The Importance of Music in George Orwells 1984.

Decent Essays

George Orwell uses music to set the tone in 1984. In some instances, it inspires Winston Smith, the protagonist, or represents a need for something he cannot get from the Party. In others, it reminds him of tragedy, and in certain instances, it contains valuable insight from the past. It also represents Winston’s happiness between himself and Julia and predicts Winston’s fate. Music in 1984 plays an important role in the overall attitude of the novel. In the first instance, Winston hears a song and is instantly touched by a moment of tragedy. In the Chestnut Tree Café, he witnesses Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford, three men who were heroic in the early days of the Party. However, the Party caught up to them, but they could not …show more content…

Winston is drawn to this because it gives variation to the bland society that surrounds him every day. It gives him what he desires that the Party cannot give him. Though he does not completely know what is outside of the Party, this sampling proves to him that life can be beautiful. This is all he needs to confirm his want to rebel against the Party. While the thrush song gives Winston a taste for the future, the rhyme “Oranges and Lemons say the Bells of St. Clements” gives Winston a sense of the untouchable past. Though everything with any insight to the past has been undeniably altered, this rhyme is the ultimate pathway to what life was preceding the current history. Mr. Charrington, the shopkeeper, first mentions this rhyme after recalling that an old building was once a church before the revolution (Orwell 98). The fact that Mr. Charrington only remembers the first line and the last line could represent Winston’s fate. He enters Winston’s life at the beginning of his downfall, and ultimately he knows how Winston’s story will end because he is a member of the Thought Police. However, he does not know what will contribute to Winston’s downfall before the end. Throughout the novel, certain characters of importance add to the rhyme. Julia gives him the middle portion, which provides an intense bond between the two lovers. O’Brien gives him the last of the missing lines of the rhyme. This is inevitable because it represents the last portion of

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