net this stop him committing crimes. Winston has a lack of real hope, he gives himself false hopes. This overall shows that the character of Winston shows the modern tragic hero. He wants to be a real person Whereas the character of Julia is totally different.
Even though her love affair with Winston occurs because have a similarity in which they both rebel against big brother. As the novel commences we realise that Julia is only rebelling to get a trill from it. Not because she has a real passionate hatred for the party like Winston. She has sex with Winston as though it’s just a routine in her life. This is shown when Winston finds a book about rebelling against the party and joins the anti-party brotherhood, he shows the book to her but she says read it aloud showing her lack of commitment. From both characters we learn that society plays a big role in every individuals life.
Whether they are trying to work around it or with it. The past is a big theme in ‘1984’. George Orwell attempts to demonstrate how the past doesn’t exist. There is only an existence of the past in the human mind. Therefore the concept of the past is that is the mind can be manipulated the past can also be manipulated. This is why the ministry of truth aims to destroy or alter any evidence of the past. This concept is initially the idea of O’Brian. He comments that’ who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past’.
Orwell’s meaning is that the same structure of society will remain eternally. There are different themes within the theme of the past that show that there is no past. O’Brian feels that the party has always been there. Even at the start of the universe. Therefore this makes big brother seem as though it is in place of God. Mr Carrington’s shop seems to be a threat as it contains precious items that are from the past (antiques). It seems as though beauty is a major threat to the party and therefore extracts its power. By reducing the number of words the party can get rid of the past.