Criticism In Nineteen Eighty-Four By George Orwell

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The aim of my essay is to analyze George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” considering the psychoanalytical approach and attempting to find an answer to narrative mysteries. In the effort to identify hidden intentions and anxieties of the author expressed in the novel through different characters I am going to apply certain Freudian methods such as the interpretation of dreams or the analysis of symbols and discuss Freud’s ideas about the connection between civilization and the psyche.
The main reason why I have chosen this particular subject is my interest in Sigmund Freud’s work and my belief that Orwell’s novel fits best this kind of critical approach. The literary work reveals a dystopian world dominated by totalitarianism where a powerful,
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In this regard, the novel has been also said to follow certain fallacious Marxist principles.
Turning back to Freudian theories, some of the most important concepts founded by Freud which are also embodied in the novel are the id, ego and super-ego. The id “is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality (…) and can be described only as a contrast to the ego”, where aggression and sexuality comes from. The super-ego is related to our moral code and behaviour, making us able to properly behave in a society, and the ego is a mediator between the id and the super-ego making sure to create harmony and balance.
In “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, however, these three concepts are altered. The id and the Ego are reversed, the latter being related to seeking and obtaining pleasure, while the super-ego is responsible for making Oceania’s citizens feel guilty about everything that they are
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It can be seen exactly how the society influences our human nature along with our thinking and happiness, all through power because “power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
Most of the consequences of this dystopian world are seen through the protagonist’s eyes, an outer-party member named Winston Smith. Many critics have associated Winston with George Orwell himself. I am in agreement with this sentence because Winston seems to be a stock character as far as Orwell’s novels are concerned such as “The Road to Wigan Pier” or “Keep the Aspidistra Flying”. These characters’ characteristics can mainly be resumed to loneliness, rage at other people for the unstoppable control over them as well as the grievance of coming from a fortuneless upper-middle class.
In the beginning of the novel, Winston’s ego has limited self-determination, as readers would expect of him, for being the main character of this dystopian world, to stand for the ethics of the ego. Democratic states would see him as portraying the ego, but in Oceania, because he opposes the leading party and the government he is seen as portraying the id. The antagonist of the novel is represented by O’Brien, who fights for the protection of the
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