1984 by George Orwell Essay example

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1984 by George Orwell Some readers have felt that, even allowing for the bleakness of the times in which he lived, Orwell’s vision in Nineteen Eighty Four is excessively grim and pessimistic. Explore various aspects of the novel from this perspective, explaining how far you would agree with such a view.

Orwell’s views throughout ‘1984’ are grim and pessimistic in relation to his personal experiences and how he interprets the world, as we know, and what it may become. The possibility of a totalitarian society, which he so fears, is the reason that his views in the novel are as bleak as they
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O’Brien describes the overall outlook of the future as one image; “A boot stamping on a human face-for ever”. This image sets hard in the mind, as readers of the time would easily recognise this with recent events in the past and real characters such as the Hitler and his Nazi Party.

By the end of chapter one Orwell has described Winston Smith and his ascetic life. Even though Orwell wanted to create a political warning it is obvious he was trying at the same time to formulate an extremely pessimistic view of the people of Oceania. They are unhealthy, ugly and uninspired, using Winston as the stereotype given by the writer. This is also true of the other characters that have little power in the story, be it sexual or within the police state itself: Parsons; a fat, sweaty man, Syme; a weedy intellectual and Ampleforth; a frail old poet, all have physical inhibitions and all end up in ‘Room 101’ eventually and all meet the same callous fate. This is deliberate of Orwell as he clearly argues that the survival of the fittest is inevitable and that it is a reality that we all must face in the future. Julia’s capture by the Thought Police reflects George Orwell’s own personal views on sexuality within society, as does Winston’s encounter with the prostitute. Orwell portrays himself as extremely patriarchal throughout the book, and feminists believe that he supports the power of masculinity.

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