George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Modernist Fable

1767 Words Mar 24th, 2011 8 Pages
GEORGE ORWELL’S NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR: MODERNIST FABLE

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.[1]

The world that Orwell presents in Nineteen Eighty-four has often been called a nightmare vision of the future. Writing sixteen years into that future, we can see that not all of Orwell’s predictions have been fulfilled in their entirety! Yet, “1984 expresses man’s fears of isolation and disintegration, cruelty and dehumanisation…Orwell’s repetition of obsessive ideas is an apocalyptic lamentation for the fate of modern man. His expression of the political experience of an entire generation gives 1984 a veritably mythic power and makes it one of the most influential books of the age, even
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If we are to consider Nineteen Eighty-four as a modernist fable, we are immediately reminded that while the genre of futuristic science fiction had already been introduced and, to some extent, developed in the nineteenth century, Orwell’s works do not fall into this category. Both Animal Farm and this book are projections into a bleak and dismal future that would be, Orwell insists, the natural consequence of the direction in which politics would appear to be heading, the inevitable betrayal of the Marxist dream. But where Animal Farm is clearly an allegorical fable, Nineteen Eighty-four is in many ways a very concrete and naturalistic portrayal of the future as a consequence of the present and the past. Though set in the future, the novel’s mode is realistic rather than fantastical. Orwell himself writes, that Nineteen Eighty-four is a novel about the future – that is, it is in a sense a fantasy, but in the form of a naturalistic novel….intended as a show-up of the perversions to which a centralised economy is liable, and which have already been partly realised in Communism and fascism….Totalitarian ideas have taken root in the minds of intellectuals everywhere, and I have tried to draw these ideas out to their logical consequences. [4]
At the same time, the